Old School at Alfredo’s

Date Night kicks it old-school at a restaurant that’s been in Atlanta probably longer than you have.
We are at Alfredo’s on Cheshire Bridge. They opened in 1974, way before there was the internet, food bloggers or digital cameras. Alas, things have changed on Cheshire Bridge in the last 40+ years, and our son remarks, “This isn’t a very nice neighborhood.” He’s right, but back in the day, Cheshire Bridge was a dining destination. We pass the once-chic Chateau Fleur de Lis on our way over. It’s now boarded up, as is the Varsity Jr. just down the street. There are still some remnants of its heyday. Nino’s Italian remains just down the street, and The Colonnade will never close.

Meanwhile, back in the 21st century at Alfredo’s, we have stepped back into the 1970’s. Join us in our time warp.
You are greeted by a giant bar, because that’s where Frank and Deano would hang out with Sammy Davis Jr. In fact, Sinatra is the soundtrack tonight. Every now and then, Deano croons too.
You expect red leather booths. They are black at Alfredo’s. There is plenty of wood panelling and pictures of celebrities. From Don Novello to University of Georgia mascot UGA, they have all eaten here. I wonder if UGA got a doggie bag.

Tonight we are celebrating two birthdays, and we are at a table for six. We are greeted by baskets of warm bread and plates olives.
Can you taste the butter and garlic dripping from the bread?

Let’s start things off with a carafe of Chianti.
It’s a good example of our favorite Italian wine. If you get the carafe, it’s a lot less money than the bottles on the wine list. Alfredo’s sells a lot of calamari.
How many thousands of dishes of calamari do you think have come out of this kitchen? These are good. They are hot, a little chewy, and the tomato sauce is perfect for dipping.

Since there are six of us tonight, you will see more pictures of food than usual. I am so excited about my dinner that I forget to take a picture of it. I must be hungry. The Godfather is the perfect choice for people like me who can’t make up their mind. It’s a sampler of the veal dishes. In this case, it’s veal parmigiana, veal marsala, and veal francese. My favorite is the marsala. Mushrooms, veal, and red wine sauce. It’s simple, yet effectively tasty. You can see my veal in our exclusive Tastemade video, which you can watch here.

There’s a lot of veal tonight, including Eve’s veal piccata.
How do they get it so thin, flavorful and delicious? They must pound a lot of veal every day.

Our solo offspring Elliott gets veal too.
The saltimbocca has proscuitto and mushrooms hidden under all of that mozzarella cheese. It’s another classic Italian dish done well.

Here’s a dish of shrimp scampi ordered by the charming Skye, Elliott’s girlfriend.
I can smell the garlic two seats away. It’s buttery, but that gives you something else to dip the bread into.

There’s nothing like a good order of spaghetti bolognese to go with your veal.
Everything is good tonight.

The waiters sing “Happy Birthday” with Italian and Mexican accents as they bring out a dessert sampler.
It’s a plate of dishes you will only find in an Italian restaurant: cannoli, cheesecake, spumoni, and flan. We gobble this up and it vanishes quickly. You need something sweet after the heavy Italian food, and this dessert is just what Don Corleone would have ordered.

The bottom line on Alfredo’s: This is not your father’s Italian restaurant. It’s probably your grandfather’s, though. Everything they do is old-school. Don’t expect any froo-froo farm to table schtick here. This is the way they did it in 1974 and it’s the way they still do it today. If you are looking for some classic Italian cooking with good service, Alfredo’s could be a fun place to try.

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