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.
Where Local Chefs Eat On Their Night Off – Belying Belltown’s meathead stereotype, this is where food-obsessed locals hang out late night and chefs eat on their night off. Sit at the long, industrial bar or cozy up to the open air front window with a glass of wine from the 100% Italian list. Chef/owner Ethan Stowell’s (Food & Wine Best New Chef 2008 and owner of sibling restaurants How to Cook a Wolf and Union) melt-in-your-mouth beef carpaccio is a requisite prelude to his delicate, handmade pastas. (He grinds his own wheat for the pasta.) Always bustling, expect to find yourself in down-to-earth company at Tavolàta dishing on one of Seattleite’s favorite topics – its flourishing food scene.
Disappointment Extraordinaire. – I was so disappointed by this restaurant. I had read their website online and was actually excited to go and eat here. But once I arrived, I was definitely let down. My friend and I have traveled all over the US and eaten at great restaurants, but this place really just made the whole day horrible for us.
The waitstaff was okay. The host that seated us was nice, but poorly informed as to what the best martini bar in town was, the busboy was really sweet and attended to us whenever we needed anything. Which might have made up for the fact that our waitress was bordering on rude to us and the food was not only inconsistent, it was inedible for me. The only thing that was good, was the salad that they didn't have to actually cook. And luckily my friend and I shared that because when we both got our main dishes out (That were quite pricey mind you), we were actually thinking of asking for a magnifying glass because for twenty plus dollars they gave my friend a plate of scallops that weren't even sea scallops, they were tiny, and she got three of them and a little hill of vegetables that you would give a baby to maw on when they can't chew. She says it tasted okay, but I think she was just hungry.
I ended up getting a bowl of pasta that was undercooked, which surprised me because the mussels in the pasta were so chewy my jaw got a work out just trying to eat a couple. Someone in the kitchen seemed to think that pasta need vinegar on it, and the smell of vinegar was so overpowering I didn't even taste anything else, I did hear the chewiness of the mussels and the crunchiness of the pasta because it wasn't cooked however. The meal was disgusting. Not even disappointing, it was disgusting quite frankly. They should close up shop, learn some customer service, where everything around them is and how to cook, because it is an atrocity that they are allowed to stay open.
I wouldn't go back to this restaurant if someone paid me money to do so.
Don't waste your time or money! – The last three times have disappointed - and I can now say we are done with Tavolata. Our server had a horrible attitude, and couldn't have mastered the art of arrogance and disinterest any better if she tried (i think her name started with an S, not sure though). The Gnocchi was awful - I mean worse than Stauffers. Hockey Pucks in a dish with layers and layers of cheese. Looks like E. Stowell has been too focused on his empire while this place falls by the wayside. Bad food and bad service. Again - don't waste your evening out on this this place.
So delicious I had heartburn. – Once again, I have heartburn from eating here because it was so good that I cleaned my entire plate. The food is always ON, the drinks are great and I have always had good service! Love Tavolata!
What happened to the good service and food?? – Let me say, as someone who lives in Belltown, I used to adore Tavolata for it's casually sophisticated decor, prompt service and reasonable prices. It used to be the hidden gem in belltown where locals can eat authentic homemade pasta in a chic, modern atmosphere. But I fear, as this place has become a faint shadow of it's former self... About a week ago, I took a friend to Tavolata on a Thursday night around 8pm. Despite the restaurant only being half empty, we were told it would take 45 minutes to get seated, so we decided to have drinks at the bar. After 15 minutes, we decided to order some olives to snack on while we sat on the bar. The olives didn't arrive until 30 minutes later. Olives. How hard it is to scoop olives from a jar?? Once we finally got seated, we had to instruct our waiter to bring us basic dining essentials like silverware, water, bread and napkins. On each of these requests, he forgot so we had to flag him down again, where he would apologize and forget again. Finally when we got all the before mentioned items, we had to wait an additional hour for our food to finally show up. And when the food did show up, it was mediocre if that, not at all what I remember the food to be. I suppose what irked me about the dining experience was the lack of empathy by the staff. They really didn't seem to care whether we waited 2 hours for our dinner or we had to ask two times for water and silverware. At the end, the bill came out to be around $100. You could probably go out for Thai food 4 times for the same money and probably get much better service. Or spend a tad more and go to a high end steak house. I'm sure many people will have mixed experiences about Tavalota, but a place is only as good as it's last experience and mine was awful. Mediocre food seasoned with terrible service. Everyone, think twice about bringing a date here because you'll be at the mercy at some very arrogant, incompetent and indifferent servers.
Ethan Stowell's late-night pasta paradise keeps Belltown visitors full, happy and feeling hip. – The Scene
There's a very urban mix of sleek modernity and scuffed edges in this narrow space. Small skylights and a stretch of windows catch some light even on dismal days, while bare concrete walls and a mix of wood varieties finish off the room with a touch of naturalness. The cooks and waitstaff are consummate professionals, but smart enough to not take this hipness too seriously. Everyone's dipping into soup and pasta bowls for tastes of approval in between creating and serving customers this excellent food.
All of the pasta varieties are housemade, from firmly tender orechiette in the herb-laden minestrone to the crisp, fluffy pan-fried ricotta gnocchi served with olives and cauliflower. Althugh this pasta is seemingly perfect in every form it takes, there are plenty of other worthy dishes: the fork-tender veal cheeks were accompanied with a heap of miner's lettuce and grilled bread topped with chickpea puree. Cap dinner off with great espresso or a refreshing fruit sorbetto.
Photo by Chris Daniel
"I love the simple decor and unique layout, it was "perfectly full," and the prices were inline with what I had come to expect from 4 years in Chicago and 12 years in DC." (psuseattle, Citysearch user)
"It's located in the heart of Belltown and makes for an ideal dinner locale before a night out" (beaner1978, Citysearch user)
"You must try the octopus salad, share the lamb strozzapretti and gorge on the pork chop over fiddle head ferns. When it comes down to it, Tavolata is a great restaurant for those with great attitude and a willingness to try something new." (buttergone, Citysearch user)
"...we ordered family style. No one was satifsfied at the end of the meal & the bill was ridicuous." (saranazz12, Citysearch user)
"Our waitress questioned our choices and was slower than the winter thaw... and the wine list is a compl
great food, reasonable prices – great food, interesting flavor combinations, fun atmosphere, cool to watch the chefs cooking. we loved it.
Hip, fun, Belltown spot with OK food – I've had friends who love this place and don't love this place. Thought I'd try it out to create my own opinion of Tavolata. Went there with my girlfriend last Wednesday, stood there for a couple of minutes at the front wondering if we were supposed to seat ourselves or wait for someone to acknowledge us. We were approached by an employee who sat us at a nice wall table. (no reservation) A couple minutes past and our server was at our table greeeting us. I have to say, this girl was great, can't remember her name but knowledgeable of the menu's and very friendly. To start we had the beef carpaccio. Fantastic! Also had the Bufala mozzarella w/ olives. Forgetable. Cheap, dense, and chalky. Entree course was tagliatelle carbonara. Before I say this I'm also Italian, a great chef, and work at a high end Italian restaurant. So mabye my standards are a little high. This pasta was something you'd get out of a freeze dried package at Safeway. The seabass was served whole and deep-fried, a fun dish for you and a date. The taste was good, but I'd rather have a nice filet. The wine list was short but decent, had a nice bottle of tuscan red for $40. I have to say I wouldn't go back or recommend this place to a friend if they were looking for great food. The atmosphere and service was great though.
Hands down, the best place I've tried in Seattle! – I moved to Seattle (Belltown) six months ago and took to eating out quite a bit to make up for my short list of friends here. Nearly every place I had been overpromised and underdelivered. But Tavolata came through on every item and every facet. I love the simple decor and unique layout, it was "perfectly full," and the prices were inline with what I had come to expect from 4 years in Chicago and 12 years in DC. My girlfriend was in town from Chicago, and it's already a given that we'll be back next time she's in town. I give high marks to the octopus and white bean salad and the veal strozzapreti. But whatever you do, save room for the light and scrumptious lemon mini-donuts for dessert!
Fantastic Italian Fare – This restaurant rocks. We invited some friends to join us for dinner last week, and were absolutely blown away. the food was fresh, perfectly executed, and the service was amazing. We started with proscuitto and parmesano-reggiano. It was silky, and delicious. We sampled a number of pastas, appetizers and desserts, all of which were flawless. HIGHEST possible recommendation here.
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