An appetite for authenticity: Restaurant brings fresh flavors of Italy to Smyrna
by Sally Litchfield
July 03, 2014 01:27 AM | 3124 views | 0 0 comments | 27 27 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Mezza Luna co-owners Tony Strangolagalli, left, and Pierluigi Tartaglione in the dining room of their Smyrna restaurant at 1669 Spring Road SE. <br> Staff/Jeff Stanton
Mezza Luna co-owners Tony Strangolagalli, left, and Pierluigi Tartaglione in the dining room of their Smyrna restaurant at 1669 Spring Road SE.
Staff/Jeff Stanton
slideshow
Mezza Luna offers a dish with pennealda vodka sauce. The vodka is reduced during cooking, and the pasta is covered in a zesty cheese sauce sprinkled with ham bits.
Mezza Luna offers a dish with pennealda vodka sauce. The vodka is reduced during cooking, and the pasta is covered in a zesty cheese sauce sprinkled with ham bits.
slideshow
A fettuccine alla pescatore includes shrimp, muscles, fresh clams, calamari  and homemade fettuccine in a white wine sauce. Mezza Luna is at 1669 Spring Road, SE, Smyrna. They are open Tuesday to Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and dinner from 5 to 10 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 9:30 p.m.
A fettuccine alla pescatore includes shrimp, muscles, fresh clams, calamari and homemade fettuccine in a white wine sauce. Mezza Luna is at 1669 Spring Road, SE, Smyrna. They are open Tuesday to Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and dinner from 5 to 10 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 9:30 p.m.
slideshow
“Our food is very authentic. Everything is homemade. We make our own fresh pastas — ravioli, rigatoni, fettuccine. All the sauces are handmade. They’re all done on the spot. We don’t prepare anything frozen. All the food is fresh,” said Tony Strangolagalli, who owns the restaurant with Chef Pierluigi Tartaglione.

Tartaglione brings years of experience in the restaurant business to Mezza Luna, having been around it all his life. Tartaglione came to the U.S. from Rome, Italy four years ago where he worked at Caveau, one of Rome’s most famous restaurants. When he moved to Georgia, he worked at several restaurants including one owned by Strangolagalli in Cumming.

Strangolagalli, who was born in the Lazio region of Italy in the town of Ceccano, brings knowledge gained from his mother, a wonderful Italian cook. At a young age, he moved to the U.S. and lived in Long Island, N.Y. After moving to Cumming, he opened Mia Ristorante Italiano, where he met Tartaglione.

“We became good friends. He and I decided to open a little place. We found it by coincidence,” said Strangolagalli, a Forsyth County resident. The duo bought the Mezza Luna in September 2013 from the previous owner, who owned it for 12 months.

They expanded the menu to include more traditional Italian dishes and seafood specialties such as Fettuccine alla Pescatora, homemade potato gnocchi, lasagna and Salt’ in Bocca alla Romana. Salt’ in Bocca alla Romana is a dish made of veal lined or topped with prosciutto and sage, marinated in wine, oil or saltwater.

“I know (Tartaglione) was very talented, and he cooks just like if you were in Italy. The food tastes just like that Italian flavor that you don’t find in a lot of restaurants here in Atlanta,” he said.

“You won’t make a mistake by trying anything. Everything is so good. You chose anything, and it’s going to be a great dish. Never frozen always fresh,” he said.

Mezza Luna has a neighborhood restaurant feel but draws people from all over the metro Atlanta area. “When the people taste it, they say it’s the best food they’ve had in Atlanta,” Strangolagalli said.

“It’s done fresh. Everything is done per order. We use fresh ingredients to give them the right flavor. We have good presentation. We do homemade food. You don’t see this kind of food anywhere. It’s almost like mom and pop. It’s like a mom kitchen,” Strangolagalli said.

Mezza Luna is located at 1669 Spring Road, SE, Smyrna. They are open Tuesday to Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and dinner from 5 to 10 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 9:30 p.m.

Comments
(0)
Comments-icon Post a Comment
No Comments Yet
*We welcome your comments on the stories and issues of the day and seek to provide a forum for the community to voice opinions. All comments are subject to moderator approval before being made visible on the website but are not edited. The use of profanity, obscene and vulgar language, hate speech, and racial slurs is strictly prohibited. Advertisements, promotions, and spam will also be rejected. Please read our terms of service for full guides