La Tavola - Waterbury, CT

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Ketteract
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2016/10/23 05:00:21 (permalink)

La Tavola - Waterbury, CT

Some friends and I went on a Connecticut vineyard tour yesterday, and afterwards, full of the best fermented grape juice that the state had to offer, we headed to La Tavola in the organizer's hometown of Waterbury.  It's located in what's known as the "Town Plot" area, whose strong historical Italian influence continues to this day.
 
We went with a selection of appetizers, which was, in retrospect, not the best idea because it left us very, very little room for our main courses... but it was an error worth making.  I'm going to lift the descriptions directly from the restaurant's own website.  
 
After some introductory bread with olive oil and white bean hummus, our appetizers were as follows:
 
Eggplant torta: "eggplant layered with mozzarella secca, roasted peppers, baby spinach in a tomato butter sauce" - $10.
 



Panecotta: "escarole, white beans, parmesan broth, toasted garlic herb bread topping" - $12.
 

 
Fried calamari: "with spicy marinara sauce and cherry pepper aioli" - $12.
 

 
Some kind of arancini that I was unable to locate on the menu.  The risotto filling had peas, cheese, and pancetta.  
 

 
Chick pea polenta fries: "with marinara and grana cheese" - $10.
 

 
We were incredulous that we still had piles of food on the way after all that.  Here were our entrees.
 
Penne: "with grilled chicken, escarole, kalamata olives, plum tomatoes, basil and Grana Padano cheese" - $22.
 

 
12-oz. Allen Brothers Angus NY strip steak: "garlic spinach, mashed potato and red wine sauce" - $34.
 

 
Garganelli: "wild mushrooms, parmigiano crema, truffle oil" - $24.  This was a hit, and shared all around the table.
 

 
"Pan-seared diver sea scallops with Risotto Del Giorno" - $30.
 

 
... and finally, mine, the Lasagna Bolognese: "spinach pasta, classic meat sauce, ricotta and mozzarella" - $26.
 

 
The photo does not do its size justice.  This was a veritable brickrich and delicious (that brown liquid seemed to be an exquisitely savory meat broth of some kind?!), and I was tragically able to eat just a few slivers.  The rest is in my fridge.
 
(Not pictured: one friend's spaghetti carbonara, with "soft onions, peas, pancetta, cracked black pepper and grana padano" - $20.)
 
There are several other Italian restaurants in this neighborhood of Waterbury.  Unlike Little Italy in Hartford, its Italian influence seems to have not only been preserved but grown stronger as the decades have passed, leaving room for plenty of both old-school red sauce joints and more upscale establishments.  I have a lot of exploration ahead of me.  
post edited by Ketteract - 2016/10/24 10:53:26
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    JRPfeff
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    Re: La Tavola - Waterbury, CT 2016/10/23 07:48:24 (permalink)
    That looks like a fantastic restaurant. Thanks for the report.
    #2
    leethebard
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    Re: La Tavola - Waterbury, CT 2016/10/23 08:52:28 (permalink)
    That looks amazing...the real thing. Give me that garganelli!
    #3
    Ketteract
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    Re: La Tavola - Waterbury, CT 2016/10/23 09:11:57 (permalink)
    It's interesting to compare their preparation of garganelli with what I saw at Cento in Madison, WI.
     

     
    Whereas La Tavola's was meatless, Cento went with braised short rib meat and a beef broth/reduction - heartier and richer. 
     

     
     I honestly loved both, but I have to give the ultimate win to La Tavola's for being better balanced.
    post edited by Ketteract - 2016/10/23 09:45:36
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    lleechef
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    Re: La Tavola - Waterbury, CT 2016/10/23 11:23:02 (permalink)
    Beautiful.  Absolutely beautiful food.  The garganelli with wild mushrooms looks divine.  I have some dried morels and garganelli.......may have to be dinner for me one night this week.  I'll have to make something else for MH.......mushroom allergy.  Thanks for the report and beautiful pictures!  
    #5
    leethebard
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    Re: La Tavola - Waterbury, CT 2016/10/23 12:40:38 (permalink)
    The Cento dish looks a bit overwhelming!!
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    phlmaestro
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    Re: La Tavola - Waterbury, CT 2016/10/23 12:46:29 (permalink)
    Very nice. Love the look of those scallops.
    #7
    ann peeples
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    Re: La Tavola - Waterbury, CT 2016/10/23 15:43:38 (permalink)
    Beautiful food!
     
    #8
    ScreamingChicken
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    Re: La Tavola - Waterbury, CT 2016/10/23 16:39:11 (permalink)
    What, no dessert?
    #9
    Greymo
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    Re: La Tavola - Waterbury, CT 2016/10/23 20:22:12 (permalink)
    Wow..................awesome  food!
    #10
    Ketteract
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    Re: La Tavola - Waterbury, CT 2016/10/24 10:54:50 (permalink)
    ScreamingChicken
    What, no dessert?




    Ha! Even if I'd bypassed appetizers entirely, there's noooo way I would have had room for that entire lasagna-brick and dessert.  It's honestly a meal for two, even though it's not listed as such.
    #11
    leethebard
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    Re: La Tavola - Waterbury, CT 2016/10/24 11:52:32 (permalink)
    I guess I eat for two...I could certainly eat that "brick"!
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    lleechef
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    Re: La Tavola - Waterbury, CT 2016/10/24 12:45:23 (permalink)
    I just looked at the menu of La Tavola.  I would have ordered one "antipasti" and one "primi" and would have to call it quits there.  But it certainly is a beautiful menu!
    #13
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