Last Updated on March 14, 2022 by Angie
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Tucked away off of Grandview Avenue on Mount Washington is an unassuming Sicilian restaurant we have been visiting for years- La Tavola.
This restaurant is not a high-end, modern dining experience by any stretch, but simply offers a robust menu of classics, served in monster portions, in a friendly and welcoming ambiance.
Throw on a pizza shop tucked away with a side entrance, one of the best corkage fee policies in the city (just $5 per 750ml bottle as they don't sell alcohol- so BYOW), and hearty food that makes you feel like it came from your Italian grandparents, and you can see why return again and again.
As it had been a while since our first review, we thought this one was due for an update and we revisited with friends (plus several bottles of wine) in early 2022.
La Tavola is a Classic on Mount Washington
We started our meal out with an order of fried zucchini which was comprised of six rather large, thin strips of zucchini with a light fry and served with a tomato sauce for dipping. The texture of the batter was delicate but was firm enough to be a great vehicle for the tomato sauce. If you are looking for something a bit different, the Calamari Diavolo is always a favorite that we have ordered again, and again, and again.
For entrees, I opted for the Pasta Con Frutti di Mare. As expected, this one came out with a monster portion of pasta with ample sauce. The seafood included shrimp, scallops, clams, and calamari and was, admittedly, not as much volume-wise as I normally would've expected. It was also slightly undersalted, but the flavors came together for a rich pasta that, due to its size, was a challenge to finish (I did anyway).
Angie ordered Pasta Con Melanzane complete with housemade sausage and eggplant in a tomato sauce with mascarpone. As expected from our numerous visits, this dish was sheer perfection- ample servings of both eggplant and sausage, perfectly seasoned, and the slight sweetness of the sausage added a nice complexity to the dish. The pasta shape made for getting as much sauce and toppings soaked up in the nooks with every bite which made us enjoy this dish anymore.
La Tavola is the kind of place you always want to order dessert, and we were pleased to see my favorite, Dolce Amore, still on the menu. This rich chocolate cake was topped with amaretto soaked berries that were flambeed and homemade cream. While the cake is on the denser side (be prepared), the combination of chocolate, cream, and berry is hard to pass up. In fact, when we lived on Mount we used to order this dessert as takeout without anything else- it is that good.
Angie opted for a special limoncello flute which was a sorbet topped with cream that was a light and refreshing way to finish the meal. This one has been on the “special” dessert menu almost every time we go, and much like the Dolce Amore is one we almost always order when available. It would truly be a sad night if it wasn't!
As we have been ordering both of these desserts for the better part of a decade, we were quite pleased to find them still just as good as in our very first visits.
Overall, La Tavola may not be a trendy or flashy Italian restaurant like others in the city, but they routinely deliver stellar Sicilian dishes that feel like they're made for a hearty family feast. So go to this one hungry, don't forget a few bottles of wine, and don't skip out on dessert, too!
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.
Looking for more Italian in Pittsburgh? Check out Pizzaiolo Primo in Market Square for some amazing pizza, Dish Osteria in South Side for a classic Italian experience, or Piccolo Forno in Lawrenceville!