408 South Atlanta Street
Roswell, GA 30075
After years of living in Atlanta and dining out in the city, I’m discovering what a pleasant change it can be to drive out of my comfort zone and explore restaurants outside of the perimeter. On a Friday night, my friend and I decided to do just that and made a reservation at Sugo in Roswell. A little background on Sugo – it’s a part of the Castellucci Hospitality Group of restaurants, which includes Double Zero Napoletana in Sandy Springs and The Iberian Pig in Decatur.
When we arrived for our 8 p.m. seating, the restaurant was full of couples having intimate dinners as well as groups celebrating special occasions. The dining room was dimly lit creating a cozy atmosphere in the open space. Sugo seemed to be a popular place to celebrate milestone events that night, and I suspect one particular employee may have something to do with that. While candles are waiting to be blown out, a member of the kitchen serenades lucky guests with his impressive operatic version of “Happy Birthday” or “Happy Anniversary.”
To start off our dinner, we each chose a glass of wine. I had a glass of the Frescobaldi Castiglioni Chianti Sangiovese ($9) after hearing it was the owner’s favorite. My guest ordered the Oberon Cabernet Sauvignon ($12). The wine list was extensive and I appreciated the various price ranges offered, “Easy & Enjoyable,” “No Expense Account Required” and “The Good Stuff.”
Sugo’s menu is a mix of Greek and Italian food. For starters, we chose the baked stuffed calamari ($6) and the Parma flatbread ($14). The calamari was stuffed with sautéed onions, spinach and artisan cheeses in a tomato basil sauce. This was definitely not the fried calamari I’m used to seeing at restaurants. The cheese and tomato sauce were the stars of the dish, and it almost made me forget I was eating squid. The Parma flatbread was topped with prosciutto, provolone, asparagus, roasted red peppers, poached egg and black truffles, which had a fresh taste. It’s important to note that it’s a Sardinian flatbread, which is thin and more cracker than bread. I enjoyed the flatbread a little more than my dining partner who was expecting a pizza-like flatbread.
Any slight disappointment my companion might have experienced with the flatbread disappeared completely during our entrée course. I ordered the Capesante ($28), a scallop dish served atop fresh basil pasta, tomato, red pepper pesto and grilled asparagus. While my diver scallops were cooked perfectly, I have to say my fork kept hovering over my friend’s Pork Shank Milanese ($25). The pork shank was our server’s recommendation and we both did a double-take when she brought it to the table. The menu describes it as a slow braised pound of pork shank, but even our server had to admit that was a definite underestimation. The shank looked like it would have been right at home with the Flintstones in Bedrock. Also worthy of a mention was the rich and creamy parsnip puree that accompanied the shank.
While we could have stopped there and gone home dessert-less, we decided to challenge our waistbands and sample the Spartan Cheesecake ($7) and the Zucchini Cake ($7). The Spartan Cheesecake was the ultimate fusion of Greek and Italian with a baklava crust filled with Italian crème cheesecake. I had no complaints about the delicious Zucchini Cake either, which was similar to a carrot cake.