Location, location, location! Tavolo (pronounced Tah-vuh-low) is located right next to the new Lucky’s Bar & Arcade off of N. College Street which makes it a fantastic place for a date night. And for anyone who has lived in Charlotte for a while, you will know Tavolo replaces the old Cosmos bar so this restaurant took me down memory lane.
We stopped in on a Tuesday Night and were seated at a table right away. Our server was Alex, who truly made our experience something to come back for. I love (and respect) an honest food recommendation by a waiter because they should be the people who know the food the best (other than the chef). I am not a fan when someone says everything is good or simply suggest the 2-3 most expensive items on the menu!
Alex was super helpful and friendly. He read our table perfectly and knew when to come check in with us and when we might need another minute because when catching up with good friends, we aren’t typically focused on looking at the menu right away. And most importantly, he recommended all the right things! Ask to be seated in Alex’s area for a wonderful customer service experience!
Bread was delivered to our table with our drinks. The soft white bread was delivered with a tomato-thyme infused olive oil. So good! Yes, this is an Italian restaurant but there are plenty of vegan, vegetarian and gluten free items available as well!
We started with the Arancini appetizer. Lightly and perfectly fried risotto balls filled with rosemary and Fontina cheese, served with marinara sauce. These were delicious and I know why they are one of the most popular appetizer items on the menu!
I ordered our waiter Alex’s recommendation of Shrimp Fra Diavolo – fettuccini, sweet and spicy peppers, caramelized onions, marinara, parmesan cream, oregano and parsley. Just typing this out reminds me of just how delicious this was! The pasta was oh so very fresh and tasty. They certainly don’t skimp here as there was plenty to take home after I was stuffed full! The shrimp were huge – so although there were only 4-5 shrimp, it was plenty for me. If you order this dish, be prepared to drink a lot as it is SPICY!
My husband ordered the pepperoni pizza – a classic but always a good choice. The crust was a thin and fluffy and had a unique flavor that we couldn’t quite place so we asked Alex what was in it. Some genius in Tavolo’s kitchen put a blend of rosemary and oregano in the crust! It was the perfect amount. Not overpowering but enough to activate your taste buds. I wish all pizza crusts had this unique blend. Jason said he will definitely order this one again.