What's Good log0By Thom Volarath

I remember my first trip to Noni’s well. A cool little Italian joint near the downtown part of Edgewood. The interior is a combination of hipster bar and your Italian Grandma’s dining room. Noni’s is as eclectic as it is eccentric.

My friends and I settled into our cozy booths and feasted on an array warm pasta and delicate sauces. We played plate roulette, tasting each other’s dishes and made mental notes of what to order the next time we came, because we knew our first trip wouldn’t be our last. Our dinner experience was enhanced by the in house dj and a rowdy group of partiers at the nearby bar. We loved it so much we stayed well past end of the meal. This place is cool. Menthol cool. But I’m not here to talk about our dinner. I’m here to discuss the joy of Noni’s for lunch.

To be honest, this is the first time I’ve ever seen Noni’s in daylight. Matt the owner happened to be there today and greeted us warmly. After a quick chit chat about what concerts were coming up in Atlanta (this guy knows his music), we got down to the business of lunch. Starters? Go with the Mushroom Leek Bruschetta. It’s thick crusty bread topped an abundance of savory mushrooms and leeks, all piled high in a delicious sauce. Other starters to try: Noni’s Fries, garlicky cut potatoes with a topping of fresh parmesean. The Salumi Tasting, a full size lazy susan adorned with various salty meats and a peppery arugula salad.

Entree? Normally I would recommend the pasta. It has never let me down. You can’t go wrong with any of the combinations. For lunch, definitely try the sandwiches. My favorite is the Hot Dom, prosciutto with their homemade mozzarella, roasted red peppers on a grilled ciabatta. Another favorite is The Tuscan, grilled eggplant, zucchini, portobello, roasted pepper with provolone on a grilled pumpernickel. We were in and out in less than an hour. A definite advantage if you are in a lunch rush. But by all means if you have the time, hang out an linger for a while. This restaurant is meant to be savoured. Like a famous t-shirt says: “Italians do it better”.

Noni’s Bar & Deli, 357 Edgewood Ave. (404) 343-1808 or www.nonisdeli.com.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.