Saturday, November 27, 2010

Tavola - Charlottesville

This past summer my husband and I had the pleasure to spend 11 days in central Italy. Needless to say we ate more pasta, truffles and pecorino and drank more wine than I thought possible. Enter my renewed love for pasta. So of course we've both been reluctant yet excited to try an Italian restaurant. Enter Tavola. I decided that the night before Thanksgiving was the perfect night to finally try one from Charlottesville's Italian scene.

We headed to Tavola at 6pm and thought surely we'd be ahead of the rush. They don't take reservations and I had been warned they fill up quick. Well that was certainly true. There are only about 10 tables and about 6 more seats along the bar. Unfortuantely 6pm wasn't early enough to get a table straight away, but we did get one relatively quick.

Having spent a week in Umbria, I decided the table needed a bottle of Umbrian wine so I opted for the Col Santo Rosso (Sagrantino-Sangiovese blend) and it was excellent, especially at a mere $33/bottle. Everyone else agreed too. Considering it's $21/bottle at Market Street wine shop, that's not a bad buy at all.

After getting our wine, we decided to all get soup or salad to start which was great, except for the teaser "salad of the day" which was sold out by the time we ordered (circa 6:30pm). I still went for a salad but did one off the menu instead. The salad was a great start of things to come.

For entrees we all went for something different. I chose the red beet and leek risotto with sea scallops. It was excellent and perfectly cooked, plus a beautiful color (see picture at right). My husband went for a classic carbonara and it was delicious while not quite as heavy as I have traditionally prepared it. Others at the table had the pork saltimboca special of the day and the garganelli alla zucca (butternut squash, kale, cream and garganelli pasta). Overall everyone was quite happy with the meal (though we all agreed the garganelli was the least favorite), and I was happy to have a real Italian dinner.

In short I look forward to a return visit and to trying more of the pasta and wine at Tavola!

Tavola on Urbanspoon

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