Today, Italian restaurants seem to be a dime a dozen, and finding a truly good one is a rarity. But in my latest fare quest I seem to have stumbled upon just that - a good Italian restaurant. Sylvia's, in Milledgeville, is a mix of traditional and edgy by serving classic Italian dishes but also offering newer amenities like brews from Sweetwater Brewery out of Atlanta.
The dcor is also what I find traditional. With dark woods, an iron fence around the porch and bottles of wine to gaze at, Sylvia's offers you the sophistication that Italians know best.
Going along with this old meets new theme, the menu has something to brag about. Offering a variety of dishes, your dinner has an array of possibilities. They offer everything from pasta to calzones. Sylvia's has a section for pizzas on the menu. You can even make your own pizza by adding toppings. The menu also offers house specialties, which are meat-based dishes, such as chicken Marsala, prime rib and Jacksonville scallops.
For all of the pasta specialties dishes, you have your choice between angel hair, penne, spaghetti or fettuccine noodles. The variety of sauces is amazing. From the classic marinara sauce to Alfredo to a spicy Creole sauce, the mix never ends.
Sylvia's has a few signature salads. They also have what they call a rocket lunch menu, which is supposed to be extremely quick, and wraps and sandwiches.
One thing that disappointed me was the appetizers section. They have a great selection. However, they do not have a Caprese dish. I see this dish as utterly Italian and I think the restaurant is missing out by not having this dish. Some appetizers they do offer however are bruschetta, calamari, steamed mussels and even fried green tomatoes.
During the numerous times eating at Sylvia's I ordered many things. I started with crab bites, which are two large crab cakes. The bites had a decent amount of crab in them and were paired with a sauce to die for. The Buffalo shrimp were also satisfying. The large shrimp were slightly spicy with a burst of flavor.
For dinner I had the Italian meatball sandwich. I was disappointed with this dish. It was a very small portion and the meatballs were anything but moist and juicy. However, I must say that the pasta classico makesup for the previous food-flop. It was sweet and salty at the same time. The rustic pasta was flavorful, yet too buttery. The Savannah basil shrimp was a favorite of mine. Large shrimp and chunks of tomato and mozzarella make this dish what it is - great.
The chicken Marsala was also impressive to me. The sauce was sweet with a hint of mushrooms. However, my side of roasted red skins was not all the way cooked through - something that is important, yet can be forgiven.
All together, the meals I had were impressive. The service was kind and the majority of the food made well. What would have impressed me more was if they would have had a selection of specialty coffees like espressos and lattes. But with what they have, Sylvia's is making it happen in Milledgeville - Italian style.
2600 D6 N. Columbia St., Milledgeville
Phone: (478) 452-4444
Hours: 11 a.m.- 9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday
Reservation: Taken but not required
Noise level: Low to moderate
Children's menu: Yes
Handicapped accessible: Yes
Vegetarian selection: Yes
Latest health rating: 91