A Tavola in Darlinghurst is one place I’ve been meaning to get to for a while. So when my friend’s husband floated it as a potential venue for a surprise birthday dinner, I was first to support it!
Well known for their handmade and very fresh pasta, and the large marble dining table that seats around 25, A Tavola has been bubbling away quietly like their fall apart braised guanciale. For those familiar with the area, you may know that Chef Eugenio Maiale in conjunction with Nick Palumbo of neighbouring Gelato Messina, took over Providore Pelagio, turned it into Gastronomia Pelagio and are now turning it into bar.
*UPDATE* The Bar, known as Omerta looks like it’s about to open very soon
Dinner for 9 or 10 is a big ask for a small restaurant on a busy Friday night, but this place had no problem fitting us in. We had been given the option of a set menu for about $80 per head, but we were better off ordering a la carte, including wine, salads and dessert! We were seated at a large table in the back courtyard, a space made intimate with gorgeous lighting.
The menu is extremely limited with the staples, with the specials making up the bulk:
For the table we order two salads, a shredded red cabbage with Dolce Latte, walnuts and balsamic, and a red treviso salad with lemon and parmesan:
I have to say, most at the table much preferred the shredded cabbage salad to the bitter treviso, though it had it’s place in cutting the richness of some of the dishes. Most of our group opted for the pasta dishes. I didn’t catch all of them, and I may make some mistakes translating the menu, but here it goes.
One of the most popular dishes ordered was the tagliatelle con cavolfiore al tartufo, a creamy truffled cauliflower:
Next up was a fresh pappardelle with fall apart braised pork shoulder:
Another delectable dish, with the pasta having a wonderful al dente bite, and the pork moist and moreish (and this is coming from someone who only eats cured pork!)
Another pasta dish at the table was a spaghetti alle vongole:
I didn’t get a taste of this, but it smelt gorgeous and fresh…
I ordered a little differently and had the guanciale di (something that equates to wagyu) manzo con borlotti:
This braised wagyu cheek served on mashed borlotti was perfect hearty autumn/winter fare: hearty, rich, warming and so decidedly moreish, not to mention ENORMOUS! I had to give the rest to one of the boys to finish off…definitley one to return for!
On to dessert! As a surprise, the Good Husband had pre-ordered a whole tiramisu cake for the birthday girl! The whole cake was bought to the table for the happy birthday’s to be sung and the cake to be cut, and then it was promptly whisked back to the kitchen for portioning. After some time we became concerned for it’s whereabouts, when suddenly, there it was…made beautiful:
Such a fun night with good friends, great food, good wine and terrific service. I am so looking forward to going back….
348 Victoria Street
02 9331 7871