Tavola (West End, Robson and Denman)
I had my heart set on trying Tapastree (the former incarnation of now Tavola) and I never had an opportunity to do so. But I have eaten at Nook before (the brother restaurant of Tavola), loved it and Minna had really wanted to try Tavola so we set out to walk (in the cold!) from our office at The Network Hub to Tavola (which is slightly west of Denman and Robson – if you know how much of an urban geography nerd I am, you’ll know that I also love that, like Adesso Bistro, Tavola is technically in the actual urban residential area of the West of Denman side – following the steps of Cardero Bottega which is on Cardero and Nelson).
Tavola is a terrific West End neighbourhood restaurant, serving modern Italian food. Welcoming you is the team who brought you previous local heroes Tapastree and Nook. Tavola continues the tradition of sharing food – family-style, in a warm, contemporary environment at value-conscious prices. The dining room reflects this convivial atmosphere with a 25-seat shared table that is perfect for both groups and casual diners.
The antipasto bar is the place to start as we feature Mozzarella di Bufala, Burrata, artisan proscuitto and salami – sliced to order, along with an constantly changing offering of crostini and salads. Also setting Tavola apart is the commitment to house-made Pastas and sauces – toothsome and hearty. Share some with friends and family along with one of our Big Plates – steak, roast chicken, braised meats and fish, prepared as classic Italian platters.
I loved the concept of a communal table for dinner at Tavola. I’d probably bring my friends here for dinner. For Minna and I it was a great opportunity to just spend time together and sharing a meal as we had not spent any time together since late October.
I started with an arugula salad with pomegranate seeds ($9, in a vinaigrette that had chili flakes – I fell in love with the chef because he adds that extra spicy kick to almost every dish, and it is, for someone like me who love spicy stuff, a glorious experience). I followed with a Spaghetti which anchovies, chilies, garlic and lemon (at $18, probably more inexpensive than many of the local Italian restaurants, at a decent dinner price). The flavour was extraordinary (who doesn’t love anchovies with garlic and chilies and lemon), although the consistency is not of a sauce, but it’s drier (and I like it like that). Almost like a ragout.
While Tavola’s menu is intended to share, both Minna and I had our own dinners and we loved both the size and the flavour. I totally would recommend visiting Tavola if you have the opportunity!
Disclosure: Minna paid for her and my dinner on her own dime. As always, I retain full editorial control of what is published on my site.