Altatmura Italian Trattoria on the ground floor of the Magnolia Mansion in the Garden District is a dazzling dining experience. There were five of us for dinner on a rainy Monday night in New Orleans. The restaurant was quiet and the crowds of the weekend had given way to a sleepy setting in the stark décor of white, black and grey. The dinning room is beautiful with low ceilings, soft lighting and roses on the tables. To get to the dinning room, you walk through a lovely bar with a Grand Piano (They offer music on the weekends) and that is when I noticed the rather bland art that appears to be washed out horizon studies in pastels and white. There was one good painting by the entrance to the kitchen of a hilltop village with a church spire done in pleasing yellows.
Getting past the magnitude of the Magnolia Mansion setting, which includes a large ornate fountain in the outdoor entrance area, we quickly got to order. We started with Charbroiled Oysters, Garlic Bread and wine (Valpolicella Ripasso Ca’ del Laito 2012). The Garlic Bread was piping hot and literally bursting with garlic and butter. The dozen Charbroiled Oysters disappeared quickly, but were briny and memorably delicious. We then indulged in their appetizers offerings that included Artichoke Hearts Oreganato, Meatballs, Spiedini Mozzaella and another bottle of the Valpolicella. When we devoured all of that, we moved on to more wine (Valpolicella Superiore 2014) and entrees, which included Veal Marsala, Ricotta Gnocchi Bolognese, Wild Mushroom Walnut Pesto Pasta, Frito Misto and a Caprese Salad. The service was swift and efficient and dinner moved along at a perfect pace. My favorite item of the evening was the Meatballs. They were light, creamy, flavorful and served beautifully on a white rectangle platter accompanied by a fresh tomato sauce.
Chef Coleman came to our table and was personable and friendly. The staff was humorous, attentive and put up with a lot of teasing from the only man at our table of women. It was a delightful evening and I highly recommend Altamura, which presents a fine dinning experience seven nights a week.
Altamura Italian Trattoria
Address: 2127 Prytania St. New Orleans, LA 70115
Phone: (504) 265-8101
Hours: Open 4:00PM – 10:00PM Daily