We stopped in to Taverna about one week after they opened. They did a great job remodeling the space with a welcoming bar up front nicely separated from a dining room in the back (featuring an open kitchen on the back wall). The short of it is that we all greatly enjoyed the food and the service was impeccable. We have been recommending it to several friends and are already planning on going back several times.
While it's not fine dining, the menu is definitely not a pizza joint or sub shop, which is a nice addition in a college town. At least one other restaurant on Main St. has similar fare but is definitely heading upscale. Taverna is definitely nice, but still casual. The waitstaff was very attentive, and the food was impressive.
We started with a couple of appetizers. There was a kind of mozzarella dish that had a wonderful crust on it and there was a polenta starter that was expertly prepared with a mushroom ragu. We got a variety of dishes for lunch, from their excellent pizza (coal fired oven) to some inspired sandwiches, like a muffaletta and an Italian pork sandwich. They aren't exactly the same as the originals (in New Orleans or Philly), instead they are tasty tributes that are equally as good. We finished with a kind of freshly made doughnut plate that was great for sharing and well done.
While we didn't partake, there are a host of beers and even wines on tap. Our waiter was very well informed about the menu and was attentive without hovering. The manager also stopped by and was very excited about finally being open. Both talked about the reclaimed wood and brick in the decor -- it was evident that everyone was well prepared, even for being open less than one week. It is definitely worth a visit.
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