A Tavola for 2

Ciao a tutti …

Back and it’s mangia time (eating)!!! It’s Italian Feasting time again … I have to admit that my boyfriend being Italian introduced me to a lot from the Italian cuisine … Very often we have pizza but to date we had struggled to find places in Sydney with authentic pasta – and fresh pasta! We had a fabulous recommendation to try A Tavola (Darlinghurst) when visiting Petersons Wines in the Hunter Valley.

Finalmente we made the time to try their cuisine – and especially some freshly made pasta!

On arrival as we entered the restaurant, you can’t help notice the large beautiful marble communal table with large overhanging domed copper/rose gold light fixtures. A Tavola meaning – a communal table for people. families, couples, groups to sit around to share a good meal … Note that there is also a downstairs area with smaller tables for intimate dining. The evening lighting and ambiance is resembles a very similar style of the Italian Wine Bar 121BC.

As we perused the menu, we enjoyed some freshly baked focaccia dipped in olive oil with green chilli … And the baked focaccia … WOW this really brought back memories of my childhood as my father use to buy freshly baked focaccia from a local bakery in Leichhardt – I loved eating it warm …Whilst deciding on what to order, we both enjoyed Campari & Aperol Spritz … Aperol is more for me as I find Campari to be quite a bitter punch in the face … Each to their own! A spritz is a pre-dinner drink (aperitivo) mixed with prosecco (sparkling white wine), Campari or Aperol liquor, mixed with ice & topped with a slice of blood orange.  Drinking such spritz reminds me of beautiful first date memories … Not to mention A Tavola have an extensive bar with a fabulous range of beers & wines.

The Menu Card is very straight forward listing 3 of each: spuntini (small bites), entrees, pasta dishes and salads. In addition, cast your eyes on the ‘Consigli’ blackboard showcasing their specials, usually inspired by local fresh seasonal produce.

To start the feast … We ordered Carpaccio Di Vitello and Olive All’Ascolana.
Carpaccio Di Vitello is a raw thin slice of veal served with thin zucchini slices, shaved parmesan, fried zucchini flowers and truffle mayonnaise. This dish as very light, fresh  and enjoyable – my boyfriend mentioned though that he found the mayonnaise to be a tad overpowering (but truffle is a quite a bold flavour). But for me, I really appreciated the mayonnaise creating extra depth in the overall taste of this dish.

Olive All’Ascolana is a crumbed olive – in this is case, stuffed with type of bolognese mince filling. Usually this type of dish is just crumbed olives fried so it was a nice surprise to have the mince inside!

Shared Mains: Pappardelle al Ragu & Spaghetti Alla Chitarra.

Pappardelle al Ragu … Fresh handmade pasta – need I say more?! It was cooked so perfectly well and had a very delicate melting taste in my mouth. The ragu was cooked to the point that the meat was falling into mouthwatering, soft & tender pieces. They also gave us a generous amount of fresh parmesan cheese to sprinkle all over this hearty dish & it really completes it. According to my Italian boyfriend, this is very authentic – although it’s more common to have the sauce as a mince bolognese, the beef stew is an incredible match to freshly made egg pasta.Spaghetti Alla Chitarra … Once again, freshly made spaghetti with lobster meat chunks and cherry tomatoes – this was my favourite dish of the night. My boyfriend cooks pasta for us often, so i must say that we have struggled to find an Italian restaurant that serves amazing/unique pasta (not a generic blah dish). This is apparently not very traditional to incorporate lobster in a pasta dish (usually vongele or mussels) but the combination of lobster meat (very generous chunks) with cherry tomatoes makes this for a very delicate & delightful dish.
DESSERT TIME … Nothing new when I say we ordered 2 (to try & share). I was incredibly full at this stage BUT it’s my own tradition to end a full eating experience with dessert or sweets of some sort. We decided to order:
* Campari Spritz (this was a special on the board) – which is a dessert inspired by the drink itself. This inventive dessert was a deconstructed Campari Spritz on a plate. The detailing with this dish was very clever from the Campari sorbet to the orange segments – not to mention the gorgeous presentation … A very refreshing dessert to end with – especially on a full tummy!It would be no surprise to know that I selected a chocolate type dessert – even though my jeans were literally were going to burst open haha … Cremino al Cioccolata – deceivingly looks like a cappuccino only that it’s a layered heaven dug by your own spoon. Top layer is a fluffy meringue delight whisked so perfectly … Next layer is a salted caramel mixed with amaretti biscuits … And in the depths below, a hazelnut chocolate fondant to die for!This was Italian fine-dining at it’s best and I will definitely be back to try many more of their specials and other dishes … And HANDS DOWN the best authentic Italian pasta in Sydney.
Til next post … Much food love …

A Tavola (Darlinghurst)
348 Victoria Street
Darlinghurst NSW 2010
(closed Sundays)

Jen ❤

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