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This post has been a long time coming. (Really, any post has been a long time coming. It’s been a while.)
I went to Tavola with Liam in November (November!) for our anniversary. I had been wanting to go for ages, and our anniversary was the perfect excuse to get down there.
Let me tell you – I was not disappointed! The wait was certainly worth it.
I will admit that I’m not super hip, (hence the nickname Nan) and so terms like “tapas bar” and “sharing plates” were a bit intimidating to me. Truth be told, if you asked me now, I’d still just stammer a bit and reply “Food?”
So I wasn’t really sure what to expect. But our waitress had a wealth of knowledge and answered all of my million questions with a smile. With her thoughts and advice, we had an absolutely beautiful meal.
Warm Marinated Olives
This was our appetizer/”tapas” order. (For the record, this is what tapas is, apparently.) The olives practically melt in your mouth. The marinade tasted well balanced and very flavourful. Olives can have a strong taste, but these warm olives were more savory than tart.
The Italian in me couldn’t pass up a beautiful dish like gnocchi! This is one of their sharing dishes, and it comes in two sizes. I got the larger size, which you can see in the picture. If you do any reading online about Tavola, you will find that the gnocchi is hands down their most popular dish, and it’s not hard to see why. The cooks deep-fry the gnocchi, giving it a toasted texture – a little bit of crunch, yet light and airy. The freshly shaved parmesan gives it a light sharpness. The soft squash and the saltiness of the bacon compliment the gnocchi very well.
This dish is definitely a must-try for pretty much everybody.
Daily Pasta Special
Liam decided to try their pasta special of the day, which they make fresh daily. (Though I believe that’s the case for pretty much everything on their menu.) He had a large, delicious meal of linguine with tender dark meat chicken, bacon, and organic vegetables. in a cream sauce. The vegetable mix mainly contained red onion and cabbage, cooked (as Liam described) al dente. They cooked the fresh-made pasta impeccably, and the sauce perfectly complemented it. And that sprinkle of parsley was the icing on the cake, as it were.
Here is my thought process once our waitress laid the chocolate board in front of us: “I’ve died and gone to heaven. This is what heaven is.” The board had a mix of white and dark chocolate bark, whipped cream, strawberries and blackberries, and truffles. They even made one of the truffles into the shape of a heart for our anniversary! We really appreciated that little touch. The truffles just melted in your mouth, and the bark was so perfectly salted I could have cried. (I like chocolate, is what I’m saying.)
We each ordered a cocktail with our meals, and we loved them!
I really enjoyed this cocktail! It didn’t taste too strongly of alcohol, but it wasn’t overwhelmingly sweet, as drinks like this often tend to be. It predominantly tasted of pineapple. And you can’t forget that cherry on top!
So, I didn’t get a picture of this one. But Liam was thrilled with it. Gin and Tonic is like, his drink. He’s kind of pretentious about it, but in an adorable way. You know. And he also loves tea. Like, so much. So this drink was essentially crafted with him in mind. He described it as comfortably dry, with just enough green tea to complement the typical gin & tonic + lime flavour. The mix was perfect, and he loved it.
Overall, we had a wonderful experience at Tavola. The decor was warm, inviting, and stylish. The music was pleasant and not too loud. Best of all, the waitstaff was wonderful. Our waitress was very helpful and a great laugh. We had a fantastic time and can’t wait to go back.
… I only have one small bone to pick. The name Tavola comes from the Italian word for table. The staff says that you pronounce it as “ta-VOH-la,” and since it’s their restaurant, then I guess that’s the restaurant’s name. But as an Italian speaker, I know the proper pronunciation of tavola is “TAH-vo-la.” So every time I hear the other pronunciation, it makes me cringe just a little.
But their gnocchi is so good, I can forgive them.