Friday, December 5, 2008

Restaurant Preview: Il Mulino

The boyfriend and I checked out Il Mulino's soft opening today for lunch and left impressed! First off, let me acknowledge that parking is a major hassle all over downtown, so after a couple laps around a maze of one-way-streets, I couldn't find better in close range than $8. No fun, so perhaps for lunch it's best for downtown folks. For dinner, I hear they validate.
The space itself is surprisingly beautiful, with dark wood floors and an overall upscale old-world aesthetic. This was a soft opening, so I wouldn't expect all the kinks to be worked out yet. Given that, it's no surprise that servers are a bit confused. At worst, that resulted in servers bringing out the eggplant caponata antipasti twice, which was so tasty, we in fact ate it twice, so nothing to complain about here? Fortunately, they were all so gracious that I'm positive they will ultimately have great service once they get used to things.
We split a beef carpaccio with arugula appetizer. The meat was tender and flavorful and surprisingly light. For my main course, I had a craving for comfort food and chose a tagliatelle with a red sauce and homemade sausage. The pasta was fresh and chewy and the sausage was appealingly sweet. It's not a huge portion at $15, but you can clean your plate and feel perfectly sated rather than stuffed like you would at a lesser restaurant.
The boyfriend chose a Veal Milano with arugula, and it was phenomenal. In fact, it was the kind of dish, I couldn't resist navigating my fork over to once in a while without asking permission. In the competition for who ordered better, he was the hands down winner, although I enjoyed my dish, too. The peppery arugula and a squeeze of lemon complemented the flavorful meat. All too often, veal somehow manages to be devoid of flavor, and I was happy Il Mulino was able to remind me what it's supposed to taste like.
Given this is just a soft opening, I can only expect it will keep getting better. Even the boyfriend liked it, and he's 100% Italian with a momma who cooks like nobody's business. He in fact preferred our experience there to his previous visit to the NY original (which he was not a big fan of). That's no faint praise!

Il Mulino
191 Peachtree St.
Atlanta, GA

Il Mulino on Urbanspoon



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