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“Fine Spot”
Review of tavola

tavola
Ranked #18 of 557 Restaurants in Charlottesville
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $20 - $30
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Romantic, Special occasions
Dining options: Dinner
Description: An intimate, lively neighborhood restaurant located in the charming Belmont district of Charlottesville, VA, tavola offers inspired rustic Italian dining through the use of quality ingredients and a simple philosophy fostered by a staff passionate about food, wine, craft cocktails and personal service. Due to our limited seating, we do not take reservations outside of special events.
Reviewed December 13, 2012

This is probably the best Italian food in Charlottesville. I have eaten here several times, usually with my wife, and we have never been disappointed. The cooking style is rustic Italian. Servings are not huge but the sauces are rich and the flavors good. Desserts are less impressive than dinners. Definitely worth a visit.

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1  Thank CrozetDude
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviews (256)
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184 - 188 of 256 reviews

Reviewed December 9, 2012

We dined with friends recently at Tavola.
The food was good but not particularly memorable. My spouse and I both had carpaccio which we both thought was cut too thick. The accompaning salad and dressing were very nice.
My hanger steak and her pork chop Milanese were just average. The pork was pounded too thin and rendered tasteless except for the greasy taste from the breading.
There were a lot of annoying aspects that made for a very uncomfortable evening.
First, there is the no reservation policy. Because of this, we arrived very early - 5:30 - way too early for dinner in my opinion. One of our party was rather insistent that we try Tavola so we agreed and went early in order to avoid a wait.That worked and within 20 minutes or so, the place,which is not huge,was packed. Personally, I NEVER go to a restaurant that will not accept reservations, particularly on a week-end night and because of the no reservation policy, I won't go on other nights either just to " get even." There are ways to establish and maintain a reservation policy with call back confirmations, etc. Plus, there seem to be a lot of walk in traffic that could replace a missed reservation with no problem in my view.
Our table was in the window near the door and was that a bad choice. There was a constant stream of people coming in trying to get tables, all with no success.
Unfortunately, there is no waiting room or bar area so they just milled around, mostly within a few feet of our table. Most of them finally threw in the towel and went elsewhere although someone was maintaining some sort of call list and I did see one group return some time later. Don't know what they did for 30 minutes or so, perhaps sat in their car and listened to the radio..
And what is the bad weather option if you can't hang out outside?
The final nail in the coffin was the heavy smoke and odors emitting from the open kitchen at the back of the room. My clothing actually stunk when we left.
We also missed was the lack of a full bar with only beer and wine offered. I don't know about you, but a beer before a potentially heavy Italian dinner is not a great option if you want a pre-dinner drink.

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2  Thank Bermudaman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 20, 2012

I have been a bunch of times now, my favorites are the bucatini al amatricana and the fettucini bolognese. I love the descriptive wine list and the unusual wine selections.

They have an open kitchen so these great smells pass overhead as they fire various entrees. Can get crowded and the atmosphere is a little close in, but the food is fantastic.

1  Thank PhiloFarnsworth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 20, 2012

Couldn't get in on our first visit but a patron coming out just raved about the place. One of our local chefs recommended the place to us. They don't take reservations. Their new manager, Andrew was extraordinarily attentive to us and others while we were waiting for a table. The staff was hopping and its hard to believe they can turn out that many meals from the small open kitchen. We had the octopus pasta special and the pork belly special and both were marvelous. The owner checks on the quality and solicits comments from the guests. If you can get in it's worth the wait. We live on the other side of Virginia but will be going back to work our way through the menu. PS, you can wait at the restaurant bar next door and they will call you when your table is ready; or you can wait for a place at one of their two small bars

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2  Thank cjdotheworld
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 17, 2012

Had a wonderful meal of a simple but delicious soup and beet salad. Delicious. Service was excellent and the atmosphere pleasant. I was there shortly after they opened and within a half hour there wasn't an empty table in the place.

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1  Thank WorldTraveler026
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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