Natalia’s remains Macon’s elite Italian restaurant

pramati@macon.comMay 24, 2013 

When actor Harrison Ford’s first stop last year in Macon was Natalia’s, I figured it was for one of two reasons:

Either the restaurant’s reputation precedes itself, or someone wanted to make sure Ford got the best first impression of Macon possible.

Either way, Natalia’s is certainly among the midstate’s finest dining establishments, if not the finest, and my recent trip there didn’t disappoint.

The Natalia’s experience starts before you even walk through the front door, as the aroma of something wonderful hits you while still in the parking lot. You are greeted by Italian-style architecture and design, giving the restaurant the right kind of ambiance that complements its cuisine.

The staff at the restaurant also is first-rate and helpful, increasing the pleasure of the dining experience that much more.

Because I can’t eat shellfish or pork, it did limit a few of the menu items for me, but there is a good variety of meat, chicken, pasta and seafood dishes available.

I chose the duck breast medallions appetizer that was about as close to perfection as my taste buds have experienced, followed by a lamb entree that was terrific. Both items were among that night’s specials and not listed on the regular menu, but I hope the restaurant makes them permanent, especially the duck.

The duck came with a dried fruit sauce, while the lamb was served medium-well in an onion sauce with vegetables on the side.

For a second opinion, The Telegraph’s Jonathan Heeter tagged along. Here are his thoughts on his meal:

“I started with a house salad that was better and larger than most house salads you’ll get. The house dressing was solid. I ordered a medium-cooked filet mignon. The steak was great, as was the peppercorn sauce served with it. The steak came presented on a tasty bed of potatoes along with asparagus. You’d be hard-pressed to find another steak its equal in Macon, although it did come with a $44 price tag.”

Our meals were filling enough so that neither of us ordered dessert, but I can’t say I wasn’t sorely tempted to try most of the offerings.

The only downside to Natalia’s, such as it is, is the price -- you get what you pay for, and Natalia’s is certainly a premium destination. If you’re paid as little as a newspaper reporter, for example, you’re probably only going to get to visit Natalia’s once or twice a year, and then on special occasions.

Still, when you go, it’s absolutely worth it.

Natalia’s

Address: 201 North Macon St.

Phone: (478) 741-1380

Hours: 5-9:30 p.m. Mondays-Wednesdays, 5-10:30 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays

Payment: Cash, credit

Smoking: Outdoors only

Alcohol: Yes

Kids Menu: No

Noise Level: Quiet

Health Rating: 100

Price range: $8-$34

Rating: 4

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