Colletta Italian restaurant opens February 5 at Avalon

Pasta and pizza spot comes from the team behind Oak Steakhouse

Steve Palmer, founder of Charleston-based Indigo Road Hospitality, has a new restaurant in the works. Located next to its Oak Steakhouse at Avalon in Alpharetta, Colletta will begin serving pizza and pasta February 5. This will be the group’s second Italian restaurant, and about 40 percent of the menu will be comprised of favorites from Charleston-based Indaco, where Michael Perez is executive chef.

“Colletta will have more of a Northern Italy influence with more meat because of its inland location. Indaco has more seafood and more Sicilian influences because it’s on the water,” he says.

Perez moved to Atlanta to lead Colletta, where he and his team will be making everything from the cheese to the pasta. They’ll even have a curing chamber for making coppa, lomo, and salumi. (Perez will remain executive chef at Indaco, too, but chef de cuisine Andy McLeod will handle the day-to-day work.)

“Pasta making is my thing,” Perez says. “We have a pasta sheeter imported from Italy, and we’ll have four seats facing the inside of the kitchen in front of the pasta maker, so you can watch while you eat.”

The restaurant will offer six rotating pastas, including an herb-infused spaghetti with crab, shrimp, uni emulsion, anchovy juice, and breadcrumbs, and a sugo with wild boar and whipped ricotta. Antipasti may include octopus with Sicilian-style pork sausage, white beans, mizuna, and a Meyer lemon aioli as well as more familiar options like pappardelle.

“Alpharetta isn’t Atlanta. We need to have a couple of things that cater to a more suburban neighborhood,” says Perez, who has plans for steak Florentine, bone-in pork chops, whole trout, and chicken on the rotisserie. Everything will be cooked over wood. Neapolitan-style pizzas will be made using 00 flour and filtered water, but toppings will be far from traditional: cured and confit duck leg pizza with taleggio, pistachios, and butternut squash, or Brussels leaves pizza with fontina, Honeycrisp apples, and pecorino romano.

Colletta will also offer a family-style meal with four courses. “When you think of Italian food, you think of big tables with everyone passing around bowls of pasta,” Perez says.

Come April, Colletta will begin serving lunch and offer a slimmed down menu with lighter options. Kelsey Schulz (of Oak) will manage the bar program. The wine will all be Italian, as will some of the beer, with some local beer options to round it out. Two cocktails and prosecco will be available on tap. Since Avalon allows open containers of alcohol on the property, Colletta will have a sliding window where you can order cocktails like frozen bellinis to go.

The 150-seat restaurant includes a large patio, sixteen-seat chef’s counter, and a private dining room.