Double Zero Brings New Italian Twist to Emory Village

Grade: A- Price range: Approx. $25/person

Dark, cozy, warm and yet still industrial chic, Double Zero, Emory Village’s newest restaurant, is a cacophony of unexpected combinations, serving a variety of Italian street foods with an original Atlanta twist.

Owned by the Castellucci Hospitality Group, a trio of siblings that strives to offer a unique dining experience, Double Zero is the fourth location of the group, which specializes in various Mediterranean cuisines. The new restaurant, which opened Sept. 6, occupies the building in which Ink & Elm previously resided.

Though Double Zero’s menu can be hard to understand at first glance because of its lack of headings and variety of options, the servers are ready to make recommendations, including the delicious pork belly corn dog.

The cheese platter prefaced the Italian-style dinner to come, complete with that signature Atlanta twist. The standout cheese was definitely the Italian goat cheese with a little kick in the rind, just as Atlanta does it, but it was balanced out by a local mild cheddar cheese that refreshed the palate.

Other standout dishes included the cooked-to-perfection signature scallops and the original pork belly corn dog. The corn dog was crisp, perfectly fried and elevated by the traditional Italian sauces served on the side.

My dinner companions had the Campanelle (scallion pesto mixed with gremolata, kale, pickled blueberries and ricotta salata), a fresh and rather interesting pasta dish, and the M.P.A. pizza. Undoubtedly, the pizza was one of the highlights of dinner, full of fresh ingredients and a crust baked to utter perfection. The option to add an egg for $2 is available, but it wasn’t needed to enjoy.

The restaurant is full of low-hanging lights that illuminate brick walls and linoleum tiled floors, casting brilliant shadows through the beautiful wine bottles. The bar is partially exposed in the back, allowing a functional and beautiful display of bottles. Maybe one of the most interesting features of Double Zero is the open kitchen: a single glass sheet allows diners insight to the creation of the masterpieces that end up on their tables. The restaurant’s concept is open and honest; the food and silverware offer an upscale flare, while the atmosphere makes guests feel casual and comfortable.

The owners emphasize comfort and genuine hospitality in all aspects of the dining experience. The service was timely, attentive and utterly delightful. Though the menu is upscale, the casual atmosphere reflects the restaurant’s proximity to a college campus. Someone unfamiliar with Italian cuisine may initially find the menu daunting, but Double Zero brings fresh flavors to the Emory Village.

Double Zero could serve as a thoughtful location for a romantic date or even an intimate dinner with a few friends. The restaurant’s layout encourages a closeness between dinner guests, with a long shared couch uniting clusters of small, round wooden tables. With the exception of the larger meat dishes such as the two-pound braised beef rib, the price range is reasonable.

With its subtle touches of sophistication and a relaxed atmosphere, Double Zero is an amazing addition to the dining options available in Emory Village.

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