Having been to Italy, I can definitely say that La Tavola magically transports you there. The restaurant takes you to a place where meals are not to be rushed or eaten while staring at the glow of your phone, but rather in the company of good friends and family with enriching conversations.
This is not the place to come if you are in a hurry.
It is, however, an amazing place to come with a large group, a bottle of wine or two (La Tavola is BYOB), and settle in over an evening to enjoy an amazing meal. The pace of every meal I've ever had there has been perfect – if you're an anxious person you might think it's “slow,” but I urge you to give it a try. It really does feel like you're in Italy.
You Can't Go Wrong With Anything at La Tavola
Over the years we've tried most of the menu at La Tavola, and recommend starting your meal off with the Calamari Diavolo. It's not the most tender calamari I've ever had, but it's lightly fried to perfection and bathed in a delicious tomato sauce that's spicy and creamy.
For the main course, you should get the scallops if they have them. They won't always tell you if they have them so it pays to ask. These are without a doubt the best scallops I have ever had and are perfectly cooked every time we've had them.
Bathed in a garlic white wine sauce, or sometimes even a fruit sauce, the scallops seriously melt in your mouth. They are so good that we once went to dinner with a group of seven people and six of us got scallops. I was the odd ball out because I got my second favorite menu item after the scallops: tortellini with crab and shrimp.
These babies are covered in a tomato sauce that's got a perfect balance of spiciness and creaminess and are loaded up with the seafood.
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To die for!
Now Lets Talk About Dessert
And if this doesn't have you drooling yet, wait til you hear about the desserts. The tiramisu and cannoli are perfect iterations like you'd expect to find in Italy, as is the limoncello custard that is sometimes a special on the menu. But we think the real star is the dessert called Dolce Amore.
With a name like that you have to order it.
This tender chocolate cake is topped with a heaping mound of all kinds of berries that have been soaked in amaretto, plus a giant dollop of whipped cream. Its hard to get a flattering photo, but take our word for it- once you try this cake, you will never be the same.
The cake is so good that we have been known to order it for takeout from La Tavola's not-so-secret takeaway room located on the side of the restaurant. The takeout service also has wood fired pizzas, but trust me: what you'll really want to order from the takeout place is the cake. THE CAKE.
La Tavola is located at 1 Boggs Avenue on Mount Washington. Be sure to make reservations, allocate 2-3 hours for dinner, and bring your own wine as La Tavola is BYOB with a corkage fee.