Seattle >Food & Dining > Tavolata
2323 Second Ave, Seattle, WA | Directions 9812147.614424 -122.346690
Neighborhoods: Downtown, Belltown
There isn't a bad time to visit this lively and stylish Belltown room but don't miss the monthly family style Sunday Feast when multi-course meals featuring duck to lobster served at the communal table set you back just 60 bucks. The nightly happy hour 5:00 - 7:00 p.m. is also a wise time to pop into the sleek bar up front.
Ethan Stowell's super fine space in Belltown is pasta central. Settle in and study the sophisticated, seasonally focused menu while sipping a glass of something Italian. It's fun to share a few plates family-style, especially if you throw the excellent Tuscan-style steak in the mix. Monthly Sunday Suppers are served around the great, gorgeous table that centers the dining room.
Geat Food, Great Service – I had such an amazing experience. My well informed server, Sasha, was lovely and gracious. The meal was amazing, the ravioli was so incredible that I have told everyone I know about it. The atmosphere, the food , the wine and the service made my evening one that I will not soon forget. I hope that anyone reading this goes immediately.
Amazing Food – This place is always "on." It's located in the heart of Belltown and makes for an ideal dinner locale before a night out. I often dine at the bar and get exceptional service from their very friendly bartenders every time. It's also fun to chat with the owner, Patrick who is willing to accomodate our special menu requests. It's definitely one of the "It" restaurants and located in a high foot traffic area of the city. Knowing that Seattle folk find waiting more than 10 minutes for service unacceptable, this place tries really hard to meet the demands of their customers. Most importantly, the kitchen staff consistently maintains the integrity of the preparation and presentation their menu requires. I had one of the best steaks I've ever had and it was cooked to perfection and made our palletes scream. The beet salad is my favorite to date and the wine list delivers every time, too. I love it here!
Very good food, unacceptable attititude from server – The space is great. Minimal, sophisticated. You feel like you're in an "It" spot. The food was quite good. Nothing spectacular but very good. The hostess was very nice. So why the low rating? The service. Here "attitude" is the word. We got our bill at 8:02. It's printed on the check. Finally we were able to flag our server down at 8:55--for whatever reason we had been placed on her "you are dead to me" list. When we did get her attention she swept by, picking up the check and our two credit cards. No conversation, not a word, not even the customary, "split it?" She was back shortly, dropped off the receipts and was off. Not a word. No eye contact. No thanks. Nothing. Amazing. I honestly cannot remember the last time I tipped under 15% let alone a min of 20%. I tipped $3 in the hope of sending a message. A word to patrons and the owner, might want to avoid Sasha's section. There's too many great restaurants in our city these days to put up with this.
On the money – My husband and I were there with another couple on a Saturday night. The host quoted us a wait of 45 minutes and we were sat in 30, after having a drink at the (busy) bar. If a restaurant is turning people away, it is probably because they are busy enough to not be worried about going out of business. As it happened, we were ready for a loud, trendy, busy atmosphere and that is exactly what we got, and what other people should expect in Belltown on a weekend night. Our server, Teresa, was very professional and knowledgable about both the wine and the food, and she helped us pick out exactly what WE were looking for (not just her favorites), and knew the right moments to be present (or absent) from our table. The butternut squash agnolotti and the T-bone were our top picks. Our only dissapointment was the white bean bruschetta, which seemed a little pricey for what you got. If you are looking for authenic Italian this is not it- there is a healthy dose of America thrown in- but it's also not the Spaghetti Factory. Also, they stay open until 1 am, which means the next time I'm hankering for a bowl of pasta late at night, you will find me in Belltown...
It's all hype! – We went to Tavolata for dinner on a Friday night. For the genre of restaurant and the price charged, the service was awful and the food was absolutely mediocre. Overall, we thought the waitress was amateurish in the service industry, has absolutely very little knowledge of the food she was trying to sell and the food itself was not all that was raved about. It is not worth it. I would not go back.
Terrible Customer Service – Was really looking forward to trying this restaurant last night! But, after waiting for an hour and a half for a table (party of 4), and watching friends of the chef be seated when we should have been.....we questioned both the hostess and the chef. The hostess only offered to seat us when the next opening was available and the chef essentially invited us to leave for questioning their customer service. Sooo....we did! The most amazing thing is we ended up at Restaurant Zoe, and were seated and eating within 25 minutes! Delicious!! We mentioned that we had been somewhere else waiting a long time, and two people (unprompted) both said "You must have been at Tavolata". So it must be a regular occurrence.
The chef must be pretty confident about his ability to stay in business that he can regularly turn people away! I say go some place else that actually respects and values the customer! (like Zoe)
Don't believe the hype – Tavolata is the perfect example of the "buzz" and "hype" overshadowing the truth. Tavolata is highly overrated and almost every aspect of the meal was dissapointing. Both cocktails were sour. The mozzerella appetizer had lovely prosciutto, yet the actual mozzerella ball was dry as a bone. The garden salad was drenched in what seemed like Four Monks red vinegar dressing. The fettucine was fairly pleasant - I expected the much-vaunted "home-made" pasta to be better than it was - there is a fine line between al dente and undercooked. The bacon, egg, and onion sauce on the fettucine was good. This was after we were wrongly delivered a seafood linguine. The highly anticipated and positively reviewed TBONE steak was our main course. Ours was ... so dry it was hard to believe. The juices were nowhere to be found. While it was flavorful and seemingly medium-rare...it was dry and chewy.
Ultimately we both left with the same conclusion - Pasta Bella would have been twice as good and half the price.
NOT Recommended :( – I went there after some friends raved about it. I'm a huge fan of pasta & authentic Italian food, (NOT olive garden! Good Italian!), so I was excited to hear they make their own pasta. I was pretty dissapointed though as the meal wore on. EVERYTHING was overly salted to the point that salt was the only thing you could taste in almost every single dish. I went with my boyfriend & another couple & we ordered family style. No one was satifsfied at the end of the meal & the bill was ridicuous. I'm fine with paying more than average prices for a great meal but this place is not worth it. The pasta was bland & just salted to death. We ordered fish & the only thing oustanding about the dried out fried fish was the price of the dish & the salt content. I wouldn't recommend this place at all. The only thing I liked was the ambiance & the bread.
Consistently perfect! – You will get great service, with everyone from hostess to bartender to server being EXTREMELY knowledgable about the food and wine list. It is not only a comfortable and attractive place to bring friends or family or date or EVERYONE (see center gathering table!), but every bite makes you want more. Stuff yourself people! It is more than worth it. Menu is imaginative and fresh and priced well. I can't say enough about how impressive it is. You can lounge for hours or just take in the relaxed atmosphere for a small bite. Either way...you'll be back!
Not for delicate flowers – Tavolata is not for the faint of heart. Others might be turned off by the soaring conversations and if a hostess wasn't at the door the exact moment the guest arrived but isn't it about more than that? Tavolata is not about pretentions. I have dined at Tavolata many times now and overall it's a feeling and a taste. It is the revolution on the idea of the modern restaurant and frankly, some don't get it. Yes, the Tbone is perfection, yes, the bucatini is truly al dente, and yes, the veal cheeks are the best appetizer I've ever eaten (4 times). If you go, you must try the octopus salad, share the lamb strozzapretti and gorge on the pork chop over fiddle head ferns. Yes, you may have to wait for a table. Yes, your dinner may run long and no, the cooks are not afraid of a little cheese (grated extremely finely often looks like more than it is). When it comes down to it, Tavolata is a great restaurant for those with great attitude and a willingness to try something new.
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