La Tavola is the best Italian restaurant in Charm City hands down for the Charm City Couple and believe me; we have been looking for some time. While the interior could use some updating, whatever is lacking in ambience is 110% surpassed by the food.
We arrived at La Tavola and the host of the restaurant greeted us pleasantly, immediately took our coats and escorted us to our seats (I find out later that this pleasant gentleman is not only the host but one of the owners). We had a moment of panic when our lovely table by the window was also right next to a crying baby. Not to worry though; the baby left for bedtime and we were left in the restaurant to enjoy our meal.
We decided on a bottle of wine for the table but then began waiting and waiting and waiting to give our drink order. Again, Not to worry; Michael, the host (and one of the owners) came to the rescue and after this, the service was flawless.
We ordered our appetizers and the server assisted my mother in choosing some gluten free options for her dining experience. La Tavola was extremely accommodating to my mother’s Celiac disease. The chef even offered to make something off the menu for my mother for dessert. Awesome!
My appetizer was incredibly fresh and perfectly executed. The mozzarella was creamy and flavorful and combined deliciously with the sweet red peppers and tomatoes. The dish was not heavily dressed which I appreciated because it did not need to be; the ingredients spoke for themselves.
My mother ordered the sea scallops and she mentioned repeatedly how precisely they were cleaned and cooked. It is so wonderful to find a restaurant where you aren’t wondering whether or not your next bite will not only be a scallop but a mouth full of grittiness. You know you are at an amazing restaurant when the scallops don’t leave you with a mouth full of sand. Sad but true.
For dinner, I ordered the spaghetti. This dish was simple and unique. The homemade pasta was black from cuttlefish ink, which did not change the flavor but made for a beautiful presentation. The sauce was light and flavorful and so authentic that I felt like I was literally back in Italy. The crabmeat was plentiful and so refreshing that I felt like it was summer on the Patuxent River. All in all it was a lively dish where all the ingredients were able to individually shine.
When it comes to desserts, a cannoli not from Trinacria or Vaccaro’s is a tough cannoli to beat. I must say that this cannoli rose to the occasion. La Tavola used a non-traditional shell that was airy but still crunchy. I usually order a dessert with chocolate but this filling had pistachio nuts and dried pineapple in a light cream filling. It was yummy and I just might have to order more non-chocolate desserts in the future.
La Tavola is the best Italian restaurant in Baltimore for the Charm City Couple for its homey atmosphere, honest food, and charming service. We definitely will be back.