Historic Roswell Restaurants Offer Big Flavor
By Laura Carson Miller
Table & Main and Osteria Mattone, each unique culinary destinations on bustling Canton Street, have introduced new spring menus. Led by Osteria Mattone’s executive chef Ted Lahey and Table & Main’s chef de cuisine Woody Back, the restaurants showcase dishes inspired by the season with traditional yet simple preparations.
The culinary team at Table & Main gleefully collaborates with farmers and purveyors so that local flavors take center stage as much as possible. A board member of the Roswell Farmers & Artisans Market, chef Woody selects vegetables, meats and provisions each week to compose spring favorites such as chilled asparagus salad with poached farm egg, Benton’s country ham, cornbread crumbs, preserved lemon and thyme vinaigrette or fried okra with garlic aioli, spiced tomato jam, and bread & butter pickles. To highlight the importance of farmers’ relationships, some new dishes change daily, including: the preservation plate, a rotating selection of cured, preserved, or pickled goods, and spring market vegetables. Light, verdant sides including snow pea salad with meyer lemon and shaved pecorino are best enjoyed alongside new entrees such as grilled trout with herbed smoked yogurt, shaved asparagus, Vidalia onion and garlic pesto, or a 12 oz. grilled, smoked pork chop with braised, smoked tomato and butterbeans and Coca-Cola “balsamic.” Hey, it is Atlanta, after all!
The new menu also includes pastry chef Vivian Lee’s already popular desserts such as pineapple upside down cake with roasted pineapple, coconut ice cream and cherry sauce (yum) or a classic blondie with pecans, vanilla ice cream and a “magic shell” for homegrown nostalgia.
Table & Main’s bourbon bar is definitely worth a shot this season, try new signature cocktails such as the “Canton Street cooler” with Leopold Brothers peach whiskey, Tanqueray and lemon or the “cherry blossom” with Virgil Kaine Ginger Bourbon, cherry brandy, soda and an infused cherry.
Right up the street, Osteria Mattone serves honest, simple Italian fare as native Italians would enjoy in Italy. The new menu features a section dedicated to artisanal salumi and formaggi such as 18-month Prosciutto di Parma, bresaola, talleggio and Pecorino Romano served with grilled bread. Seasonal additions include tortelli di zucca with squash, ricotta, mint-basil pesto, pine nuts and pecorino or garganelli with pasta quills, prosciutto, peas, radicchio, cream and truffle. New main dishes include pesce Spada, a swordfish filet with eggplant caponata or brasato di maiale slow-braised pork with cannellini beans and savory jus.
Dolci offerings at Osteria Mattone pay tribute to seasonal fruits with additions including granita di fragola – shaved Italian ice with strawberry, black pepper and whipped cream and cassata Siciliana, a pistachio cake layered with sweet ricotta, candied citrus, buttercream and ganache.
Thoughtful wine selections by beverage director Daniel Pernice perfectly complement each dish, as do the bar’s classic Italian cocktails: the “aviation” with gin, lemon juice and Luxardo Maraschino or the “sgroppino” a bright blend of vodka, lemon sorbet, lemon and Prosecco.
Osteria Mattone’s sun-lit dining room is Canton Street’s best spot for a leisurely lunch where guests may enjoy a comprehensive selection including many signature dishes from the dinner menu. The restaurant’s lunch only Per Il Vostro Piacere – or “Per Your Pleasure” – special is a midday must, including two-courses of soup or salad with a choice of piada, a Roman-style wrap, pizza or panini for $15.
This time of year nothing beats exploring these new spring menus amidst the sunlight, lush landscaping and neighborhood charm of patio dining. And FYI: Osteria Mattone now features live jazz on Tuesday nights starting at 6:30pm.
I’m personally looking forward to venturing to Roswell for some of this exciting and tasty fare. We are so fortunate that Atlanta and surrounding areas offer such creative and high quality cuisine. We are indeed blessed with an abundance of culinary genius!