#sEATtle- Tavolata

October 30, 2015

I like to eat. A lot. Food is bae. So I figured I would post little reviews of the places I go, to give you a little insight and maybe some ideas on where you might want to nom with your friends or special someones. Plus it gives me an excuse to pig out on Seattle's best eats and not feel bad about it, because work! Before we start though, I want to make one thing perfectly clear, I am NOT a professional food nerd, nor do I want to be. I dont know the intricacies of French cooking. Heck, I dont even know how to spell "intricacies." It also means that if you ask me what the best burger is, I'll probably say Lil Woody's before I suggest any kind of "gourmet" burger, unless that gourmet burger has an egg on it. Then gourmet burger wins (any burger with an egg on it wins really.) Also, my idea of a fancy pizza is anything with more than 2 toppings. Basically what I'm getting at is consider these restaurant reviews for the comman man/woman. Got it? Good, let's roll!!!

RESTAURANT - Tavolata
ADDRESS - 2323 Second Avenue 
WEBSITE - http://www.ethanstowellrestaurants.com/locations/tavolata/

 

I mean, Ethan Stowell can do no wrong, amirite?  Red Cow, Anchovies and Olives, you name it, they're delicious!  Well I'm here to tell you that my favorite ES restaurant remains Tavolata.  Here's why-

 

APPS

Salumi board- Essential to every dining experience at an Italian restaurant.  Speck, mortadella, spicy coppa, and Prosciutto di Parma. 2 things: 1- Prosciutto di Parma is the king of cured meats, and should ALWAYS be a part of a proper salumi/antipasti plate.  2- Accept no substitutes.  The "di Parma" part is essential. That means the meat was imported straight from Parma, Italy, the Mecca of cured meats. 

Burrata- I refer to burrata as fancy mozzarella, because that's basically what it is.  Actually, what it is is delicious!  Its kind of the "it" cheese of the moment (the Ariana Grande of queso, if you will) so I'm sure you've seen it on a ton of menus around Seattle.  I have yet to have better than Tavolata's, however. 

MAIN COURSE-

Spaghetti- When it comes to trying a new Italian restaurant, I offer this piece of advice- a ristorante is only as good as its spaghetti, so you should always order it the first time you go.  If they can't do that right, there's no way their gnocchi or lasagna is going to be worth a damn. I promise you. Having been to Tavolata over a dozen times, I've graduated from the "regular" spaghetti, to this dreamy plate pictured above. Garlic, chili, and anchovy smother freshly made pasta while a mountain of cheese rests on top, like a roof on a house of yum.  A warning, this dish is SERIOUS.  Garlic and anchovy aren't necessarily everyone's cup of tea, but fear not fellow food nerd, they aren't heavy handed with the sauce, so while it is bold, it never overpowers.  Not saying you don't need a tic tac after, just saying you won't be able to light candles without the use of a flame post dinner. I've had pretty much everything off the menu, and this is absolutely my favorite dish, but if its not your thing, I also highly recommend the gnocchi alla Romana (they're the size of hockey pucks!) and the rigatoni.

DESSERT

Zeppole and pumpkin creme brule- I'm not much of a dessert guy honestly, but its pumpkin season and I'm basic AF so I had to try their pumpkin creme brule.  I wasn't disappointed.  The zeppole was good as well, but there was a hint of orange in the chocolate dipping sauce that didn't agree with my palate. 

 

Italian food is comfort food for me.  Growing up in a big Italian family, a giant heaping bowl of mostaccioli makes me nearly as full as it makes me homesick.  Also, because of having an amazing nona cooking me the best Italian dishes this side of the Mediterranean Sea, I am SUPER picky when it comes to pasta. I'm happy to say that Tavolata passes the test with flying colors.  Their fresh pasta is second to none, and special kudos for understanding the importance of proper noodle to sauce ratio, oversaucing being a sin too often committed in restuarants all across the USA.  Ethan Stowell knows what he's doing.  Always.

On a scale of 1-5 "mama mia!"s Tavolata gets 5 mama mia's!!!!

FINAL VERDICT- #ManleyApproved