I finally got to stop in to try A Tavola Pizzerria
My expectations could not have been higher, so despite everything being pretty good, I was disappointed.
They have not been open long enough for me to draw any real conclusions, especially after only a single meal, but I'll throw out a few tidbits
First, the house made sausage packs (for me) a sizable amount of heat, definitely a hot rather than a sweet italian sausage. Once I got beyond the heat I thought it had a good flavor
Second, the neither the sauce not the crust have much favor at all. The overwhelming taste is the char from the wood oven, which I think would be somewhat pleasing if the crust and the sauce were more assertive in the flavor mix.
Third - that much-photographed oven is much bigger in person than it is in the photos. very impressive. There are seats directly in front of the oven, maybe 10 feet back, see if you can grab those if you want to watch the pizza-making show.
Fourth, the place is L-O-U-D, and this without any background music pumped in. It was fairly crowded when I went (Jim Tarbell in attendance) but a few tables remained open the entire time I was there. You had to lean in towards someone to get them to hear, or shout, or both.
Finally, service was as friendly as it could be, from top to bottom. The staff was seemed genuinely bought in on hospitality, nothing was strained, no one was frowning. The owner decided my first pie (a margherita) had come out too slowly, so he comped it. I said I had no complaints and would be happy to pay for it, and he insisted otherwise, and I accepted.
I hope to go back soon for the brussels sprout and house-made bacon pizza soon. This combination is much ballyhooed at Motorino in NYC. 20110627 Update:
I stopped in again this past Friday and thought about the brussels sprouts pizza but wanted a red-sauced pizza, so I ended up with a half pork shoulder and half soppressatta
. The pork shoulder was fine shreds of pulled smoked pork, good bbq basically. The soppressata (not one of their normal listed available toppings) was very much like thick-sliced pepperoni, maybe slightly richer in flavor. The sauce was slightly more flavorful but still lacking overall. The dough was thicker than on the previous visit and though charred still lacked external crispness. Again, the flavor that dominated the pizza was the wood-fired char on the underside. That said, it was still a good pizza, but it is well below the lofty expectations I had for this place.
<message edited by TJ Jackson on Mon, 06/27/11 10:03 AM>