Very spur of the moment I found myself at the door of Villa Christina in Dunwoody (unprepared to review and I am of course, beyond mortified to have iPhone photos of food) , a Hyatt hotel popular wedding venue in Atlanta. Once inside the complex you could forget where you are! Atlanta is known to be a green city and traveler's get a real eyeful of that here.
It's a Saturday night and we are the only ones in the restaurant. I don't quite know what to make of this. Do they mainly do their business on weeknights to business travelers? Depend on special events? It's mid August and the lawns are prime for a wedding but none are going on here today. I am hungry and just care about my empty stomach right now.
The dining room is lovely. Upscale with a tuscan style paint job, yellow and a sky scene painting on the ceiling. It overlooks the gardens and lots of light is shining in on the tables.
The menu is decidedly Italian as you'd expect. I found the wine list to be a little generic but fine for the masses. I ordered up some calamari with grilled lemons and peppers and calamari I got! A very generous portion that two of us couldn't even finish. The bread basket arrived with butter and a scoop of green olive tapenade. That was likely the reason we couldn't finish the calamari. That and the calamari was underseasoned. A little salt remedied that.
The entrees were a little tough to narrow down because there are so many on the menu that tempt. It's not normally this challenging for me to narrow it down to 2-3. I opted for a creole style pasta. I had the wheat spaghetti swapped out and put pappardelle in its place. A very flavorful cream sauce with creole seasoning, smokey andouille sausage and perfectly cooked large shrimp with tails on. Perhaps not Italian but it sure is delicious. This is another generous portion of food. My dining companion had a plate of grape leaf wrapped grilled salmon drizzled with balsamic glaze and a side of creamy polenta. Another perfectly cooked dish! The polenta gets thick and firm as it sits but it is tasty!
We both opted for a death by chocolate type dessert trio. A scoop of super rich chocolate ice cream with a wedge of minty chip biscuit atop an almond tuille, chocolate creme brulee and molten lava cake. All delicious but I kept wanting a pile of whipped cream in the middle of the plate for all three items to share.
The service here was top notice all night. A true example of hospitality. In fact it may be the first time in a very long time I told the server how wonderful he is when he brought the check.