photo credit: Tabia S. Lisenbee-Parker

La Panarda image

Best New Restaurants


La Panarda

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$$$$Perfect For:First/Early in the Game DatesDate NightDrinking Good Cocktails
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Cascade Heights is essential to Atlanta’s story. Heroes like Hank Aaron and John Lewis once called it home, and we’ve made a game of counting the times it’s been name-dropped in rap lyrics. Black-owned restaurants, ice cream shops, and even a legendary grocery store have solidified Cascade’s place in ATL’s food chronicles. So, it makes sense that La Panarda, the city’s most exciting new Italian restaurant—melding the flavors of central and southern Italy with familiar Southern soul—would want to call the community home.

La Panarda takes over the quaint dining room that belonged to Serenidad, a short-lived Latin soul concept from the same owner/chef (Oreatha’s at the Point and Twisted Soul)—but leaves the buckled seat cushions, Moroccan-inspired sconces, and other decorative touches in place. And that’s good. The vibe here has always been cozy, but not confining. 

La Panarda image

photo credit: Tabia S. Lisenbee-Parker

But where the look and layout remain largely the same, the kitchen is much more focused. Serenidad’s Latin soul menu lacked real direction. La Panarda is locked in. The kitchen serves ravioli and gelato while also slipping a crispy cornbread biscotti into a marinated seafood salad, and it works wonderfully. The music is… well, the music is a mix of soft jazz and Destiny’s Child. But hey, Beyoncé is just as popular in Rome as she is on Cascade, right?

La Panarda image

photo credit: Tabia S. Lisenbee-Parker

Though listening to R&B hits while forking into meatballs is cute, the novelty can wear off if the food fails to deliver. But everything at La Panarda is good. Fresh bruschetta and a light, effervescent aperol spritz are standout gratis starters. The mains are fine takes on traditional Italian dishes, albeit with subtle soul twists, like where collards cuddle with cannellini beans. Families can walk right in on a Wednesday, but if you’re on a first date, it would be wise to make reservations for a Saturday.

A meal here is a celebration of Italy’s Campania region, but it’s also an ode to Cascade and the people here who love a good risotto, too.

Food Rundown

Short Rib Papperdelle

Our favorite dish at the restaurant is prepared simply with firm noodles and delicious shreds of angus short rib cooked in a ragu sauce, before being topped with dollops of ricotta and herbs. You could just as easily eat a bowl at a coastal Amalfi diner or almost anywhere else a fork and a good red wine are available.

The Flatbread

Don’t rush to judge. It looks like pizza. But after a few bites of the perfectly chewy crust generously topped with roasted chicken (or whatever the topping of the day is), you can make the case for why there should be one on every table.
La Panarda image

photo credit: Tabia S. Lisenbee-Parker

Osso Buco Lamb Shank

Yeah, so Atlanta has a thing for lamb. But La Panarda isn’t playing that silly, two-bite lollipop game like many other local restaurants. Instead, they’re cooking a juicy, Fred Flintstone-approved leg that’s sitting on a savory mash of polenta, mushrooms, and green peas we would’ve devoured by itself.

Steak Florentine

Have someone try this with you. For one, the carving board full of moist beef is an ideal sharing size. And two, you’ll need someone to deliberate with after the meal to determine if the fresh arugula salad, robust bagna càude dipping sauce, or parmesan roasted potatoes is the most underrated aspect of the dish.
La Panarda image

photo credit: DeMarco Williams

Pesto Linguine

Though this hearty, garlic-rich entree is packed with pesto pasta, broccoli, sun dried tomatoes, and a protein (in our case, chicken), a smidge more seasoning would have made it our official go-to order for those chilly southside evenings.

Miss Cicely Cocktail

We don’t know if it’ll harken memories of that day trip to Capri, but this limoncello-sparked number is a seaside breeze in a glass. Sprinkled with lavender, splashed with soda, sprigged with mint, Miss Cicely is proper drinking refreshment for your meal.


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