Deano’s Italian (Dublin, GA): 5/4/12

On date night, timing is everything, and unfortunately for us, our timing is not good tonight. We are in Dublin, Georgia, home of Georgia Tandem Rally 2012, and we are surrounded by beautifully attired 12 and 13 year olds who are eating at Deano’s before their middle school ball. These kids are well-dressed and well-behaved, but very noisy. Date Night, which is usually an intimate time for us, becomes a shout-fest so that we can hear each other across the table.

This is not our first visit to Deano’s. We ate here (more than once) last summer while on a bicycle trip. Deano’s was voted the best pizzeria in Georgia by the USA Today in 2010. We know this because it’s on the t-shirts the servers wear. Can Deano’s live up to the hype, even with a bunch of noisy middle schoolers thrown into the mix? Read on to find out…

A good wine, and reasonably priced!

The beer list at Deano’s is uninspiring, and it inspires us to order a bottle of 2010 Chianti Classico. The wine prices in Dublin must be 25% lower than those back in Atlanta. We rode thru the vineyards where this wine is made, so we feel like we have seen the grapes that made this bottle.

Caprese salad and bread with herbed olive oil. Now that’s Italian!

We order a caprese salad to go with the wine, which comes with Roma tomatoes, basil and nice hunks of mozzarella cheese. It’s probably too much cheese to eat along with a pizza, but it’s Date Night, not a cholesterol test! Our waitress, Natasha, brings us some hunks of wood-fired bread along with a herbed olive oil mixture. These do not last long.

The pizza goes in here…
And comes to your table like this.

It’s time to order, and we go with a quattro formaggio pizza. For those who don’t speak Italiano, that means a pizza with gorgonzola, parmesan, mozzarella, and provolone cheeses. Deano’s cooks in a wood-fired oven and that’s what makes it so good. There’s just the right amount of char and bubble in the crust. Date Night aficionados will recall that we tried Antico, allegedly the best pizza in Atlanta, a couple of months ago. Antico was really good, but Deano’s may be better. They nailed this pie, and although the Gorgonzola was very strong, the pizza was cooked to perfection.

A pleasant surprise was the service on such a busy night. We thought we would have to wait forever for our food, but we were in and out in less than an hour. We took our leftover wine home with us and finished it later. The Deano’s team pitches in and helps wherever they can, and even owner Jennifer Shaffer, the busiest woman on the Dublin restaurant scene, was filling water glasses and working hard.

We know that some of our readers will be in Dublin soon, and when you are in the area, make sure you go to Deano’s. It’s good food that equals the cooking in much more famous places.

For dessert, (and staying with our Italian theme) we walk a couple of blocks to the west and visit the Via Col Vento wine bar. They serve desserts and sandwiches here as well as wines and coffees.

Via col vento means “gone with the wind” in Italian. Now you know!

We are pretty full from dinner, but our server tells us that the tiramisu is the most popular item on the dessert menu, so we give it a try.

Tiramisu at sunset. How romantic!

We can see why it is so popular. It is moist and the smells of coffee and rum bounce up off the plate. It is “gone with the wind” in no time! Via Col Vento has outdoor seating next to a fountain and under a nice gazebo. We enjoy the quiet end to a noisy day.

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