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La Famiglia Ristorante ~ Marietta GA

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La Famiglia Ristorante in GAAfter strolling out of our beautiful B & B, the Stanley House, and two blocks down to the Historic Marietta Square, we went in search of a place to eat. As we strolled the charming square, we naturally chatted with people in the lovely park. Part of what we try to do is ask the locals which restaurants are good. A young couple recommended La Famiglia Ristorante or the Pizza Parlor.

Great, we thought, Italian! We have not yet done an Italian review for the site.

La Famiglia faces the Square, with welcoming tables with umbrellas greeting you outside the door. We were quickly seated and our fabulous server Jay came up. Jay was a great guy, full of information, exceptionally enthusiastic, and a former history teacher. When you are in the Atlanta to explore history with your family, what could be better than a former history teacher who is as passionate about history as we are, and knows the local factoids that makes history so fun!

At Living History Sites, our goal is to bring you a taste of each community we visit. So we asked Jay what La Famiglia specialized in, and what the most popular thing on the menu was! He was too happy to accommodate us!

As we perused the menu, we thought we were in for a wonderful meal. An interesting mix of music floated through the restaurant, a mix of opera, Frank Sinatra, and Big Band sounds. Everything sounded delicious, with exciting pasta combinations. We were about to go on a Low Carb diet, so we looked at it as one of our last carb-laden meals. I always check out the dessert menu too, before ordering. When we travel we love to try desserts and want to make sure we save room for the tiramisu. Jay's suggestions were heeded. Between Jay and the busboy, we had fabulous service!

The menu did have an interesting little side note on it about children that put us off. At LivingHistorySites.com, we want to bring you the best family friendly sites as we explore American history. The La Famiglia menu had something in the menu to the effect of "we love children...." and a warning to make them behave. I have never seen that in a restaurant and did not know quite how to take it. 

We started off with salads and bread. The salads were romaine lettuce, with a homemade balsamic/garlic/herb dressing that was light, delicate and refreshing, with light, fluffy croutons. The bread tasted delicious, we were starving. 

Normally, we try and get all LivingHistorySites.com travel reviews up within a month. This particular trip has paralyzed me. We experienced some things that merit a less than positive review. I like things to be wonderful, happy, delicious, the best. But my job on LHS is to report our travel experiences fairly, as we experience them, the good along with the bad. And unfortunately, sometimes that includes saying things that are less than kind.

Devoid of my normal review notebook, I grabbed a piece of paper off a table by the entrance to make notes on, and a menu. The owner of the restaurant saw me grab the paper during the salad course and came over to tell us all about their new travel website, which was the focus of the paper I grabbed. We were there to have a nice meal, on our first night in the Atlanta area and we ended up getting this long sales pitch all about her "new travel website" that is the hottest thing since sliced bread. She launched into her schpiel, telling us that "the internet is the next big thing." Wow. If you are reading this, you are all to aware that you are reading our website! We make our living with technology and this woman acted like it had all just been invented and she was sharing a whole new world with us. It was very uncomfortable. Further, she said that they wanted to get out of the restaurant business and do the travel website thing full time, and we could have our own business too....etc. It put a really bad taste in our mouths. We wanted a quiet family dinner. Instead, we got a sales pitch from someone who seemed looking to want to dump her restaurant. 

Little did she know we were actually reviewing her restaurant, and that included her odd behavior. Furthermore, we could not help but wonder if La Famiglia would even be there in a few months with the way she talked.

We heard whisps and spurts about the "travel website" all night. We felt like we were at an Amway convention, almost like we were intruding.

My mother's words rolled through my head, "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all." Yet, we have a job to do and we take it seriously.

La Famiglia Ristorante ~ Marietta GAOur meals arrived and saved us. I ordered Buttons and Bows, with mushrooms, sundried tomatoes, in an Asiago white sauce, made fresh every time. If you love Asiago cheese, you know it has a wonderful, pungent, enticing flavor that really adds to a dish, with just a tiny amount. If you cook with it, you know how little you need to use to pack that punch. I had trouble discerning the dish had Asiago cheese, beyond the tiniest bit. Overall, it was good, but not the dish it was made out to be.

Dave got Chicken Parmigiana, a seasoned battered breast topped with mozzarella cheese and homemade tomato sauce. He was expecting something fabulous, with it being one of the most popular dishes. The pasta was flat and thin, not quite what he was hoping for. Doused with a lot of Parmesan cheese, it was okay.

Emily ordered Linguine with white sauce and chicken, also the Asiago cheese sauce. It was not that different than Fettucine Alfredo, and she gobbled it down a little disappointing that the Asiago was not more pronounced.

We had left room for dessert, and thought the meal could really make it up on the dessert end. We ordered coffee first, and it arrived with little pieces of what I presumed were coffee grounds floating in the cream. I decided to ignore it, and just drink it.

La Famiglia Ristorante ~ Marietta The tiramisu, which is homemade and highly touted, arrived in a sundae glass. Yes, a sundae glass. Instead of a rich looking piece of tiramisu, with layers of marscarpone cheese, ladyfingers soaked in espresso, the normal tiramisu we all know and love, this was a sundae glass full of this mess that looked, and I hate to even type this, like someone had vomited. The picture shows it clearly. It was tiramisu casserole. We endeavored to take a bite and it was filled with soggy strawberries that had seen better days. It was different, too sweet and with almost no espresso flavor. It was disgusting to look at, we barely finished it. But at $6.95, you had better believe we were going to.

We also ordered cannoli for $6.95, which we presumed was plural. A single cannoli was brought out. It was okay. Not fabulous, with smashed chocolate shavings throughout. 

Overall, by the time we left, we were ready to flee. We ended up paying a hefty price for this meal, although to her credit, the owner comped us the desserts. We gave her our cards and she immediately treated us with suspicion. It was the weirdest thing, we have NEVER experienced a shred of that. The whole "how do I know you are legit thing." So we were insulted through out the evening.

We are sorry to report, after a $70 meal at La Famiglia, that LivingHistorySites.com does NOT recommend this restaurant when you are visiting the history of Marietta, in the greater Atlanta area. Try another place on the square. Ask the locals, not a single one we asked (after the fact), recommended La Famiglia. Several said it was inconsistent, one time it is good, the next it is awful. Apparently there are enough visitors to the Square to give them a fresh supply of customers.

La Famiglia Ristorante

45 West Park Square,

Marietta, Georgia 770-425-9300