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Bites Nearby: La Famiglia Ristorante

Sometimes the most tedious part of dining out is figuring where to dine out. Patch makes it easy every Thursday; we find great restaurants for you. This week: La Famiglia Ristorante on Marietta Square.

Overview: The next time you want to have a special weekend night out with good food, music—and maybe a scenic nighttime stroll afterwards, try on Marietta Square. Here you may enjoy a glass of wine before dinner at a cozy separate bar. The front of the restaurant has large windows and beautiful views of Glover Park at dusk. We made reservations for a family birthday dinner on a Friday night. Our food was wonderful, service was excellent and live, soft music was played by a pianist (I learned later it was Nick, the owner). This restaurant gets an A+ for atmosphere. No matter how many other Italian restaurants you’ve dined at, you will find unique menu choices that will make you want to come back. For a fine dining restaurant, La Familglia Ristorante has surprisingly moderate prices. You can dress up or go casual—you’ll be comfortable either way. The restaurant has a vintage feel and has a delightfully different feel than a chain restaurant. Dinner prices range from $10.95 to $17.95 and include a delicious salad and fresh, warm bread.

The Food: Veal is one of La Famiglia Ristorante’s specialties—there are six veal dishes to choose from. The pasta dishes are traditional and the seafood is fresh. We had the following dishes and would highly recommend them:

Italian Teasers
Clams on the half shell 7.95 One word: Awesome. OK, a few more: These clams had a garlic, buttery taste and were just—awesome.

Entrees
Seafood Combo, $17.95 Your choice of scungilli (similar to conch, escargo) or calamari with mussels and shrimp in a spicy marinara sauce over linguini. This dish is served in a huge crockery bowl. It’s the entree I haven’t seen anywhere else – and will come back for.

Baked Ziti, $10.95 Penne pasta baked in a fantastic blend of meat and Italian cheeses. The portion looked double the amount most restaurants serve. Thick, rich and cheesy it’s a great choice if you are in the mood for pasta.

Veal Scaloppine, $16.95 A fresh cutlet sautéed in a light sauce of white wine, fresh lemon juice, artichokes and capers. The blend of seasonings make this dish absolutely delectable.

The Desserts—I had a divine dessert, Copa Stracciatella, for $7.95. Although a little pricey, this scrumptious concoction, served in a fluted glass, consisted of chocolate chip gelato layered with cocoa powder, hazelnuts and freshly shaved chocolate. It was good enough to deserve a trip back on one of those evenings you are craving a great dessert and coffee.

The Drinks: There’s a full service bar, separate from the main dining area.

Dinner Hours: Tuesday through Thursday from 5 to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday from 5 to 10 p.m.; and Sunday from 4 to 9 p.m.

Lunch Hours: Tuesday  through Saturday 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Reservations accepted. Private room available for parties.

45 West Park Square, Marietta, 770-425-9300, www.mylafamiglia.com

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