Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 7/15/20
With the white table cloth crisp and clean, adorned with fine linen wrapped silverware, china, tall shiny wine glasses, and the smell of fresh baked bread, this sets the stage for the elegant Italian food that Piastra makes from scratch with love. Tucked in the charming downtown Marietta Square, Piastra boasts handmade, in house mozzarella or pasta, fresh baked bread, hand stuffed sausage, and even made-from-scratch desserts like their peach cobbler, it’s all so fresh and feels authentic. From the rich meatballs, to the crunchy risotto balls, refreshing peach caprese salad, to the delicate salmon sausage entrée, to the unbelievable pork chop, and finally finishing it off with crumbly peach cobbler. This authentic Italian meal was a walk through Italy, but with a hint of the south sprinkled in to remind us we’re not in the Lipman family kitchen in the outskirts of Rome. Bring your elastic waste pants, you’ll need them for this journey.
Starting with the meatballs, these three beauties were hand-made with pork, beef, cheese, and perfectly seasoned with garlic and topped with a silky red sauce. They were rich and meaty with great flavor and balance. A good little appetizer to share or on the side. Beyond these, we got two other dishes, the Arrancini (Fried Risotto Balls) and Peach Caprese Salad special. The risotto balls were outwardly crispy and crunchy with creamy risotto and pancetta pieces, then the balsamic drizzle is earthier completed the entire bite. So, a crispy, crunchy, creamy, with hints of meat and earth all in one fun little ball. Enough for sharing or not. We opted for NOT. Opting for something a little lighter after fried and meaty starts, Piastra’s seasonal take on a traditional caprese salad was to add peaches and orange tomatoes. The mozzarella is the freshest we’ve ever had, so light and mild paired well with the earthiness, sweetness, and slight pine of a fresh sliced peach. Take the peach, mozzarella, basil, tomato, all in one bite, you’ll get a ton of flavors that’s perfect for the patio on a hot summer day.
Every Thursday through Saturday, Chef Lipman offers a Chef’s Tasting Menu, a 4-course menu with appetizer, pasta, entrée, and dessert. It’s only $65 and a steal! Off that menu, we sampled the Salsiccia de Salmone, the salmon sausage. Now this, we’ve never had anything like it! This isn’t your momma’s sausage, it’s lighter and flakier. Just imagine perfectly ground salmon encased and mixed with spices, herbs, while paired with onions, garlic, and zucchini. It screams summer with the lightness of the fish to the bright and crispness of the zucchini squash, and richness of the onion. The addition of the lemon vinaigrette really brought the whole thing together with a bright, light flavor. We’re definitely a fan of this one!
If you’ve been waiting for our favorite dish, it’s ready for it’s close-up. The Braciola di Maiale, Tomahawk Pork Chop, was a thick cut piece of pork heaven. We only had a pork chop this thick and juicy one other time at a fancy, upscale, Atlanta steakhouse to be unnamed and this one was BETTER! From the absolute divine char on the top, the juicy and thick perfectly cooked cut of pork, to the sweetness of the sauce, this piece of meat is perfection. Then, you pair it with out of this world mashed potatoes boasting of creamy and rosemary(!) goodness. On top of that, the earthiness of the garlic drenched spinach and you’ve got a melody of flavors that work in perfect harmony to bring to life one amazingly beautiful dish. What more could we say about this dish besides, “GET IT?”
One thing we did not anticipate when we stepped into Piastra was the dessert passion that comes with visiting Chef Lipman’s kitchen. Made from scratch and one of the freshest peach cobblers, their desserts are all made fresh daily and change seasonally. Peach is perfect for the summer, especially in this dessert because the sweetness and cool of the peach matches the creaminess of the whipped cream and the nutty, buttery, crumbly, graham cracker crust. Overall, the crunchy crust mixed with the peach and the whipped cream is every dessert flavor we can imagine. We need more peach cobbler in our lives. Don’t you?
We told you that you would need your stretchy pants for this Italian family-style meal. Let’s top that off with a glass of Pinot Grigio, which was so affordable, or some fantastic white sangria that paired perfectly with the peach caprese salad and you’ve got it all. Are you think what we’re thinking? See you at the Chef’s Table next week? You’re in for a treat.