A Little Dinner, A Little Wine – Taverna, Austin

13 Jul

For my first restaurant review, I will preface my post by saying that all I can offer is my “amateur” opinion of any restaurant. I can tell you how I felt about the service, the wine, the atmosphere and the food. I cannot speak to whether a dish was “perfectly rendered in the XYZ style” or anything along those lines. I have no formal training in cooking, so take my opinions on the work of professional chefs for what you will. I will offer my thoughts on good dishes, bad ones, things to watch out for, and great deals that I find around the city. With all of that out there, tonight was a lovely night at Taverna, so I thought I would share a bit.

Beef carpiccio at Taverna was delicious- and look at how pretty it is!

Located in the ever-chic 2nd street district, Taverna is both comfortable and “cool” at the same time. I’m a big fan of patios and theirs is great – it’s in a perfect spot for people watching, and it has thick plastic siding that they can put down in case it’s a bit too cold (they keep it up when it’s warm out, though).

I was with a group of girls, looking for just a little bit of wine and light dinner. Our server was knowledgeable about the wine list, and helped us to choose a wine that would work for all of our varying tastes in wine. While the wine we eventually picked was a little pricier than we had hoped, it was an excellent choice.

For dinner, I had the beef capriccio. Although it’s supposed to be an appetizer, I thought it was plenty for a small dinner. I was a big fan of their presentation – thin slices of capriccio topped with arugula, and big flakes of shaved Parmesan. It has a very light dressing that tastes slightly lemony. According to the menu, it also contained truffle oil – which might have been what made it so delicious.

One of my friends had this pasta dish - which I believe is the Garganelli al Pomodoro e Basilico. I had a bite and loved this too.

I have to say that, while I’m not normally a fan of arugula, I ate every bite.

The only complaint I have is that Taverna does tend to be a bit pricy, but in my opinion, the quality of the ingredients justifies the cost.

A final note about the best-known meal at Taverna – their Sunday brunch is incredibly popular in Austin. I’ve been for brunch a few times, and it’s always great, but what really “sells” it is the $1 bellinis and mimosas – yes they’re delicious and inexpensive. The real question is if you’re willing to wait around for a table – which is almost always an issue. If you have the time, though, it’s worth eating brunch there at least once.

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