Mouthful - Warming pasta
We make it our business to go to Antica Posta at least once every winter for the tagliatelle with duck ragu. Tomatoey and herbaceous, unctuous yet elegant, it exemplifies the playful push-pull between sophistication and frivolity that makes everyone fall in love with Italy. 519 E. Paces Ferry Road. 404-262-7112. www.anticaposta.com.
This speedy pizza-and-pasta joint is a good choice when you're hungry before a show and don't have time for a lengthy meal. Order at the counter from the mix-and-match menu and your pasta will be out to you in minutes. Try the bowtie-shaped farfalle paired with the Rustica, a feisty combination of sausage and peppers. 903-B Peachtree, 404-876-7711; 749 Moreland Ave., 404-624-0440, www.littleazio.com.
Oh my. Where to begin? With the silky, Bechamel-based lasagnette? The rich, sensual Tortelli di Michelangelo? The Cappellacci di Zucca, "big hats" filled with butternut squash and sweet potato? If you have even a passing interest in food, you've been here and already have your favorites. Impressively affordable and still vibrantly hip, this is simply the finest Italian restaurant we have, and the pasta selection is the foundation of its excellence. 313 N. Highland Ave., 404-523-6678, www.sottosottorestaurant.com.
Frederico Castellucci is the ringleader of this family-oriented spot that specializes in the art of charming overkill. The list of ingredients in each dish astounds. The size of the portions stupefies. If you don't know where to jump in, start with the Pasta Duetto that features two baseball-sized sausage meatballs. Vegetarians will dig Dorothea's garden parpardelle. 408 S. Atlanta St., Roswell. 770-641-9131. www.sugorestaurant.com.