Food

Bringing the world to your table

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Gwinnett is known as an international mecca. And its restaurants are no exception. In the Beaver Ruin Village shopping centers, located in Lilburn, two restaurants are bringing the world to your table by offering delicious and authentic specialties from Italy and Mexico.

After many years of success feeding the residents of Tucker, Gwinnett is the location that Bambinelli's Pizza & Pasta and Sangria”s Mexican Cafe have selected to launch their second restaurants. These feel-good, feed-good restaurants are trying their hand at pleasing the palates of Gwinnett eaters -and they”re succeeding.

Better than mama”s
Bambinelli”s Italian Restaurant is the new bambino in the center, having opened August 15. The grand opening was met with anticipation from customers, fueled by Bambinelli”s reputation as a great place for pizza and pasta.

Owner Joey Bambinelli decided to expand his family”s restaurant business into Gwinnett, giving the Northlake location a sister property that would be more convenient to Gwinnettians. "We have a lot of customers out this way and they made the drive to Tucker for the good food," Bambinelli said, adding that the Tucker restaurant is in its 24th year of business. "There”s really no Italian restaurant in Lilburn. A lot of people are very excited about it."

To add to the excitement, Bambinelli”s menu is painted on the wall, giving the restaurant a relaxed ambiance. But the decor, and the food, make it a first class establishment. Warm wood tones and beautiful brick accent walls give an upscale feel to this otherwise casual eatery. And the food, ranging from gourmet pizza to seafood entrees, comes from recipes his family has been concocting for generations.

Pizza comes in the slice, or by the pan, in New York or Sicilian style. Specialty pizzas include Vegetarian, Meat Lovers, Grilled Chicken Pesto, Barbeque Chicken, Hawaiian and Grilled Chicken White Pizza. But Bambinelli”s is more than just a pizza joint. In fact, their expanded menu is what makes them stand out. Also on the menu are Calzones, Hot heroes (sub sandwiches) and an assortment of pasta dishes – ranging from traditional Lasagna and Ravioli to Linguine Carbonara with Mushrooms and Prosciutto.

"This is great Italian food at reasonable prices," Bambinelli said. "Our biggest goal is to be consistent. Our head chef has been with us for 17 years."

Patrons who prefer to eat light can do so with Bambinelli”s assortment of salads, featuring Greek, Garden, Tossed and a Capri Salad comprised of fresh vine tomatoes topped with buffalo mozzarella and smothered with freshly sliced basil and red onions served with vinaigrette.

Diners should save room so they can enjoy one of Bambinelli”s many scrumptious desserts. Cannoli, Tiramisu and Cheesecake are accompanied by Double Chocolate Mousse Cake on the dessert list.

With a full bar and a full range of kids items, this 168-seat restaurant offers something for everyone. For more information on Bambinelli”s, call 770-789-8124 or go to www.bambinellis.homestead.com

Viva variety
Across the street from Bambinelli”s, in the Beaver Ruin Village II shopping center, is Sangria”s Mexican Cafe. Now in its second year, the restaurant is a happy, hopping place with a menu chock-full of variety. With nearly 200 items – ranging from fajitas, burritos, seafood, nachos, chicken and just about anything under the sun – surprisingly, Sangria”s offers more than just Mexican food.

"We”re not your typical Mexican restaurant. What sets us apart is our specialties," said Jerry Herrera, owner of Sangria”s. "I wanted to open up a Mexican restaurant with other specialties from different Latin American countries."

Seafood is a specialty, and is