I have walked by Tavolata a million times but somehow had just never made it in. I knew it was an Ethan Stowell creation and, having just loved Staple & Fancy and How to Cook A Wolf, I needed to cross this baby off my list.
First of all – this is a great space. Tall ceilings, exposed brick, an open kitchen – I liked it all. And, it is a big deal to me, they had one of the best smelling bathrooms I have been in and that is saying something.
For my first visit we sat at the bar for Happy Hour (which goes until an impressive 7:00 p.m.). It looked the seating in the actual restaurant was communal, i.e. one long table, but some of them might just have been really, really close to each other. Either way – sitting on top of strangers is not really my thing so I was happy to be at the bar.
I started off with a Manhattan that, in my experienced opinion, was one of the better that I have ever had. In fact, I had to have two. I sampled the prosciutto, the bruschetta (with smoked mackerel) and the watercress salad with beets. The salad had pecan-encrusted balls of warm goat cheese. Sweet lord, sweet lord. They were delicious!
The service was outstanding and they even gave us a complimentary order of lemon doughnuts with chocolate sauce. Score, score, score.
I will be back, Tavolata, because you can’t keep me away from an excellent happy hour, kick-ass service and balls of nutty goat cheese. Not going to happen.
Good date spot? If you can sit at the bar, yes. It isn’t huge but you can usually score a seat. The rest of the seating in the restaurant is communal, i.e. at big tables with people you don’t know. I don’t like dating in front of strangers so it would probably not be my first choice for a first date. After we know each other a little bit? Yes and yes.
2323 2nd Ave
Seattle, WA 98121