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Small Business Spotlight: Stone Mountain Italian restaurant features seasonal menu

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Small Business Spotlight: Stone Mountain Italian restaurant features seasonal menu

Guests enjoy dinner and dessert at Fresca Trattoria. Photo by Dean Hesse.

By Nina Thomas, contributor

Stone Mountain, GA — Fresca Trattoria, a locally owned Italian restaurant with a seasonal menu, opened two months ago in Stone Mountain at 1227 Rockbridge Road.  

It is adjacent to Kroger and Mountain Park First Baptist Church in Stone Mountain.

Pastry Chef Lisa Myers, one of the co-owners, has lived in Lilburn for 27 years and said they chose Italian because they believed that is what the area needed.

“People want to have an amazing meal, and they shouldn’t have to go downtown to do that,” Myers said. “They should be able to stay in Stone Mountain and have that in-town experience without the drive.”

Fresca Trattoria co-owner Lisa Myers talks with dinner guests on a recent Saturday night. Photo by Dean Hesse.

Myers likens the simplicity of the food to the “no make-up” look.

“We want our ingredients melded together so well you have no idea how much work it took to make,” she said.

They strive for simplicity by offering fresh bread daily, consisting of four ingredients: flour, water, yeast, and oil. Their made-daily pasta has two ingredients: semolina and water.

“A lot of chefs manipulate ingredients so much that it loses what it once was,” Myers said. “Rustic Italian food is not fussy. If we do it well enough, it will taste so much better than anything you can buy at the store.”

Chef de Cuisine Manny Guerrero, the other co-owner, and Myers worked together for years in another restaurant before partnering to open this one. Myers said they think about food in the same way.

“Every day we work to make everything a little bit better,” Guerrero said. “We set a level of standard for ourselves. We don’t do pre-frozen products just because it’s easy.”

Fresca Trattoria co-owner and Chef de Cuisine Manny Guerrero prepares a dish on a recent Saturday night. Photo by Dean Hesse.

Myers and Guerrero have over 40 years of culinary experience between them. Myers worked at Buckhead Life Restaurant Group, Chops, and then spent 17 years as owner of Feast Catering.

Myers is partial to desserts and missed making food during the Pandemic. She is passionate about creating a happy workplace where no one feels disposable. 

Guerrero was the Catering Chef at Rosendale Events and worked at another local restaurant, where he met Myers. 

Fresh portions of linguine prepared for dinner service at Fresca Trattoria. Photo by Dean Hesse.

Guerrero has wanted to own a restaurant for as long as he can remember and is passionate about customers having a genuine, made-from-scratch experience.

Guerrero said he is well-trained, and due to making things from scratch, he has more control over what goes in their food. 

“It is easy for vegans or people with food sensitivities to eat here because we make things like our own vegetable stock,” he said. “We want to make what is best and most nutritious for people. We waste the least amount of product and make something we’re proud to give someone.”

A dish leaves the kitchen during dinner service at Fresca Trattoria. Photo by Dean Hesse.

Guerrero is passionate about improving techniques that reduce food waste, such as removing bones by hand and using them for stock or making sauces from scratch.

Their signature dessert, the Spumomi Bomb, is something Myers is particularly proud of because it took her a long time to perfect.

The Spumomi Bomb is a dome-shaped tart with pistachio mousse, luxardo cherry gelée, pistachio jaconde, and chocolate ganache.

Guerrero takes pride in sourcing ingredients directly from the regions they’re featuring on the menu.

“We are sourcing it from the regions in their peak season, so it’s the best version that it can be,” he said.

Coolers keep wines at the optimal serving temperature at Fresca Trattoria. Photo by Dean Hesse.

The new Spring menu will change some main courses, appetizers, and fresh pasta. Highlighted offerings include:

– Pizza Milano – Wild mushrooms, taleggio cheese, mozzarella, and garlic

–  Rose Ravioli  – Beet pasta, roasted yellow beets, goat cheese, ricotta, brown butter, and walnuts

– Trout with a warm walnut dressing and sunchoke trio

– Black garlic-glazed rack of lamb, fava beans and crispy leeks

“Yes, fava beans were what Hannibal Lector served with his lamb.  And yes, we have a best-selling assortment of Chianti to go with it,” Myers said.

Their wine list, displayed on an iPad, includes information about the wine’s name, region, and price. The list includes information about the wine and suggested pairings.

“There is something to say for self-efficacy,” Myers said. “We can make wine suggestions, but people are usually happier when empowered to choose the wine themselves.”

They are offering a special Easter brunch buffet on March 31. The menu is on their website, and the brunch costs $55 per person.

The restaurant is open Sunday through Thursday, 11-3 & 5-9, Friday and Saturday, 11-3 & 5-10. Reservations are encouraged.

Fresca Trattoria is located at 1227 Rockbridge Road SW, Suite 114, Stone Mountain, GA 30087, on the corner of Rockbridge Road and Five Forks Trickum Road in the Kroger Shopping Center. Photo by Dean Hesse.

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