Description taken from Davio’s website.
In 1985, at the young and ambitious age of 24, Steve DiFillippo purchased a locally-owned family restaurant called Davio’s on Newbury Street in Boston’s trendy Back Bay. As Boston’s culinary tastes evolved, he transformed the location into a destination. He retooled the menu, the space, the wine list. The new Davio’s soon garnered rave reviews. Everything made by hand from the best ingredients. Serve everything from aged steaks to simple-yet-unique pasta creations. Mirror this philosophy in the kitchen with our expert and attentive staff in the dining room, seeing to your every need and taking pride in your enjoyment of the meal. Steve has since opened locations in Foxborough, MA (Patriot Place), Philadelphia, and a new location in Atlanta.
This week led me to two really great firsts. To start, two of my friends and favorite Atlanta women, renowned Atlanta stylist Robanne Schulman of Plaid Monkey and uber Public Relations guru Meg Reggie of Mr-Pr and I met for lunch together for the first time. Their suggestion was that we meet at Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse. Davio’s is fairly new to Atlanta and I had not yet been there. They opened their Phipps Plaza location in August of 2010. Robanne made one statement and I was sold on the lunch choice; This is one of my favorite new places for lunch. You have to try the spring rolls, they are better than crack! Well, having kicked the crack habit a while back I knew this was the place we had to meet.
Disclaimer: That last statement was clearly a joke. I’ve never tried crack, so don’t send the Intervention crew over. I have absolutely no time to clean my house. They’ll end up featuring me on Hoarders instead and who needs that really
Davio’s is a gorgeous restaurant. Just like everything at Phipps Plaza, the atmosphere is sophisticated and upscale. We were seated and then greeted by General Manager Claude Guillaume. Claude introduced us to our waiter Brian Floresta, an Italian from New York who knows his way around Italian food like only a New Yorker can do! As I’ve said before, when I review a restaurant I like to go with friends and have them bring us a little of this and a little of that so we can all share and experience everything the restaurant has to offer. Executive Chef Bennett Hollberg had several dishes in mind for us.
First up, of course, were glasses of wine and a variety plate of their famous spring rolls: Philly Cheese Steak, Chicken Parm, Buffalo Chicken and Shrimp Cotija. All of them were so delicious that I had a hard time not slapping the hands of Robanne and Meg whenever they would reach for one that I had my eye on. I was raised with proper Southern manners so I kept my hands to myself, but I am pretty sure I gave a couple of evil stares. My favorites were the Buffalo Chicken and the Philly Cheese Steak. I can’t even describe how good they were, you have to go order a plate for yourself!
Next on our Davio’s tasting menu were the Kobe Beef Meatballs served in a Tomato Sauce Caciocavallo. This is Italian comfort food at it’s best. There was fresh parmesan shredded on top that seemed to melt the minute you put the bite in your mouth.
We were served three main entrees.
Fresh Maine Lobster Ravioli in Basil Cream Sauce: I am a sucker for any kind of pasta, so I was immediately a fan of this dish before I put the first bite on my fork. The “fresh” description was spot on. The lobster inside the ravioli was tender and succulent. The pasta was a perfect al dente, which can sometimes be hard to achieve with a ravioli pasta. The cream sauce was amazing but not too overbearing as to drown out the taste of the lobster.
Gnocchi Bolognese with Braised Veal, Beef, Pork in a Tomato Sauce: This was my favorite entree. Gnocchi, like ravioli, is a pasta that if not cooked to the right consistency can have an impact on how the entire meal tastes. Chef Bennett has no problems in this area, let me assure you. The meat combined with the gnocchi and the simmered tomato sauce left me so pleased. Had we not finished off every bite I would have been willing to thumb wrestle my friends for the rights to the doggie bag!
Filet of Sole with Wilted Spinach: Sole is one of my favorite fish choices and the combination of the spinach was a perfect blend of tastes. The fish was so tender it fell apart when we divided it on the plate.
While Davio’s is new to Atlanta, it is not at all new to the restaurant world. Started in Boston in 1985 by a young Steve DiFillippo, Davio’s also has locations in Philadelphia, Pa., Foxborough, Ma. and Boston, Ma. Each location offers all the main stay Davio’s classics and each Executive Chef can create selections on the menu that are specific to the region they are in. For example, you can find Chef Bennett’s Pan Seared Sea Scallops and Fresh Corn Grits on the Atlanta menu. We are in the South after all and everyone knows that grits make anything on a menu good!
Perfetto Chef Bennett, you did an amazing job! There are so many amazing dishes listed on the menu that I will most certainly be back to try more. A big thank you to Claude for taking such good care of us. My only regret is that we didn’t get to sample Pastry Chef Kathleen Miliotis’s desserts. I may start my meal with those next time. I’ll work my way backwards from dessert to appetizers!
When you decide to make your reservations at Davio’s tell Claude that Angel sent you in and be sure to ask for Brian as your server! I think by now you have probably guessed what my Random Review rating is for Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse at Phipps Plaza.