A small group of bloggers was recently invited to dine at Baraonda, an Italian eatery that has anchored its corner on Peachtree Street in Midtown for fourteen years. Organized by Malika, president of the Association of Food Bloggers and writer of Atlanta Restaurant Blog, we were joined by familiar faces and some new ones including Nadeen who writes The Sophisticated Life.
Although the weather was pleasant enough to dine on their patio, we chose a large table inside with a view of the cozy dining room furnished with dark wood tables set upon wood floors. Stone accents and wood beams add to the rustic charm. Our server started us off with a choice of Italian wines as we prepared to sample a selection of appetizers, pizzas, pasta, and desserts.
Our first plate was a mini salad of fresh mixed greens with tart green apple, dried cranberries, and pungent gorgonzola. Made with high quality meat from Brasstown Farms, a small slice of braised beef cheeks (guanciale in Italian) was amazingly tender, instantly taking me back to my Oma’s kitchen in Germany where she spent countless hours roasting and braising beef.
Everyone enjoyed the last appetizer, a taste of the polipo, or octopus. Baraonda’s version was grilled and served on a sublime puree of cannellini beans with a dollop of tomato jam who’s intense flavor impressed me and Ruksana of Ruksana Writes.
Long before Atlanta was inundated with authentic Neapolitan-style pizzerias, Baraonda was making thin crust pies in their wood burning oven. We tried two; the Greek-inspired pastore topped with lamb sausage, tomato sauce, mozzarella, feta, green olives, and mint, and the prosciutto with tomato sauce, parma ham, mozzarella, arugula, and parmigiano. Both crusts were crispy and nicely charred on the edges.
Our final savory dish was gigli, a traditional housemade pasta tossed with cherry tomatoes, rapini, and wild boar sausage, a classic Italian combination.
Platters of chocolate almond cake and tiramisu arrived for dessert. Vanilla bean gelato was the perfect pairing for the dense cake. Fellow blogger, Roger of Friday Date Night, showed the tiramisu no mercy as he divided it among us, its fluffy layers no match for his knife.
Serving everything from housemade pastas to Italian classics like their veal chop with mushroom marsala sauce, Baraonda remains a neighborhood favorite.
710 Peachtree Street NE 404-879-9962