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“An Italian gem in western France”
Review of La Tavola

La Tavola
Ranked #60 of 1,468 Restaurants in Nantes
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Italian
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Reviewed November 27, 2011

This small restaurant is an amazing gem in an unlikely place. It is located on a quiet, non-descript, narrow street, behind the sex shops and mid-range hotels that front on the main street paralleling the train tracks, near the train station. Few other restaurants are nearby. The creation of Didier, it is a small place with umbrellas and a few tables and bushes outside, and a modest-sized interior. We tried it early in our stay, and went back twice more for dinner. (It has recently started serving lunch, we were told.) A modest selection of first plates (for 9 euros each) is patiently explained by Didier, then a modest selection of main courses (14 euros each). Although Didier is French, he has Italian relatives and offers beautifully prepared, authentic Italian dishes. He has a small selection of well-chosen Italian wines. The meal is preceded with an aperitif and is followed by another small drink on-the-house. The over-all price for dinner is about the same you would pay at any of the numerous small restaurants in old town, a remarkable value.

I had a Sicilian dish of stuffed sardines that was amazingly wonderful. I much enjoyed the tomato-five-ways appetizer. My wife raved about the squash carpaccio with goat cheese ice cream. Best of all was the tiramisu. We have graded a couple hundred tirimisus (in Italy and throughout the world), since having an excellent one in Chicago about two decades ago, and La Tavola’s is our new standard. We invited some friends to join us on our last two evenings at La Tavola and they were equally impressed.

As another review mentions, Didier says he is moving to Ontario next year, which will surely be a gain for Canada.

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1  Thank nedtraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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7 - 11 of 201 reviews

Reviewed October 16, 2011

I was at a meeting in Nantes and some colleagues invited us to try this place with them. It was a wonderful experience. La Tavola is located on a quiet back street between the Chateau and the train station. Didier, the owner, serves an eclectic menu that changes from night to night. Each dish is meticulously prepared and Didier is happy to describe each one to you in English or French. It was a taste experience beyond measure. The most memorable was a tuna carpaccio appetizer served with tangerine sorbet. Like nothing I have ever had. We loved La Tavola so much that we went back the next night on our own, after our friends had departed. Reservations are a must as this place is very popular with the locals. Also, eat here soon because Didier is moving to Quebec to open a restaurant there.

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2  Thank Paul9876
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 13, 2011

Offering French people non-French food (with the exception of pizza) is a tough sell, but this small trattoria succeeds, certainly for those who know good Italian food, even if that didn't appear to include a lot of the local French folks. Our meals started with a complimentary aperitivo (an Italianized kir royale) and a few olives and tomatoes. The chalk board menu lists half a dozen choices of primi and secondi dishes, at 9 and 18 euros each, if I recall correctly. The proprietor is French, but comes from an Italian family from Calabria, so offerings tend to be from the south of Italy, more fish than meat, and also vegetarian choices. The wine list is short but very well selected, all Italian. You won't find the big name Tuscan or Piemontese wines on the list, but you won't be paying those prices either. Following the two courses, a selection of desserts (tiramisu, panna cotta, etc.) are offered, and then a complimentary digestivo to finish. We received glasses of different liqueurs, one per diner, and on the second evening, the proprietor proposed (jokingly) that if we could identify each one correctly, the meal would be free. Needless to say, we had to pay, but the price was reasonable, especially considering all the complimentary trimmings to the meal.

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3  Thank AlanLosAngeles_CA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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