I like to think that great Italian restaurants all have their roots around a big kitchen, with Italian mothers and grandmothers chatting away as they work on pasta recipes passed down through the generations. And I love that A Tavola’s origins lie smack bang in the middle of the idilic scene.
Chef and owner Eugenio Maiale uses the recipes and experiences of his mother’s pasta prowess along with regular visits to Italy, and replicates all the warmth and heartiness of authentic Italian cuisine at his two chic restaurants in Sydney – the original in Darlinghurst and the more recent at Bondi Beach. Both showcase some of this classic dishes with the Bondi restaurant having a slightly more seafood theme.
I’ve been a fan of A Tavola from quite a few years ago, and it is a local favourite of many of my friends too. We gather there after work around the comfort of the big, central marble-top dining table. Surrounded by drying bay leaves and handmade pastas… it transports us to our proverbial Nonna’s kitchen table.
The decor is simple, inviting and chic. The locations are both within bustling food mecca locations in Sydney, however the decor is calm and cool. Nothing forced and showy, just a nice blend of homely touches with thoughtful and ambient lighting that hits your place in just the right places.
Too many amazing dishes to describe, so here are the photo highlights from some of my visits. For a full list of the menu, take a look at their site and select either the Bondi or the Darlinghurst locations.
My Absolute favourite meals at A Tavola… and the ones I just cannot seem to leave out when ordering each and every time I go, is the following “dream team” combination:
1. PAPPARDELLE CON RAGU DI MANZO
Hand-cut pappardelle pasta, slow-braised beef, red wine, tomato. Whoops, I dove straight in and forgot to take a pre-dive photo… so you can consider this one an “action shot”. This dish is delicate, full of flavour and melts in your mouth.
2. TRIANGOLI CON RIPIENO DI ZUCCA
House-made ravioli, pumpkin, mustard fruit, amaretti, burnt butter, sage. A great flavour combination and surprisingly, very filling too.
3. CREMINO AL CIOCCOLATO
Chocolate and hazelnut, amaretti, salted caramel gelato, Italian meringue. It’s served up looking like a piccolo cappuccino, until you dig your spoon in and take a scoop out of all the decadent layers described. Heavenly!
So if you’re after some authentic Italian, head to either location and I’d suggest getting dishes to share, so you can sample a larger variety from the their menu.
348 Victoria Street Darlinghurst
Telephone 02 9331 7871
75-79 Hall Street Bondi
Telephone 02 91301246
– Surangi x