I finally got the chance to visit a restaurant that has been at the top of my list since it’s opening earlier this year, A Tavola. I brought my wife to this trendy Over-the-Rhine eatery for her birthday a couple of weekends ago. We had heard that the line for a table was often long, and they do not take reservations, so we found ourselves lucky to talk in around 6:30 and find just a twenty-minute wait. We could have been seated immediately at the pizza counter, but decided to wait for a more spacious table.
While waiting for our table, we found a couple of seats at the nearly packed bar and enjoyed a drink. I was impressed by the selection of draft beer and my wife found new love in a glass of red wine. She loved it so much that she took down the name so she could try to find a whole bottle later. Before we could get too far into our drinks, our table was ready.
After being seated pretty much in the center of the dining area, we glanced through the menu filled with a wide variety of pizzas along with a selection of salads and appetizers. Our server gave us a nice introduction to the restaurant after finding out it was our first time. He also suggested ordering a couple of appetizers and then splitting a pizza. He said that the pizzas are too large to be considered a personal dish.
Following our servers advice we decided to split the house salad and one of the items on the seasonal menu, the chicken meatballs. The house salad was a basic mix of greens, shaved parmigiano, and a delicious balsamic vinaigrette. The salad greens were very fresh and tasty, in fact some of the best I have ever had. As good as the salad was, the chicken meatballs stole the show for me. The mix of tomato sauce and salsa verde was delicious and the meatball itself was perfectly seasoned. I wish that this would become a permanent item on the menu.
As for our pizza we went with the artichoke, goat cheese, salsa verde, tomato sauce, and mozzarella. With such good results with our appetizers I was expecting to be blown away. Unfortunately I was a little let down. The combination of ingredients tasted great, but I had a problem with the crust. I felt that it was too flimsy in the middle. When I picked up a slice with my hands nearly the entire slice would flop down toward the ground. I would have liked for it to be a bit crisper on the outside but still chewy on the inside. Other reviews seem to indicate a better cooked pizza so I hope for better results on a future visit. Even with this mistake, A Tavola is definitely worth a visit and I hope to be back soon.