Ah, the neighborhood Italian restaurant. There’s probably one near you where you like to go for a nice order of lasagne and a cannoli or two. We recently dined in a great one, Mezza Luna in Smyrna. Tonight, we find ourselves in Roswell at a very similar restaurant, where the Avino family has been feeding happy diners since 1998. Can Amalfi match Mezza Luna bite for bite? Let’s go inside to find out.
Amalfi is located in one of those blah generic ugly strip shopping centers about a mile south of Canton Street in Roswell. We almost drive right by as we approach it.
Canton Street is where all of the action is. Amalfi is in a much quieter location, but the parking lot is small. We get there early and can get a space, but it looks to us that if you get there later than 7PM, you could have a problem.
We are greeted by our waiter and are presented with this:
There’s nothing better than Italian bread dipped in olive oil and herbs. It’s one of our favorite ways to start a meal. Amalfi adds a twist, throwing in a plate of spicy olives that is served from a giant bowl that you pass when you walk in the dining room.
When we go Italian, we drink Italian red wines instead of our customary beers. We are so excited to drink the wine that we forget to take a picture. That’s OK, though as you can see our wine and more of the restaurant on our exclusive Tastemade video, which you can watch here.
I don’t know what it is about calamari on Date Night. We have been eating a lot of it when we “mambo Italiano”.
This fried squid is quite good. It’s golden brown and crunchy. We can show other restaurants this picture and say, “hey, that’s what color calamari is supposed to be.” The squid is not too chewy. We enjoy this a lot.
Sharing is caring. And on Date Night, it’s all about the share. Next we split a bowl of pasta e fagoli from the zuppe section of the menu.
It’s full of beans and pasta just as it should be. The fresh-grated parmesan cheese on top pulls the whole bowl together. It’s very tasty on this cold night.
We don’t always go for the special on Date Night, but tonight’s is too good to pass up.
The cannelloni is stuffed with ground beef, lamb, and pork. This is half an order as they split it for us in the kitchen. There’s enough in this order to share. You would probably be stuffed if you ate this yourself.
Because we shared, we once again have room for dessert. There are benefits to sharing your meal.
The cannoli is a fun way to end our meal. It’s also quite funny watching us try to cut it in half. You can’t cut these things without a cleaver. My attempt to split it turns it into a “deconstructed” cannoli. The shell shatters, sending pieces everywhere. Oh well, it is still delicious.
Score factor (out of 5): We’ll give Amalfi a 3.5. When there’s Italian and red wine involved, your score factor goes up. Throw in an excellent meal, and you might just get lucky.
The bottom line on Amalfi: An excellent neighborhood place in Roswell. You can tell who the regulars are and with these crowds, it looks like they have quite a few. The location is not great and the parking situation is not ideal, but don’t judge the restaurant by that. Go inside, have a glass of wine and enjoy!