Tartaglione brings years of experience in the restaurant business to Mezza Luna, having been around it all his life. Tartaglione came to the U.S. from Rome, Italy four years ago where he worked at Caveau, one of Rome’s most famous restaurants. When he moved to Georgia, he worked at several restaurants including one owned by Strangolagalli in Cumming.
Strangolagalli, who was born in the Lazio region of Italy in the town of Ceccano, brings knowledge gained from his mother, a wonderful Italian cook. At a young age, he moved to the U.S. and lived in Long Island, N.Y. After moving to Cumming, he opened Mia Ristorante Italiano, where he met Tartaglione.
“We became good friends. He and I decided to open a little place. We found it by coincidence,” said Strangolagalli, a Forsyth County resident. The duo bought the Mezza Luna in September 2013 from the previous owner, who owned it for 12 months.
They expanded the menu to include more traditional Italian dishes and seafood specialties such as Fettuccine alla Pescatora, homemade potato gnocchi, lasagna and Salt’ in Bocca alla Romana. Salt’ in Bocca alla Romana is a dish made of veal lined or topped with prosciutto and sage, marinated in wine, oil or saltwater.
“I know (Tartaglione) was very talented, and he cooks just like if you were in Italy. The food tastes just like that Italian flavor that you don’t find in a lot of restaurants here in Atlanta,” he said.
“You won’t make a mistake by trying anything. Everything is so good. You chose anything, and it’s going to be a great dish. Never frozen always fresh,” he said.
Mezza Luna has a neighborhood restaurant feel but draws people from all over the metro Atlanta area. “When the people taste it, they say it’s the best food they’ve had in Atlanta,” Strangolagalli said.
“It’s done fresh. Everything is done per order. We use fresh ingredients to give them the right flavor. We have good presentation. We do homemade food. You don’t see this kind of food anywhere. It’s almost like mom and pop. It’s like a mom kitchen,” Strangolagalli said.
Mezza Luna is located at 1669 Spring Road, SE, Smyrna. They are open Tuesday to Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and dinner from 5 to 10 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 9:30 p.m.