A Tavola is a Bar and Trattoria on Vine st. in Over the Rhine. The environment is relaxed, casual, and bustling with activity. The centerpiece of the restaurant is the wood fired pizza oven and open kitchen. The space is larger than many of the other row house eateries in Over the Rhine, nearly twice as wide which means more tables and less wait time. You can take a seat at the expansive bar, watch the dough throwers do their magic, grab a table, or sit at a high top near the front windows. A Tavola translates to “at the table”, and those high tops bring nature’s art straight to your table as solid pieces of oak tree trunk.
Dates, dates, dates….mmm. We started off with their Dates stuffed with sausage, wrapped in bacon, and topped with house tomato sauce. Wow, these were probably the best stuffed dates we’ve had anywhere. The dates were sweet and tender and the sausage had a spicy after kick but not overpowering.
Wood-fired neopolitan pizza is A Tavola’s specialty. Hand tossed and fresh ingredients you wouldn’t otherwise find in any other pizza joint. We did a half and half with Fig and Prosciutto with Fontina and Arugula salad on one side and Sausage and Sage with Fontina on the other. The crumbled spicy sausage again had a spicy after kick to it just like the dates. An amazing sweet fig jam from the Fig and Prosciutto was used as the base across the whole pizza. The sweet and salty between the fig and prosciutto was a great combination. OMG, hands down the best pizza in town. Every bite was a flavor filled treat.
The dessert menu is limited to salted caramel house made gelato. You can choose from a weekly special topping or a shot of bourbon or espresso vodka. We went with the plain gelato to cool down the spicy sausage of the pizza. Their drink menu is filled with Italian, French, and American wines; local craft bottle and draft beers; and some signature cocktails. Stop in for reverse happy hour 11pm – 2am.
The restaurants in Over the Rhine’s Gateway Quarter have been serving up some of the best and most original flavor filled menus in town. A Tavola hits another homerun for OTR. Their prices are very reasonable and there are several vegetarian pizza selections in addition to the meaty choice we had. The only downside – if you sit at a high top be prepared to wear your jacket or sit on it, the tiny barstools are barely big enough for one cheek, and leave your purse or shopping bags in the car because there’s nowhere to hang or store them. A Tavola earns a solid 4 out of 5 stars and we’ll definitely be back for more.