il Giallo Osteria & Bar, a local Italian restaurant, was recently named “Restaurant of the Year” by the Sandy Springs Perimeter Chamber. On Friday, March 31st, we [Andrew and Mattie] drove right down the road to check it out for ourselves.
When we first walked into il Giallo, we immediately noticed the interior decor, as well as the layout. Most restaurants have a box-shaped dining area, but il Giallo certainly isn’t most restaurants. They have a dining hall that Owner Leonardo Moura described as a “submarine” from the blueprints. One thing that especially stood out was a painting on the wall by the bar. Moura explained that this painting was of Bacchus, the Roman god of wine; or as he likes to say, “The god of party.”
Before we sat down to eat, we had the pleasure of speaking with both owners Leonardo Moura and Jamie Adams, who is also the Executive Chef. There was a cheerful banter between the two, which makes sense due to their shared history in the restaurant business. After moving to the United States, Moura started working at a small French restaurant for a year and a half, while Chef Adams continued his time with the Buckhead Life Restaurant Group. Soon enough, Leonardo made his way over to Kyma, a restaurant within the Buckhead Life Restaurant Group, as a “green, up-and-coming server,” when the two first crossed paths. According to Chef Adams, he moved his way up to become part of management and soon ended up at Veni Vidi Vici, an Italian restaurant in Midtown; the two “hit it off right away.” Leonardo became a general manager, and he moved around to some of the other restaurants before leaving Veni Vidi Vici for a year. As time passed and Chef Adams himself was contemplating a change, he walked into Veni Vidi Vici only to find Leonardo standing in the dining room as the new general manager. In response to this, Chef Adam recalls his simple “hallelujah.”
The two remained at Veni Vidi Vici for about six years, and around this time, they began to discuss possible collaboration, which led to the creation of il Giallo Osteria & Bar. The original concept for the restaurant was focused on exhibiting live pasta-making in front of the restaurant. This openness then grew into creating an open “extension of home.” Moura elaborated, speaking about their goal to understand, and cater to, their guests in hopes of making them feel “at home.” Chef Jamie Adams echoed this sentiment, describing il Giallo as a “go-to” place to eat great food on those days when “you don’t feel like cooking.”
When it comes to food, Adams and Moura both agree on the importance of sourcing locally. Chef Adams emphasized this sentiment: “Local stuff is peerless; there’s nothing like it, because it hasn’t traveled. If it’s not organic, it’s natural, and that has a huge impact on its flavor.”
“Keep as local as you can. Our shrimp comes from Savannah, off the coast. But, you cannot only get things locally; you need a diversified portfolio,” Mr. Moura added.
“Keep as local as you can. Our shrimp comes from Savannah, off the coast. But, you cannot only get things locally; you need a diversified portfolio,” Mr. Moura added. il Giallo’s diversified portfolio is not comprised solely of locally-grown produce – the restaurant imports two types of flour from Italy: semolina flour, a coarse purified wheat flour, and double-zero flour, a finely ground milled flour, are both used in making pasta.
After the interview, we sat down and enjoyed a delicious meal featuring some of these locally grown ingredients. We both ordered the spaghetti with meatballs: two to three meatballs with incredible tomato sauce tossed with freshly-made spaghetti. From the first bite of the pasta, we could taste the sweetness of the Italian tomatoes. The sauce was perfectly complimented by the tastes and textures of the meatballs and pasta. The meatballs presented exquisite flavors which blended well with their tender texture. Chef Adams did a great job adding just the right amount of spice to the meatballs, which blew away any expectations.
il Giallo Osteria & Bar is the perfect place to go for a comforting, warm environment to eat some of the greatest Italian food in Sandy Springs. The restaurant serves lunch from 11:30am until 2:30pm every week, Monday through Friday; dinner is served from 5:00pm until 10:00pm Monday through Thursday, 5:00pm until 11:00pm on Fridays and Saturdays, and 5:00pm until 9:00pm on Sundays. Visit http://ilgialloatl.com/ for more information about the restaurant, or if you’re ready to make a reservation, call 404-709-2148 or visit http://ilgialloatl.com/reservations/. il Giallo Osteria & Bar is located at 5920 Roswell Rd, B-118, Sandy Springs, GA 30328.