6 Italian Dishes at Colletta You Have to Try

By Christopher Hassiotis  |  April 15, 2015
Credit: Heidi Geldhauser

Now that Colletta has settled into its role as Avalon's flagship Italian restaurant, it's time to pay it a visit and sample what the Alpharetta restaurant has to offer. The restaurant, nestled on the multiuse development's western edge, is owned by the same team behind the neighboring Oak Steakhouse (as well as the original Oak in Charleston), and features Italian traditional dishes (pizzas, pasta made daily) using regional Southern ingredients. The menu changes seasonally and ingredients vary daily as available, but these dishes are currently on chef Michael Perez's menu, and all worth trying.

900 Third St., Alpharetta; 678-722-8335

  • The clams ($14) at Colletta take an Italian approach to the traditional garlic-and-white-wine steaming approach — they're flavored with mildly spicy Calabrian chiles and a healthy amount of oregano.

  • Credit: Kelsey Schulz

    Colletta's tender octopus appetizer ($16) is garnished with white beans, mizuna, a Meyer lemon aïoli and pork sausage that comes from Indaco, another sister restaurant in Charleston where Perez also serves as executive chef.

  • Want something mild yet satisfying? The cappelacci pasta ($22) are little stuffed ricotta dumplings served in broth with chicken and Parmesan.

  • Credit: Heidi Geldhauser

    The Pork Tesa pizza ($17) is one of six on the Colletta menu. Tesa, an Italian cold-cured pork belly, gives the pizza a bacony character, and it's matched with braised greens, a farm egg and both Pecorino Romano cheese and a smoked Spanish cheese called San Simon da Costa.

  • Salty and rich, the ravioli ($24) are stuffed with shrimp and served with smoked trout caviar and topped with garlicky bread crumbs.

  • The entrees incorporate seasonal ingredients — this snapper ($28) is pan-seared and accompanied by Jerusalem artichokes, beets, turnips, pomegranate seeds and grilled lemon.