ATL Magazine April 2004 ETZ

As hectic as my business life can get, one thing I learned early in the game is that family comes first. Nothing is ever as important as to take priority of the people who have unconditionally loved & supported you, which is why I take a certain pride in writing this review. And while the folks behind one of Atlanta's greatest restaurants may not technically be relatives, they most definitely are family.

The Trattoria Il Localino is an unassuming restaurant, located in Inman Park & run by a wonderful Italian family. On any given night, you will find a husband & wife team, along w/a sister, a daughter & wide array of extended family enjoying a great meal & putting on the best show. And they will actually be enjoying it w/you. I'm talking about sitting down to chat, bringing you food you did not order but will love, dancing...

Hang on. I'm getting ahead of myself. This is an unassuming restaurant after all, right? It is only unassuming if you stop by for a visit before it all starts. The walls are lined w/ pictures of some of the more famous people to partake in a meal at Il Localino, as well as not so famous people who enjoyed a special night.

Last month, my monther was in from out of town & I took her to Il Localino. We barley talked, but shared one of the best meals we have ever had. A glimpse into our evening would see us teaming into King Crab legs flown in that morning, while we were laughing at each other, I was wearing a neon green derby, my mom in a straw cowboy hat. On a chair right next to us was a gentleman laying a trombone & wearing a "For Sale" sign. More food came, this time anti-pasta & bread always hot, fresh bread w/ the best garlic butter ever. Over the speakers comes "Dancing Queen", while a light/smoke/bubble machine keeps pace. More food. The time the entrees. I turn to see how my mom is enjoying her meal & she is Salsa dancing w/yet another gentleman.

To go a little deeper into the food (I think Gale would kill me if we didn't) it is of the highest quality. Everything is 5 Star & would stand up to just about any restaurant in town. Everything is flown in fresh for that night & is more than just Italian. Tender steaks, seafood like you've never had & a massive wine list, all go towards matching any taste.

What makes the people whose pictures hand on the wall, as well as anybody who goes to Il Localino, have such an exquisite night is not only a matter of the food being great. It is something that can not be described. It can only be experience. 

-Chad David Shearer