If you’ve ever been to Italy's Amalfi Coast — Capri, Sorrento, and Positano, in particular — you might understand why "glorious" is the only way to describe the experience. Inspired by this beautiful environment, brothers Giuseppe and Giovanni DiPalma decided to bring a small taste of Italy to Atlanta by opening Gio's Chicken.
Situated in the middle of the city, Gio's Chicken is housed in what looks like a former warehouse or factory. The interior is light and airy, which evokes the feel of Capri and Sorrento. The entrance has special parking for takeout customers, who can peruse the restaurant's pastas, olive oils, and other items while waiting. Customers dining in can head through the driveway and around to the rear entrance where there is plenty of parking and a grand entrance. Diners can place an order here before heading into the dining room where they can choose between high-chair and low-chair seating.
The DiPalma brothers pride themselves in the use of Bell & Evans chicken since they practice a special European style of processing that allows the chicken to retain much more of its natural juices. In fact, according to Giuseppe, Gio's Chicken and Whole Foods are the only places in Atlanta (to date) where Bell & Evans chickens can be purchased.
The menu at Gio's Chicken is simple. For the most part, it's chicken, pasta, soup, or dessert. The must-haves include:
1. A salad with the boss’s mother’s dressing: Olive oil-based with the aromatic flavors of garlic and citrus — it's simply delicious.
2. Sorrento Lemon Chicken: Do not leave without ordering this dish! The citrus of the lemon and the richness of the chicken broth create a heavenly fusion for the tender, grilled chicken. Best of all, the dish is served in a shallow bowl with potato wedges and flatbread that absorbs the jus.
3. Arancia Rossa: This chicken is prepared with blood oranges and fresh rosemary. If you're lucky, and blood oranges are in season, you'll notice how the additional flavors of garlic and olive oil give this dish an extra lift.
4. Sorrentina Pasta: This dish is simple, with Vesuvian tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella, olive oil, garlic, and basil. The freshness is reminiscent of a sunny Mediterranean afternoon. Paired with a glass of wine, it makes for a simple and fabulous meal.
5. Cannoli: Traditional, small, and delicious, this dessert proves that less (at least in terms of serving size) can still be more!