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Big Italy

By Sarah Crosland | Photography by Jeremy Deal

Posted: Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013

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Inside uptown’s ever-buzzing EpiCentre, the restaurants can feel a little overly themed. There’s the sexy sushi spot with its dramatic lighting and plush booths and the playful Mexican cantina featuring a tiled bar and sunny patio. So, it should come as no surprise that the complex’s latest addition, an Italian restaurant, would be tucked trattoria-style off a narrow alley and feature an interior complete with ornate wood details and deep red hues. But while La Tagliatella may play in to Epicentre’s Epcot-esque restaurant theme, many of the dishes offered here have a distinctly authentic flavor.

The Italian restaurant launched in Europe and is part of AmRest, a restaurant group with more than 650 restaurants internationally. However, La Tagliatella is relatively new to this side of the pond with this being only the fourth location in the United States (the first opened in Atlanta). Famed for its more than 400 combinations of pastas and sauces, the menu features hearty portion sizes of the traditional Italian-meets-American-comfort-food favorites you’ve come to expect. Crispy-crusted pizzas come piled high with a variety of toppings while calzones are stuffed to the point of bursting with gooey mozzarella.

To start, order one of the Italian wines or a sweet cocktail like the fresh-made bellini to accompany the Focacce Liguri, an antipasta featuring warm and aromatic focaccia bread topped with thinly slice cured ham, fresh parmesan, caramelized onion, and arugula. Or, for a lighter bite, try the Insalata Torre di Pisa, a dramatic stack of sliced mozzarella stacked among fresh, grilled vegetables.

As the enthusiastic servers here are happy to share, the pastas are this spot’s main attraction. While there’s an entire menu of mix and match pasta and traditional sauce options, including both dried and fresh pastas, you’ll want to stick to the fresh variety and should try the restaurant’s signature sauces. The Magret Tartufina, featuring luxuriant flavors of black truffle with duck maigret, and cream is a succulent choice, while the Rustica with its bacon, olives, tomato, basil and onion features robust flavors perfect for pairing with the plump orbs of gnocchi.

And you won’t want to skip dessert—this is, after all, Italian food. Which means a dessert menu with offerings like an incredibly creamy tiramisu with fluffy layers of cream and crumble. Sure, like much on the menu this may feel generically Italian, but this is the kind of place where embracing the country’s exported old world charm—and its most well known foods—is the point.

La Tagliatella
210 East Trade St.
Open for lunch and dinner daily.

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