December 16, 2011

A Tavola

My first review but third trip to A Tavola...4th if you count the time I tried to go for lunch, 5th if you count the time I was too hungry for the hour and a half wait.  We had a 1/2 hour wait and the space has limited standing room so we walked across the street for a drink at Lackman.  I already knew what I was going to order but I wanted something green before my meal.  I smartly chose the grilled asparagus salad. 
The bed of soft lettuce was served at room temperature and lightly, almost unnoticably (in a good way) coated in a lemon vinaigrette and seemed, dare I say, fluffy?  The salty, crunchy prosciutto paired well with the mild flavor of the dressing, the nuttiness of the pine nuts and the crunch of the asparagus.  It was like everything in this salad was meant to be served together.    
This is where I declare my love for the beef meatballs.  They're made with Wagyu beef (high quality, enhanced flavor, tender, mostly unsaturated fat, etc), served in a bowl of tomato sauce and topped with the salsa verde, goat cheese if you prefer and 3 slices of blue oven bread.  Originally I thought the green sauce was some type of pesto but it's a salsa verde and adds a touch of spice to this dish.  If you order the meatballs and you're not a fan of soggy bread remove the 3 pieces of bread immediately after you receive the dish.  I prefer to let the bread sit and by the time I get to the last piece the bottom edge is completely soaked in sauce and I love the mushy goodness.   If my face was smaller or the bowl was bigger I would have licked up every drop of sauce.
My friend went non-original with a pepperoni pizza.  I stole a corner and the dough was chewy and not over-sauced with nice crispy peices of pepp.  I generally prefer alternative sauces on pizza or a simple olive oil and garlic.  On my first visit I loved the radicchio, house bacon and caramelized onion pizza with fontina and a balsamic reduction. 

The only complaint was that my salad and meatballs came out at the same time and about 15 minutes before my friend's pizza.  By the time I got to the meatballs they had cooled down a bit.  
 Lately, when people ask me to recommend a restaurant A Tavola is the first place I mention, and not just because of the food, it's the contact high you get from the energy running through this place. 

A Tavola on Urbanspoon

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