Written by Carl Danbury
Offering a sense of Italian intimacy in Johns Creek, this
small and quaint Italian bistro with a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere is a lovely suburban surprise. Rosa Mia’s owners, Rosa Bitussi and Maria Serafino-Gabelman serve up Italian classics from fresh homemade pasta to pizza, and the food and service are impeccable.
Reminiscent of a small neighborhood restaurant in the Northeast U.S. that seat approximately 50 people, the owners and waitstaff oversee your meal and they genuinely care if you are enjoying their dishes or having a good time. That is a breath of fresh air in this era of unfriendly, impersonal servers concerned only about their gratuity.
Now open for weekday lunch from 11 a.m to 3 p.m., Rosa Mia offers a selection of a half-dozen or more splendid paninis in addition to a dozen pasta dishes and entrees. My recent discovery was a sweet Italian sausage panini, served with onions and both red and green peppers on crisp focaccia bread, which is baked daily on the premises. Served with a
side of field greens, this is a great midday meal!
While every dish I have sampled at Rosa Mia’s is superb, the homemade pasta is some of the best served anywhere in the Northside. Try the gnocchi, cavatelii or tagliatelli with any one of the extraordinary sauces they prepare.
Their nightly specials are a revelation as I discovered when an authentic recipe for braciole was offered during a recent visit? Served with a scrumptious, hearty ragu and served over pappardelle pasta, this dish was recommended by a guest who had just finished his meal. At the very least, I owe him a glass of wine for his recommendation. Looking for the perfect meatball? Try the Polpette antipasti served with marinana and bread, which is a spectacular beginning for your meal! Rosa Mia’s ceviche, citrus marinated tilapia, is also highly recommended.
For dessert, look no farther than the Millefoglie, a French
custard filling in a puff pastry and dressed beautifully wiith berries. The warm apple strudel a la mode also is hard to beat and chocolate lovers will certainly enjoy the Torta Ciocolatta, a chocolate ganache cake with a dash of cayenne pepper that enlivens the flavors, and is served with vanilla ice cream.
These dishes will definitely “bring back memories” for anyone who was raised in, or has traveled to, the Northeast and remembers those quaint neighborhood Italian restaurants that serve memorable meals every time. That same consistency is Rosa Mia’s trademark and brings a wide smile of satisfaction every time we visit.
May We Also Recommend: The Caprese salad, the panna e spek (fettucine in a cream sauce with Italian bacon), the chicken Parmigiana, the gnocchi alla Bolognese, and for dessert a decadent cannoli.
Photos courtesy of Owners Rosa Bitussi & Maria Serafino-Gabelman
Rosa Mia Ristorante Italiano
11730 Jones Bridge Road