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“Great food, great service” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Buona Tavola

Buona Tavola
1037 Monterey St, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401-3206
805-545-8000
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Price range: $21 - $30
Cuisines: Italian
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Restaurant details
Good for: Romance, Special occasions
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Late Night
Dining style: Fine Dining
Cross street: Santa Rosa St.
Morro Bay, California
Top Contributor
83 reviews 83 reviews
43 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
“Great food, great service”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2013

We dined with a party of six friends to try the January Restaurant Month 3 course fixed price menu for $30. The antipasti dish offered a choice between home cured salami served with Italian cheeses and various spreads (good) or a baby spinach salad (a bit over-dressed). Bread served with olive tapenade accompanied this course. The Primi course included pumpkin and ricotta cheese tortellonis in a cheese sauce (light and delicious!) or Orecchitte served with chicken sausage in a tomato basil sauce (also very tasty). The main course was between grilled flank steak sliced and served over fresh arugula (light and excellent) or grilled fresh eggplant and zuccini baked with mozzarella and parmesan cheese (on the smallish side). On Wednesday nights bottles of wine are half off (under $100. a bottle), so we enjoyed choosing a local wine as well as an Italian wine from the extensive list.
The service was particularly gracious. When we arrived we were seated at a small round table close to the kitchen, under a vent where chilly air bothered some of our group. So the server offered to move us to a larger, better located table in the small, but cozy interior of the restaurant. The head waiter presented the dinner specials very nicely and a some of us ordered different entrees. Veal scallopini served in a mushroom marsala sauce was beautifully presented and garnished and truly delicious. Water glasses were refilled regularly and the clean wine glasses were exchanged for the red wine after the white was finished.
Since this restaurant is small, it is important to reserve ahead, especially for large groups. For lunch or warm evening, it is pleasant to sit in the covered patio area behind the restaurant. There is no parking so one must park in one of the municipal garages if there is no street parking available.

  • Visited January 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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162 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    98
    39
    12
    6
    7
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Mill Valley, California
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Celebrate Your Grad in the Courtyard!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 16, 2012

We had a Fabulous Dinner in the enclosed back courtyard for my son's college graduation. There were 11 of us, and I had contacted the manager to discuss details--he suggested our own personal menu with 4 courses, but we decided that each could order their own. I knew my group was immediately hungry, so I ordered the Antipasti Platter for 8 to be on the table when we sat down--a platter of home made salami's and delicious cheeses, procuitto rolled on breadsticks, and bread, olive oil, and parm cheese, began our feast. We ordered 11 different things--mostly from the pasta menu--and each person swore that their dish was the best one!!

The corkage is only $16, so we brought our favorite bottle from our wine tasting in Paso Robles. Their wine list is full of great central coast wines, reasonably priced. The staff is accomodating and professional. The courtyard has just the right atmosphere for a large group to celebrate--or inside is more intimate for smaller parties. But it's all about how great the food is--we can't wait to go back and celebrate just about anything!

  • Visited December 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Greenbrae
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Always Excellent”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2012

We've made this restaurant our special "go to" place in San Luis Obispo. Sometimes it's really crowded & there's a bit of a wait, but not always. The ambiance in the front room is warm & inviting. The back room is larger & open more to the elements, 'though heat lamps help...unless you have a table nearby which is too warm. The service is fabulous, the food always terrific, & the experience well worth its costing a little more than other places. We always look forward to going there after a long day's drive from San Francisco to Los Angeles & we've never been disappointed!! No reservations needed & you can dress up or not...it's all good there!!

  • Visited October 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
los angeles
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“FANTASTICO”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 31, 2012

I walked in and the Italian waiter greeted me with a "Buongiorno Signorina." He then led me to the back patio where owner Antonio was dining with three of his Italian buddies..and they were having a lively conversation....in Italian. I was seated and a bottle of San Pelligrino was brought to my table as the bells from some nearby church sounded. I was immediately transported to Italy. AAAAh...and then my handsome husband arrived in his hot pink breast cancer awareness firefighter shirt. Oh my. Oh...and then there was the food...the perfect Salmone alla griglia which is my favorite, and a lovely salad with artichoke hearts. PERFETTO. I love this restaurant. And you should try their salame and salsiccia at Saturday's farmers market!

Visited October 2012
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San Luis Obispo, California
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Best Italian in town!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 20, 2012

This place has the best Italian food in SLO. I've been here several times and it is always amazing. It is a great place for business dinners, dates, just about anything. The price is a little higher, ($20-$30) but the quality is definitely worth it.

  • Visited October 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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