Taverna Fiorentina is a small Italian restaurant tucked away in a strip mall. You almost wouldn’t know it’s there as Taverna Fiorentina is hidden behind the Kroger Supermarket that anchors the shopping center. Taverna Fiorentina is located in the same shopping center as C & S Oyster Bar.
I was invited to tag along on one of Glen’s business dinners. Restaurant choice was up to me. All I knew was his British colleague didn’t want seafood but was up for just about anything else. They work in Marietta, and we didn’t want to drive too far but wanted something relatively decent. He had eaten at Chops the night before, so it had to be on par with that.
I remembered seeing Taverna Fiorentina when I dined at C&S, so I thought why not give it a try? When we arrived at 6:30 on a Thursday, there was no one in the restaurant. The layout is a little unexpected. There are 2 dining rooms – one is open to the kitchen and somewhat noisy. We chose the other room which is downstairs and a little more secluded. It only has about 6 or 7 tables and we had the entire room to ourselves on this evening.
I had perused the online menu of Taverna Fiorentina earlier in the day, and had decided on the Wild Boar braised in Chianti with polenta. But, sadly, this is not offered any longer. This happens to me more often than not. One of the specials at Taverna Fiorentina that evening was a lamb shank. So, I went with that. Glen chose the skirt steak and our dining companion, Paul, had the chicken. We skipped any appetizers, as none of us were particularly hungry, and portions (I had heard) at Taverna Fiorentina tend to be pretty large.
The wine list is extensive and very heavy on reds. And, as we were at an Italian restaurant that specializes in food from the Tuscan region we chose to go with a wine from that region. At the recommendation of our waiter, we chose the 2005 TerraBlanca Chianti “Scassino” which was great. One of the better Chiantis I’ve had, not too dry. At $45 a bottle, it was one of the more affordable bottles as well. They do allow you to bring your own wine, but the $20 corkage is pretty steep in my opinion.
Although we skipped starters, Glen and Paul both ordered small salads. They are very small, definitely NOT for sharing. I’m glad I didn’t order one as it didn’t look like anything special, and at $8 kind of a rip off. If you are dead set on having a salad, I would skip this house salad and spend 2 more bucks for the Barbabietola – beet salad with bacon, walnuts, and raisins which is probably a little more satisfying.
As far as our food, I thought the lamb was tender and tasty. The mushroom risotto that came with my lamb could have been a meal on its own, as it was packed with flavor! Glen’s skirt steak, after he found it hiding under his veggies, was terrific. Tasty and melt in your mouth tender. So, while it was outstanding, it wasn’t a huge portion. If you are really hungry you might want to order an appetizer. Paul’s chicken, on the other hand, was a gigantic portion. I didn’t taste it, but he cleaned his plate, so I guess he enjoyed it.
Although we were full, we couldn’t resist dessert. Paul ordered the chocolate mousse which he said was excellent. I honed in on a dessert item that was no longer offered. See, I said that happens to me all the time. Our waiter quickly steered us towards the Tiramisu. He said it is the chef’s grandmother’s recipe. We liked it, but thought grandma should lighten up on the chocolate powder. We scraped most of it off so we could enjoy the Tiramisu which seemed on par with others I’ve had at restaurants.
Service was great and very attentive. The only thing I have to ding them on is the fact that when the salads were brought to the table, no fresh ground pepper was offered, even though the pepper grinder was sitting on a stand several feet away. Glen had to get up, get the grinder and put the pepper on the salad himself. I would have expected more from a restaurant whose main dishes are around $25 a pop.
The bottom line? I like the food and wine selection at Taverna Fiorentina. Although the menu is rather small, they have a good selection of choices. But as pricey as they are, I think they are going to have a hard time surviving in the fickle Atlanta market. I hope I’m wrong about this.
Salads and appetizers ($10-$12)
Main Dishes ($25)
3324 Cobb Parkway
Atlanta, GA 30339