Tuesday’s Treats #58

Rotolo’s Pizzeria

Location: Gulf Breeze, FL

This place is great! We found it on a recent trip to Florida, and we will definitely be making it one of our “go-tos” while on the coast. Rotol’s has a great atmosphere, and the staff are friendly and helpful. I love the brick walls and motif, and they have booths, tables and chairs, as well as, high tops and chairs to accommodate all types of seating endeavors.

The pizza was incredible, and I wish it hadn’t been so late, because I so wanted to eat the whole pan! However, I suppose, it was a good thing, because I would never go to a pizza joint to get a soup and salad. Yet, that’s exactly what I did, and I didn’t regret it one bit! You get to pick your soup and your salad; so, I chose the tomato basil soup with the spinach, cranberry, walnut salad. It was delicious!!

We will definitely be back again and again! Check out their website for more information, menu items and their various locations. Evidently, you can enjoy Rotolo’s not only when you are in Florida but in Alabama, Louisiana and Texas, too! It is so good, you’ll want to try it!

Tuesday’s Treats #56

Caprese NY Pizza and Pasta

Location: Dacula, Ga


This little Italian place is good for a quick lunch or early dinner. I wouldn’t say it’s really a “date night” place, but that is to each one’s opinion. The place is small, but they have a lunch buffet during the weekdays that is pretty good. I’d have to rate this place with a solid “B+.” The food is definitely good. It’s not the best Italian I’ve ever had, yet, definitely not the worst either.

The meal was filling and tasty. My son and I ordered the personal pizza (10′), garlic rolls and a salad (for me). We still had one piece of pizza left over and a roll. We got a half pepperoni and half “the works.” The Greek salad I got was really good, and the Italian dressing had a strong oil and herb base, but it was delicious. Like I said, the pizza was tasty, but I wasn’t crazy about the Italian sausage on it. It just wasn’t as flavorful as I like Italian sausage to be; so, I did take that off. The rolls were just kind of average, but the garlic butter they were swimming in was delicious. I dipped my pizza crust in it! I do apologize for not getting a pic of the pizza. I had put away my camera by the time it came, and I completely forgot! 🙄

The restaurant is very clean, and the staff is very friendly. For a Saturday afternoon around 2:00pm, they had a decent crowd coming and going, too. So, if you’re in the area, you might give them a try. Here’s the website to find the location and menu items.

Tuesday’s Treats #45

Vinny’s New York Pizza and Italian Grill

Location: Buford, Ga

If you’re looking for a great pizza joint, Vinny’s is your spot! It’s locally owned, and the owners care about their customers. The atmosphere is very quaint and comfortable, and it is suitable for a business lunch, a ladies night out, a large family gathering or even that very first date.

The serving portions are larger than usual, and the food is delicious! As you can see by the picture above, when I say the portions are larger than usual, I’m not kidding! This is a calzone, and I could only eat half of it! I wish I had taken a photo of the personal size pizza. It’s as big as a small, and the large pizzas…well, let’s just say they can feed an army!  

They have a pretty diverse menu, too. Calzones, pizza and spaghetti is available,and they also have subs, lasagna, eggplant Parmesan and even hot wings. Often, restaurants who have a wide variety on the menu will do some things great and then other things way below average; however, Vinny’s seems to get it right. I haven’t had anything, yet, that I don’t like, and we’ve know about this place since 2005.

Oh, one menu item that I must mention are the Alfredo garlic rolls. Oh. My. Goodness. These are just pure sin! Their regular garlic rolls are delicious anyway, but these are then smothered in Alfredo sauce and served as an appetizer. I have friends who have had these simply as a meal! Those attempting to be health conscious need not apply! 😂

The desserts are supposed to be scrumptious as well, but I am always so stuffed by the end of our meal that I have yet to order a dessert. They have some yummy looking cheesecakes and chocolate cake slices, and I did sample a friend’s “funnel cake,” which is more like little sugar-covered doughnuts. Those were yummy. So, if you’re ever in the Buford area, you should check them out.

Vinny’s is located at the Friendship Road exit off 985.  I had a little difficulty pulling up their website; however, their Facebook page has the location, phone number and most everything you would need.

Tuesday’s Treats #42

Luciano’s Ristorante Italiano

Location: Lawrenceville, Ga
 This place is a little fancier than you would expect, pulling into the Kroger parking lot to find a spot. The hostess is a little pretentious, and the restaurant seems like it might be with the white tablecloths and decor, but if you can get past that, the food is pretty good. It seems to be a popular lunch spot, as it got pretty crowded today, and it is listed #5 on tripadvisor.com for the city in which it’s located.

The menu is quite limited; so, if you’re looking for an extensive, authentic Italian menu, you might want to go down the road to Carrabba’s. I ordered off of the daily specials menu, because for the price of a simple entree, I could choose the  “3 course entrees.” You get the choice of soup or salad, an entree and a dessert for $12.95.

I had a Caesar salad, pizza mafia (pepperoni, sausage, bacon, black olives) and tiramisu. My husband ordered a Chicken Caesar, and our youngest got the kids pepperoni pizza. Everything was delicious, but the tiramisu was just ok. It seemed more custard/pudding based and was served in this tiny ramekin (like 1-2oz. size!); so, I was a little disappointed at that point.

The bread that is served before the meal is accompanied by this brouchetta-eske sauce with parmesan cheese sprinkled on top. Yum! …and I’m not even a tomato fan. The sweet tea is really good; however, as the entrees came, our glasses were changed from these really cool, large glasses to these rather small glasses. So, we had to keep asking for refills. I thought that a little odd. Shouldn’t the larger glasses be served with the meal?

Anyway, the food was good, and we might drop back by sometime…if we’re in this parking lot at lunchtime, but I don’t think we will make a special trip. The regular menu prices seemed a little steep for lunch, and they don’t seem to have a wide variety of choices. However, my opinion may be a little skewed by our personal experience, because once our entrees were served, we didn’t see our waitress again for about 20+mins. (Time enough for us to finish, sit waiting, and my husband and son to “give up” and head for the car.) She finally arrived back in the room, put her apron back on behind the bar and came over to the table to ask me if she should box up the leftover pizza.

That’s when my tiny dessert was served by another waiter. She never seemed the slightest concerned about her absence, even when I graciously mentioned we had to hurry now, because we didn’t know it was going to take so long. Yeah, those moments of frustration, and the disappointment in the dessert,  may have slanted my opinion a bit.

Despite this, I chose to blog this “treat,” because of the TA rating, the amount of traffic they received during the lunch hour, and the food was rather tasty. Maybe we just got a bad waitress, and it’s usually better. Maybe we need to try it for a date night, too… maybe…

Check out their website here.

Tuesday’s Treats #29

Provino’s Italian Restaurant

Location: several in surrounding Atlanta area

We love, love, love Provino’s! It is one of the best Italian restaurants I have ever been to! If you don’t want to overload on carbs, well, you might as well forget it. It could be done, but it would be pretty much torture.

The atmospher here is so romantic, yet, just as enjoyable for family and friends. They have several different sections to choose from, and each area is comfortable and enjoyable. After you order your drinks, they bring you a bowl full of yummy, buttery, garlic rolls. If you’re on a first date, you better beware. These things are loaded with the garlic, but oh, it’s SOOO good.

Along with this, they will bring you a beautifully arranged Italian salad, complete with lettuce, chickpeas, beats, onions, tomatoes and cucumbers, all drenched in their delicious house dressing (an italian oil vinegar)

This is a half order of the Cody Special. The whole order is HUGE, but you do get (planned) leftovers! 😉 This dish is NOT on the menu, and depending on the location, you may have to update them on the ingredients. We were first told about it at the Snellville location. It is a generously portioned dish made with angel hair pasta, rosetella sauce (red and white mixed), chicken and/or shrimp, sautéed mushrooms and mozzarella cheese, all baked to deliciousness. My husband always orders it with chicken only and gets it baked to a nice golden brown. This last time, he had them add a meatball to the dish. Oh. My. Word! This is incredible!!  

This second photo is of their famous lasagna. It is a perfect layering of pasta, meat, ricotta cheese, sauce and cheese, all baked right in the dish to a beautiful golden brown. It is SOOO yummy.

The menu has a great variety, and everything we have had or tasted is wonderful. They plenty to choose from: chicken, veal, seafood and simple pastas. They have several side dishes and delicious desserts. One dessert I have to mention is the one that’s my favorite: the Cafe Provino. This is a delicious, chocolate drenched italian coffee with whip cream and tiny chocolate morsels on top. My husband calls it coffee flavored chocolate milk (warmed). I just call it “heaven in a cup!” 😂 It is so good!!

Oh, go by on your birthday, show your ID, and you get your meal for FREE, too! 😉 You can’t beat that!!

Here is their website; so, you can find the right location for you.  We’ve been to almost every location, and even though, we do have our favorites, we’ve never been disappointed.

Tuesday’s Treats #7

Cosa Nostra Italian Kitchen Restaurant

Location: Gainesville, Ga    

Not sure what’s going on with the website as I post this; it simply won’t pull up the page. However, I’m going to give you both the  Google link, and let you navigate from there: Cosa Nostra Italian Kitchen

This is a little “diamond in the rough” location and well worth the discovery. My husband had been driving around the square, in downtown Gainesville, trying to decide where to eat when we took a side street and saw this sign. It was kind of on the “alley side,” and we were a little hesitant to check it out, but we were so glad we did. The atmosphere of simply romantic, and the food was delicious! 

I ordered the Chicken Marsala, and let me tell you, I don’t like everybody’s Chicken Marsala, but this was great! My favorite is at Carrabba’s, but Costa Nostra would be a close second. 😉

oops! sorry this pic is sideways!

  My husband got the lasagna, and it was incredible as well. They bring you bread and salad, as well, and it was all quite yummy, and we were so full, we probably should have waited on dessert. However, we were in the splurging mood; so, we went for it, and ordered the Forgettaboutit Peanut Butter Pie…  
Oh. My. Word. That’s all I’ve got to say about that!! …I think we gained 20 lbs each just when we looked at that as the waitress brought it to the table, but it was Soooo, soooo good!😜

A couple of things to note: 

*The seating is all tables and chairs, no booths. We’re not so “hip” on sitting at tables, especially when we’re out on a date We’d much prefer a booth, but we were given a wall seat, and it was really quite intimate. We actually plan to make a return visit, and this isn’t usual for us at a “cafe style” arranged restaurant. 

**Be sure to get there early, or just make reservations, because it’s not a large place, and it fills up quickly. The waitress told us we were lucky to have gotten in there so easily without a reservation on a Friday night, but we were there a little after 5:30, and there was one table available.😉

As of the day I am printing this, I still am unable to pull up their website by the link above; so, I am going to include their number and address for those interested:

Cosa Nostra Italian Kitchen, 118 Main St Southwest, Ste 16, Gainesville, GA 30501 … (678) 971-5420

**I am sad and so sorry to announce: This restaurant was closed in January 2016. 😔 This is so disappointing to me! We were looking forward to making a return visit!**

Tuesday’s Treats #2

Michaelee’s Italian Life Cafe and The Cellar

Location: Blairsville, Ga There’s a little restaurant in Blairsville, Ga, that is a delicious “best kept secret.” Michaelee’s used to be located in Hiawassee, Ga, and while there, we went several times for lunch, dessert and coffee. We have been to their new location once, and even though, it’s a little different than before, it’s still wonderful.

They have now split their location into an upstairs and downstairs section, the upstairs being a regular restaurant and the downstairs being a coffee and dessert “cellar.” We haven’t eaten dinner at the new location, but if it’s anything like before, you’ll love it!

The restaurant features a great selection of paninis, pastas and Italian dishes, as well as, italian coffees and desserts.

The Cellar, as the dessert portion is called, has a really cool and intimate atmosphere downstairs. They have homemade fudge, Italian Gelatos, a wide assortment of homemade desserts, and handcrafted chocolate “tea cups,” which are served up with whip cream and chocolate .

The desserts are incredible! We recently ordered a slice of caramel apple pie and a turtle brownie pie (both served warm and a la mode) that was to die for!! Oh. My. Word. These were so good, and we couldn’t decide which we liked better. We had some friends join us, and they had the same turtle brownie, and two of us had a gourmet coffee, both white chocolate mochas. Everything was SOOO good!
They also have a really neat “tasting vault,” in which they have a wide variety of locally pressed olive oils and balsamic vinaigrettes. You can actually taste these, just as you would a wine tasting, and, as a very unique tasting experience, they have select ones you can order with gelato for a very unique dessert experience. They say, “That’s what the Italians do.” We were very hesitant in this idea of balsamic vinegar and gelato mixture, but one of the guys with us took the barista up on her offer for a sample. She created a vanilla bean gelato and raspberry balsamic vinegar “bite” for him to try. He said it was different than anything he had ever had, but he thought it was delicious. He said he would even order it the next time we came!

If you’re looking for a great Italian dinner and dessert while in the North Georgia mountain area, Michaelee’s is the place to go!

Check them out here.