When Sandro Romagnoli imported his family recipes from Italy a decade ago, he also created a restaurant that he wanted to be inviting and warm: FIGO Pasta.
But 10 years and seven locations later, not all of them fit the bill. In particular, the FIGO location at North Point didn’t have the warmth that the other restaurants did. Nor was the service up to par, Romagnoli told Patch.
“It was cold. It wasn’t welcoming. And we definitely had a noise issue,” he said.
So in May, the restaurant closed and on June 18, FIGO on North Point Parkway reopened with a new interior and a new feeling. The ceilings were lowered to reduce noise, the walls were repainted and booths were added. A new staff was also hired and trained, with some senior managers coming from other restaurants.
“It’s a totally new experience, but for me, it’s going back to the FIGO roots,” Romagnoli said. “I want Alpharetta to experience the FIGOs that people in Atlanta have experienced for the last 10 years.”
Those FIGO roots include dishes from the owner’s home of Certaldo, just outside Florence, Italy. Dishes such as the popular zucca – squash ravioli with mascarpone cheese and radicchio. Or checca – eggplant, mozzarella, tomatoes and basil.
And a unique twist on eggplant parmagiana is Edia eggplant, named after the owner’s mother. At 84 years old, she came to Atlanta a few years ago and taught the chefs how to make it, Romagnoli said. “Though she has no restaurant experience, she always finds ways to give me tips that work out,” he said.
Another family recipe is wild boar sauce, or cinghiale, over pasta – a dish served by both his sister and uncle, Romagnoli said.
Everything is made from scratch, Romagnoli says, and customers pick a pasta and sauce, resulting in 600 possible combinations. And while the menu hasn’t changed, you can now get a different gluten-free pasta each month.
In Italian, FIGO means something that is outstanding or much-loved. And in the few days the Northpoint location has been open again, Romagnoli is already getting positive feedback.
“People are saying, ‘Wow, it doesn’t even feel like the same restaurant,’ ” he said.
The community is invited to celebrate the grand reopening of FIGO at North Point on Monday, June 25. While tickets are sold out for the Eat for Free night, guests are still eligible to win tickets to concerts at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre.
FIGO Pasta North Point is located at 5950 North Point Parkway and can be reached at (770) 569-1007.