La Pietra Cucina: Midtown

posted on November 7, 2008 at 11:51 am
I joined the lovely Chloe from Chow Down Atlanta for an early lunch here today. I’d only been one time before for dinner and was anxious to see what lunch was like since Cliff Bostock has posted many raves on Omnivore about the lunchtime offerings–I actually ran into him when we were finishing up. We ate in the small dining room, which I’ve heard will remain the main dining area for the time being. I have to admit that is kind of odd given the massive space it is attached to, but I digress. Let’s get to the food. 
La Pietra Cucina: Midtown
We started with some homemade flat bread, topped with Parma ham and served with herbed ricotta and pineapple mostarda. A great dish with lots of textural contrasts and the flavor combinations were inspired. The bread was the only drawback as it tasted a tad bit undercooked–we still ate the whole thing. 
La Pietra Cucina: Midtown
Next was the marinated eggplant salad, which they thoughtfully split onto two plates. Gorgeous in every way. It bursted with intense earthiness and was a joy to eat all around. 
La Pietra Cucina: Midtown
Chloe had the seasonal risotto made with duck confit and beets. Such a great idea. I only had one bite and it was divine. However, Chloe said it got progressively saltier as she neared the bottom. I do have to say the consistency was perfect even if the seasoning was uneven.
La Pietra Cucina: Midtown
I was craving meat and planned on making Jean-Georges’ Chinese noodles for dinner so I wanted to go light on the carbs. I opted for the hanger steak served with a pickled chanterelle mushrooms, radicchio, arugula and parmesan salad. The steak was seasoned and cooked to perfection. The salad was a breath of fresh air and played well against the steak. My one and only complaint was the intense bitterness–which Chloe also noted–in the reduction. It kind of overpowered the dish, but was avoidable. I would order again despite the one shortcoming. 
Verdict: After two visits, I can confidently say this Italian newcomer has some serious potential for greatness. It has misfires–like any kitchen–but they are forgivable when you are looking at the restaurant as a whole. The prices are insanely reasonable and service is very professional. It is officially in the rotation. 

Address: 1 Peachtree Pointe Bldg., 30309
Phone: (404) 888-8709
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  • Re: La Pietra Cucina: Midtown
    posted by: Broderick · November 8, 2008  8:14 PM

    um, when are we having dinner?

  • Re: La Pietra Cucina: Midtown
    posted by: jimmy · November 9, 2008  11:09 AM

    That steak looks awesome!

  • Re: La Pietra Cucina: Midtown
    posted by: ddey · November 11, 2008  6:14 PM

    I doubt this place will make it. I’ve known all the restaurants that have held this Physical location and none has, main reason Parking is horrible! Second reason they don’t cater at lunch to the massive amounts of people around them on the weekdays who have to walk blocks for a non 10-dollar lunch. If they would expand their lunch menu to have $4-8 dollar meals and open the bar with great appetizers after 4:30 they might have a chance, otherwise location will kill them. They must have deep pockets or waiting on some money because half their space is empty and what they do use has very little patrons.

    If they just changed the lunch prices and menu, I might eat there 2/3 times a week but instead walk to Wolfgang Puck Express or others up the road.

  • Re: La Pietra Cucina: Midtown
    posted by: Anonymous · November 12, 2008  7:59 AM

    “Wolfgang Puck Express”

    “$4-8 dollar meals and open the bar with great appetizers”

    with that strategy… they will be making money hand over fist.

    mickey deez combo meals will meet your budget, foodie extraordinaire aka ddey. Wendy’s has a dollare menu as well..while Chik-fila might be out of your budget range.

  • Re: La Pietra Cucina: Midtown
    posted by: Chris · November 12, 2008  8:02 AM

    I too worry about the location, but I do hope they make it. The food is well-planned, complex, yet harmonious, qualities that are so often difficult to find. We have eaten here twice for dinner, and I cannot wait to try every dish on the menu. So far, we have had the salmon crudo (divine), prosciutto, veal hanger steak special, duck breast with beets and huckleberries (also a special), calamari zuppetta (perfect), wild boar ragu (great guitar-cut pasta), and the duck confit risotto with figs. I agree with you BG, that there were bitter undertones in both the pasta and risotto dishes, but I loved it. The prices are more than reasonable, and the portion sizes are generous. Service is painfully slow, but this is Italian food afterall.

    BTW, I was curious about the pickled chanterelles. How were they?

  • Re: La Pietra Cucina: Midtown
    posted by: The Blissful Glutton · November 14, 2008  11:53 AM

    I agree the location is tough. I would have like to see them open in a cozier spot. I have enjoyed my meals there though. And, the mushrooms were pretty tasty. Never had them pickled before.

  • Re: La Pietra Cucina: Midtown
    posted by: Anonymous · January 4, 2009  8:25 AM

    They need to move to another location… period. This is not the type of venue for cooking like this. They need something in a little gentrified area in an older building, more rustic. Yeah I know it’s corny, but atmosphere really goes a long way when you’re dining out. But alas, a spot that would be perfect for La Pietra Cucina would be far enough out of the way that most people wouldn’t go.

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