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THE DISH: La Nonna's Italian Restaurant

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Staff Photos: Meghan Kotowski La Nonna's serves house salads with artichokes, spicy pasta with seafood, homemade tiramisu and broiled salmon over rice.

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The dining room is decorated to feel like someone's home, complete with a faux fireplace.

ON THE MENU

• Eggplant rollatini — Eggplants rolled and filled with seasoned ricotta and mozzarella cheeses topped with a homemade tomato sauce and served with spaghettini, $9

• Linguini with clam sauce — Your choice of red or white clam sauce served over a bed of pasta, $12

• Chicken marsala — Sauteed chicken with mushrooms in a marsala wine sauce. Served with the vegetables of the day, $10

• Salmon picata — Broiled salmon served over spinach, sauteed in butter with fresh lemon white wine sauce, $19

Map

La Nonna's

La Nonna's

6135 Peachtree Parkway, Peachtree Corners

770-453-7732

www.lanonnarestaurant.com

Owners: Doris and Mario Zaino

Location: La Nonna's is located at the left end of the Market Place shopping center off of Peachtree Parkway. It is next to Hewitt Tax Service.

Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays, 4:30 to 10 p.m. Saturdays, 4 to 9 p.m. Sundays, closed Mondays

Atmosphere: La Nonna's is situated at the end of a shopping center and it doesn't look like anything special from the outside, but when you walk inside, you feel like you're at someone's house.

The lights are dim, there is a fireplace (which doesn't actually work, but candles are lit at night in the hearth) and owner Mario Zaino's family photos are on the walls, including pictures from his childhood.

"We wanted it to be like someone's home," he said. "Some people stay here for hours because they feel so comfortable."

There was one thing that Zaino had to have at his restaurant: Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin playing at all times -- even their Christmas classics.

"(Sinatra) can sing anything he wants. I don't care what he sings," he said with a laugh.

Zaino grew up in New York and was raised in restaurants where quality and customer service come first instead of worrying about cutting corners to save change.

"I built a restaurant that would be found in the '80s because that's all I know," he said. "When we were first opening, I sat down with accountants who only talked about the numbers, food costs and savings, but didn't say anything about quality. Who cares about food costs? If my food is terrible, I will be closed in less than a year."

Menu: All of the recipes on the menu where passed down through Zaino's family.

"These recipes are my mother's original recipes, my grandmother's original recipes ... that were passed down," he said "The funny part is that it wasn't just a recipe -- it was a pinch of that or a handful of that."

Zaino and his chef Danny Gomez had to go through the "recipes" to learn the correct measurements so the food would be consistent in flavor and quality.

La Nonna's also offers a buffet for lunch Tuesdays through Fridays. It has recently added another buffet for Sunday to serve another type of clientele.

"We're starting it on Sundays for those who are getting out of church," Zaino said. "I encourage people to try a little bit of everything at first, then go back for a larger portion of their favorites."

Things you might not know: La Nonna is named after Mario Zaino's mother.