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“Wonderful service, nice setting, very pricey”
Review of Buona Tavola

Buona Tavola
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $21 - $30
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Special occasions
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Lunch, Reservations
Dining style: Fine Dining
Cross street: Santa Rosa St.
California
Level 6 Contributor
626 reviews
367 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 390 helpful votes
“Wonderful service, nice setting, very pricey”
Reviewed March 7, 2013

I visit San Luis regularly and am often disappointed in the restaurants that seem to have a lot of students cooking. Buona Tavola is definitely a step above, but very pricey for what it offers. This is not S.F. cuisine, but priced as if it is. Think Chez Panisse prices with quenstionably experienced chef. I ordered the prix fixe menu with the wine flight. The wines were okay, the prosecco - very ordinary, the red - quite nice and they never showed up with the Vin Santo for the dessert course - I did remind them. My guest had the specials - a sort of chopped lettuce with potatoes that appeared more Deli than fine cuisine and the Halibut. The main courses both had exactly the same accompaniments, cooked shredded carrots and a round of mashed potatoes. Italian? However, the prix fixe first course of a roasted radicchio with a reduction of Balsamic vinegar and shaved parmesan was really very nice. The dessert was a very generous apple tart that was perhaps the most inventive thing on the menu and also very nice. Will I be back? Only for the prix fixe which is $35 and $45 with the wine flight. However, it is really overpriced for what it is, but in SLO this style of food in a quiet setting (we sat inside) with wonderful service is hard to come by.

  • Visited March 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Gemma'smum
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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289 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Los Angeles
Level 6 Contributor
196 reviews
84 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
“Great food and location”
Reviewed March 5, 2013

Enjoyed our dinner here with friends. We all shared a cheese and salami appetizer which was excellent and I learned that I could buy the salami at the oudoor farmer's markets in town. Our main courses - ranging from pasta to salmon were all very good. They have an excellent wine list. The only difficulty was that since it was cold, we had to sit inside and it was really quite noisy - difficult to talk. If you like a lively atmosphere this won't present a problem and is probably a "plus"....

Visited March 2013
Helpful?
Thank kardex2dog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Morro Bay, California
Level 6 Contributor
137 reviews
77 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
“Great food, great service”
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
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank 2Profs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mill Valley, California
Level 4 Contributor
42 reviews
23 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Celebrate Your Grad in the Courtyard!!”
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
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Davi13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Greenbrae
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Always Excellent”
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
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Shalene H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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