We went to Tavalo on a Saturday night after a Hamilton College football game and called at 4 for a reservation at about 6 pm for a group of 13 people. We started out with 7 and kept calling back and adding people and they handled us with total grace though we were nightmare customers. They put us in the bar and pushed together high top type tables because of the size of the group. The bar is large and the vibe inside the restaurant is well designed modern/spare. It has a nice energy. I saw one reviewer who said “too loud” and I would say it is not an intimate place for sure, especially in the bar but it isn’t overly noisy. I also saw someone complain about parking and I don’t get that at all. Big lot and a rear entrance make it a breeze.
Our service was outstanding. We ordered appetizers for the table, stuffed long hots, arancini and Utica greens. Long hots and greens were very, very spicy. I loved it but it might have been too much heat for some. This isn't my favorite place in town for these Utica specialties but they are fresh and hot always. The arancini was pretty good as well. Not my favorite in town but still very good. We ordered lots of different drinks and everything came out quickly including water fill ups and bread. The college kids had the cheeseburger and one thought it was the best he had ever had. I had the monkfish special for the night and it was outstanding. Cooked properly with a delicious side dishes.
Hats off to the management, our group was very hard to handle and they did a great job with every detail.
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