La Grotta

Culinarily speaking, this elaborate, long-standing Northern Italian restaurant will never replace the now-closed Dining Room at the Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead. But if you are looking for superb hospitality and a whiff of old Atlanta money, prepare to be seduced all over again.

Now that he is semiretired, charming owner Sergio Favalli trusts his amazingly handsome son, Christian, and his chef-partner, Antonio Abizanda, to maintain the standards established in 1978. Despite its quirky location in the basement of a condo building, the restaurant has always had a feeling of romance.

The simple pasta dishes and classic veal preparations (particularly the excellent vitello tonnato) are holding their own, but some of the more ambitious dishes such as snails over polenta seem misguided in the context of a restaurant meant for classic comfort.