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“Oh the fennel...”
Review of tavola

Ranked #11 of 552 Restaurants in Charlottesville
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $20 - $30
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Local cuisine, 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.
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Oh the fennel...”
Reviewed January 29, 2013

My husband and I visited Tavola per a recommendation by the Local Palate magazine. We were so happy we did. The atmosphere, quality of food and casual design of this restaurant is delightful. My only wish is that they would take reservations. We live 4 hours away and would hate to travel that distance (it's worth it!) to possibly not get a table. The fennel is sublime. I ordered it for both of us but ate the entire plate myself! I'm excited to go back when I can.

  • Visited October 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank 2jhardman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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245 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Charlottesville, Virginia
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Could be C'villes best restaurant”
Reviewed January 4, 2013

Exquisitely prepared Italian food. The salad with roasted beets and warm fried goat cheese is amazing. Great waiter. Go early or late or be prepared to wait on weekends.. No reservations taken.

Visited December 2012
1 Thank Wcville
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
norman, ok
Level 6 Contributor
116 reviews
35 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
“Tiny restaurant with good food”
Reviewed December 18, 2012

This restaurant was recommended to us earlier in the day and we were surprised to see how small it was. There is only on-street parking, so we had to park down the road and around the corner, and it wasn't the best area once you got away from the area where the restaurants were. Not awful or scary, just not as nice and we were surprised at how fast that changed. We were there on a Friday night and were lucky to get seats at the bar to eat. The food was very good. We enjoyed it a lot, but it felt somewhat cramped and they can't accomodate very many parties at once, and there's virtually no waiting area. Would go back again, but maybe on a week night when it might not be so busy. Was the first italian restaurant I can remember going to that didn't have complimentary bread.

  • Visited December 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank scubadiverh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 5 Contributor
61 reviews
38 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Fine Spot”
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.

  • Visited April 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank CrozetDude
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Waynesboro, Va.
Level 6 Contributor
322 reviews
226 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 139 helpful votes
“Good food but annoying atmosphere”
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.

  • Visited December 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
2 Thank Bermudaman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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