Osteria Mattone: 12/13/13 (Date Night #100)

Date Night celebrates our 100th blog post with tonight’s entry! Since June of 2011, (Date Night #1, Cinco Mexican Cantina) we have been all over the city bringing our loyal readers our adventures in eating. We have chosen wisely, as only two of the places we have been to have gone out of business. Thanks for reading this blog and we look forward to our next 100 dates together.
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Tonight we are back on the Canton Street strip in Roswell at a new restaurant. They have been building Osteria Mattone for most of the year, and it finally opened five weeks ago. They are owned by the same people who bring us Table and Main, which is across the street and a few doors down. Osteria is on a huge piece of property, which allows them some outdoor space and lots of (rare in this area) valet parking.
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We arrive around 6PM, which allows us to pick a nice table. They aren’t too busy yet, but they will be. We go without a reservation because the only thing available is either very early or very late. Fortunately for us, they keep half of the dining area open for walk-ins. We are greeted by our server, Chris, who brings us some nice focaccia and olive oil.
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We must be hungry as the tasty bread and oil soon vanish.

We are known for ordering beer, but when we eat Italian, we must have red wine, preferably from Tuscany.
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I order a Tuscan red and Eve gets a Chianti. These are either big glasses or small pours. A small quibble–we think there should have been more wine, especially at $12 a glass. Maybe that’s why we are beer people.

We would be happy with almost anything on this Italian menu. There are a variety of small plates, pizzas, pastas, and entrees to choose from.
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We start off with the veal meatballs, which are very similar to the meatloaf meatballs at Table and Main. These are big and meaty and a must-order when you go.
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Next, we select a vegetable pizza, this one with fresh zucchini, carrots and asparagus. Our vegetarian readers will love this pizza. We do too. It’s way too big for us to finish, and we get it boxed up to take home, knowing that it won’t last long when our college-aged son gets ahold of it.

There are pastas of all shapes on the menu, all made right here. There’s nothing better than fresh pasta, especially with seafood.
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The Tagliolini di Mare is linguine-like noodles with lobster, shrimp and crab in a seafood-tomato broth. We have another winner on our plates. The small bites of seafood go so well with the fresh pasta. What you see here is half an order. They split it for us in the kitchen.

Osteria is the new kid on the block, and judging by our recent dinners at newcomers Common Quarter (Date Night #91, 11/3/13) and Zeal (Date Night #96, 11/22/13) in East Cobb, we are expecting some hiccups tonight. We are happy to report that the place is running like a well-oiled machine. Chris does a great job in our section. Like many of his fellow servers, he has come over from Table and Main. They are all pros, and we hope they were able to replace them across the street.

Because we didn’t finish the pizza, we have room for dessert. There are five desserts on the menu tonight. The chocolate cake looks good. So does the bread pudding, but we have had that two dates in a row. Eve picks the warm apple tart.
It comes with Calvados gelato and caramel sauce. The apple brandy flavored gelato melts over the warm apple pastry. We do such a good job cleaning the plate that the dishwasher does not have to clean this bowl tonight. It’s a great way to end this milestone meal.
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The bottom line on Osteria Mattone: Mama mia! It’s going to be a big hit on Canton Street. It’s busy, but it’s quiet. It’s laid back yet energetic. And the food is fabulous. Go and enjoy yourselves.
Osteria Mattone on Urbanspoon

Before we go…
Bloggers 1, John Kessler 0.
Those who read the Atlanta Journal-Constitution may have noticed that long-time restaurant critic John Kessler is stepping down from the print version and will concentrate on internet blogging. Kessler writes, “The “reviews” that populate online media are not reviews in the traditional sense, but are most often descriptive downloads of single experiences. They can certainly be shallow, but they can also be funny, well written and insightful. These writings, which take the reader along for the ride, sometimes get to the truth of a restaurant that a more formal review misses.” If you can’t beat us, join us. Welcome to the internet, John. Glad to have you “along for the ride”.

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