Gio’s Chicken Amalfitano: 5/24/13

Date Night really likes it when you can bring your own beer or wine into a restaurant, crack open your cooler, and pour away. There aren’t too many places in Atlanta that let you do that, and when we read that you can pour your own at Gio’s, we have to check it out. Gio’s is owned by the same people that bring us Antico Pizza, which we really enjoyed way back on Date Night #20 (2/12/12). Coincidentally, it’s right next door to Antico, so if you know how to get to Antico, consider yourself at Gio’s.

Feel like you are in Italy?

Feel like you are in Italy?

The menu is all Italian and all chicken with four vegetarian pasta dishes thrown in as well.

Order here and they will bring your food to you.

Order here and they will bring your food to you.

You order at the counter from a large menu hanging from the ceiling.

The entire menu.

The entire menu.

It’s pretty simple–you get your choice of seven chicken dishes and four maccheroni (pasta) dishes. The pasta dishes have no meat, so our friends the Vons will have no problem finding something to eat here. We decide to go with a chicken dish and a pasta dish. While we wait for dinner, let’s find some seats in the dining room and pour a beer.

It's early, and easy to find a seat.

It’s early, and easy to find a seat.

Like Antico, they have taken an old warehouse and turned it into a restaurant. You get the bare concrete floors and painted brick walls. What you don’t hear in the picture above is the soundtrack for tonight’s meal, which is Italian songs by singers of the 50’s. Sinatra rocks a number followed by Louie Prima. It’s good music to go with the food that’s cooking.

We have made a pre-Date Night stop at our favorite beer store, Hop City. We have a “growlerette” with us and had 64 choices of draft beer at Hop City. We go with the Ommegang Seduction. It’s an expensive Belgian dark ale (6.8% ABV) that they only brewed one batch of, so we figure we should get some while we can.

Ommegang Seduction, fresh out of the tap.

Ommegang Seduction, fresh out of the tap.

You can taste a lot of chocolate in this beer as well as some cherries and some coffee. We know it’s spring and we should be drinking warmer-weather beers like Saisons right now, but it’s a cold night in the ATL and we need some comfort. The beer is great, and we love how our fellow patrons have brought their own beer and wine as well.

Cooking up lots of good chicken.

Cooking up lots of good chicken.

There are windows into the kitchen, and we can actually watch them cook our dinner. First up is a salad, which comes with each meal even though it’s not advertised on the menu.

Salad with Italian dressing.

Salad with Italian dressing.

Check out those nice hunks of parmesan cheese they give you with the salad. There’s a lot of dressing in the bowl. If you are like us and you don’t like tons of dressing, you might want to order yours on the side.

Chicken Sorrento, the star of the show.

Chicken Sorrento, the star of the show.

As we are finishing up our salads, out comes the two main attractions. First up is one of the best chicken dishes we have ever eaten in a restaurant, the Chicken Sorrento. It’s pretty simple, with olive oil, garlic and those lemons, but what flavor. They give you some bread and some fried potatoes to sop up the sauce, but we need more bread and more sauce. I would drink it off the plate if I could, but that would be rude. Or would it?

Perfectly cooked pasta.

Perfectly cooked pasta.

Next on our plates is the Maccheroni Sorrentina. You get cherry tomatoes, buffala mozzarella, basil and olive oil over penne pasta. We have another great dish in front of us. The mozzarella is especially good as this is the same cheese they make on the premises and put on the Antico pizzas. The portions are huge, which means one of us gets leftovers the next day. They do not last long in our refrigerator.

There are three dessert choices on the menu, but Date Night has been over-served lately and we have to cut back somewhere. It looks like almost all of the other diners do what we do, order a chicken dish and a pasta dish and share. Gio’s is not cheap (nor is Antico), but everything that comes out of the kitchen looks great and we will go back to try another of the six remaining chicken dishes that we didn’t get to on this trip. Anyone want to join us?

See you at Gio's!

Molto benne! See you at Gio’s!

Gio’s Chicken Amalfitano on Urbanspoon

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