Sunday, February 15, 2009
We love Taverna, a local Italian eatery a couple of streets off of Knox-Henderson. The prices are great and so is the food! I generally love their pizzas, butternut squash gnocchi with crispy sage and their Paglia e Fieno, a Green and White pasta tossed with Chicken, Truffle Oil (YUM) & Cream Sauce. That last one can be heavy, so expect left overs!
The restaurant has a very open layout, but lends itself to romance and coziness via draping, lighting and well placed tables. It just feels right...gentlemen if you're looking for a laid back yet romantic date spot, you'll find both in this cozy locale. The outdoor seating on their patio remains open year around. In the winter, the patio is enclosed and heaters are installed which do a more than ample job. In the summer, the patio lends you to believe you're in a small town neighborhood sitting on a front porch, enjoying a slower pace of life.
We have generally had good service and always felt very welcome. They are also great with reservations...our table is always ready when we arrive, which is a refreshing change from another restaurant that we visited recently that will be blogged about soon. We went this weekend for Valentine's day with a reservation (thank goodness as the wait looked pretty horrible! I definitely felt bad for the guys that took dates their without reservations) and ate some seriously delicious food! Of course our table was ready when we arrived, but it was on the patio, which at times, could be a little chilly and busy. Maybe we should have specified inside? Our table was on the corner of the patio that you walked by to get into the restaurant...good for people watching, bad for not getting bang into by purses, etc. Our waiter seemed slightly perplexed and very slow, but honestly, that was the first time we'd had any issue.
No matter the event this restaurant always pulls through. In all seriousness, if you want a classy restaurant but don't want to drop $100, this is your place. Sure, as was pointed out by some friends the other day, you can spend $40 on a bottle of wine there...but you can do that anywhere, it doesn't mean you ACTUALLY do it, does it!? If you go in knowing you are there for good food, a glass of wine or two, and a great atmosphere...you can't go wrong. Parking is awful, however, so make note of the side street parking and places other than the small lot on site.
The Valentine's Day menu is what attracted us this weekend and it did not disappoint! We started with the lump crab cakes ($11.95) that were spectacular! It really was big chunks of crab, which I like better than the pureed/battered ones, in a yumo orange sauce with spinach. J even liked the spinach which is something, believe me! Then I had the butternut squash risotto with scallops ($23.95), and J had the heart-shaped veal and lobster ravioli ($21.50)...how romantic...i know! Now normally those prices are a little high for us, but it was valentines day after all! Their normal stuff is cheaper (e.g. pizzas are $10).
We rate Taverna a 4.5 out of 5 for food and a 4 out of 5 for twenty somethings.
- Polpettine Pizza $12 (Meatballs & Provolone Cheese)
- Great wine by the glass list
- Fun, albeit small, bar area
- Romantic setting...ooo lah lah!