Using a handful of ingredients, many imported from Italy, Giovanni Di Palma has created a menu of seven chicken and four pasta dishes at this bare-bones restaurant next door to his landmark Antico Pizza Napoletana.
You’ll want to sample the Sorrento lemon chicken, the restaurant’s inspiration. Amalfi-style lemon slices, generous garlic, wild oregano and hearty olive oil flavor this chicken. The Arancia di Capri takes the chicken on a floral detour, with orange slices and rosemary scenting the chicken and broth. My favorite is the Scarpielo, with thick pieces of Chicago-sourced sausage mixed with charred sweet and spicy peppers and slices of cipolline onions atop the chicken.
The portions here are generous, but order your own chicken because you’ll most certainly crave the leftovers the following day. And share one of the pasta dishes. The Al Forno pasta is easy to love, recalling the flavors of lasagna with marinara, chunky San Marzano tomatoes and a thick layer of bubbled scamorza cheese.
GIO’S CHICKEN AMALFITANO
1099 Hemphill Ave. N.W., Atlanta. 404-347-3874, www.gioschicken.com. $$
3 of 5 stars (merits a drive if you’re looking for this kind of dining)