If the animated buzz of dinner conversation is in any way related to the level of contentment experienced by diners, A Tavola, the newly opened Italian eatery has certainly succeeded in its culinary offering. Brightly lit with a relaxed ambience, the cuisine is authentically Italian – with the focus on “doing it the way it is done in Italy” – out of the garden and into the kitchen. Owners,David Haupt and Kurt Henderson, who hail from Johannesburg and have been involved with several successful Italian restaurants there, believe it important to bring the real taste of Italy to South Africa, rather than pandering to the South African palate, which tends toward over-saucing of pasta dishes.
“Our emphasis is on freshness and seasonality,” says Restaurant Manager, Kurt Henderson, adding that some ingredients are imported from Italy, while fresh produce is sourced locally. The menu changes on a daily basis depending on what is available. Pasta is also made freshly daily on site using flour and egg. Many of the recipes have been handed down over several generations, with the more unusual dishes on offer being veal sweet breads, liver and tripe. Farfalle Salsiccia con Piselli (Fresh bowtie pasta with Italian sausage meat, tomatoes, peas and Parmesan) orPaillard di Vitello (Grilled veal with rosemary and a touch of garlic served with potato wedges, tomato and zucchini) are popular choices. Part owner, David Haupt, believes their location is ideal with the open piazza style setting perfectly matching their restaurant offering.
A Tavola (open Monday to Saturday) is situated in the Claremont Civic Precinct, Shop1, Library Square, Wilderness Road. Tel. 021 671 1763