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Foodies and wine enthusiasts will enjoy high quality ingredients from local farms, house made mozzarella, unique wines and friendly service, creating a modern, rustic experience. Authentic Italian Cuisine is what we’re all about ~ Chef Mattson

I love fairy tales and happy endings. I despise heartbreak endings thrown into a great book or movie just to give the plot an unexpected twist. I boycotted one of my favorite authors for almost seven years for that very reason. How dare he put one of my most beloved heroines through so much heartbreak and heartache only to immediately kill her character in the sequel? She was so used.

My point is, give me a great story and most importantly, give me a happy ending.

Plots, twists, turns and transformations aren’t only found in romance novels and chick flicks, but they abound in daily life. I always say life is stranger than fiction.

In much the same way as I love a great story with a wonderfully fantastic plot, I am equally enamored when beautiful things happen in real life. I adore when amazing things happen to the right people, in the right place, at just the right time…the way Chef Jon Mattson found Zola.

The Wine


The Castelfeder Winery was founded in 1970 by Alfons Giovanett, who had attended the renowned wine school in San Michele all’Adige. The small private winery originally lay in the center of Neumarkt/Egna in the south of Alto Adige and processed mainly red grapes of the Lagrein, Pinot Noir and Schiava varieties. In 1989 the founder’s son, Günther Giovanett, took over the management of the winery and at the same time, relocated the operations to the small village of Kurtinig/Cortina in the very south of Alto Adige.

Zola has a truly amazing wine selection. Their display is like a 3D wine list. I really enjoyed being able to look at the bottles, pick out the ones I’ve tasted and decide on some new ones that caught my attention.

Zola hosts frequent wine tastings and events with various wineries and sommeliers around the world. Interestingly, Chef Mattson is a Level I Sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers. This night brought “Love the Wine You’re With”, a wine tasting with Ines Giovanett of Castelfeder Winery.

Located in Cortina, in the south of the Alto Adige region in Northeast Italy, this winery does everything well. It’s a true delight to hear Ines speak of the winery, her family and their spectacular wines. For more information, visit www.castelfeder.it.

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The Food


Having been familiar with the menu at Zola’s before being streamlined by Chef Mattson, I was beyond impressed at the attention to detail, creativity and fabulous dishes now on the menu.

Special dishes and courses were offered for the wine tasting, each more fabulous than the last. There were beautiful, colorful dishes akin to ratatouille; the freshest seafood dishes piled with tender mussels, shrimp and flavorful herbs; and one of the most amazing pizzas I’ve had in Georgia. The crust ya’ll. Whatever Chef Mattson does to that crust is magic.


And then there was this.

I pride myself on the fact that I have won blue ribbons on every single cheesecake I have ever entered into a competition. Every. Single. One. I would gladly take second place next to this one. The texture was creamy, yet appeared cake-like. Both the level of sweetness and density was spot-on for a divinely perfect cheesecake. This is the real deal and you will not find a better cheesecake in all of Georgia.

In fact, I challenge you. Meet some friends for dinner at Zola, have the cheesecake if it’s available, then send me a message if you think you have one that can beat it. I guarantee there are none that will hold a candle to this one.


The Story


Chef Mattson is a visionary whose talents expand far beyond the kitchen. He has successfully owned and managed four Italian restaurants in the Atlanta area before acquiring Zola.

“Zola had a good feel so I purchased the restaurant in 2014,” said Chef Mattson. “We completely revamped the menu to focus more on local ingredients, cheeses made in house and a unique wine list.”

Zola’s menu revival includes traditional Italian specialties such as Calamari, Antipasto and Bruschetta, and expertly marries them with an array of delicacies such as Burrata with Truffle Honey and a Tartufaio pizze highlighting black truffle sauce, house-made mozzarella, cremini mushrooms and Italian Parsley. Entrees offer the classic Italian pastas in addition to an arcadian Osso Bucco, and Corvina Mediterraneo crafted with fresh corvina topped with artichokes, black olives, capers, roasted red peppers, cherry tomatoes over pasta in a white wine lemon butter sauce.

Chef Mattson enlisted the aid of wife Jennifer to create a new ambiance and rustic feel. Together, they have brought Zola through a incredibly wonderful renaissance.


Chef, it was our privilege to experience your Zola. The menu and dishes were beyond fresh, imaginative and creative, and the restaurant has a warm welcoming vibe. There couldn’t have been a better Chef to pour some love into this restaurant. I love happy endings and this is definitely one of the best.


For More Information on Zola

Open 7 days • 5-10 pm

Off Highway 9 and Bethany Bend
Publix Shopping Center next to Starbucks

2 miles north of Windward Parkway &
2 miles south of McFarland Parkway


Post Signature

*A special thank you to Chef Mattson and the amazing staff at Zola. Although dinner was complimentary, all ideas, comments, thoughts, swooning and drooling are completely my own.