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October 20th, 2010 MICHAEL MANNHEIMER | Food Reviews & Stories
 

Tabla: Restaurant Guide 2010

     
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5:30 pm-close daily. $$-$$$ Moderate-expensive.
[MEDITERRANEAN DELIGHTS] Chef Anthony Cafiero’s Mediterranean bistro does simple pasta dishes better than any strictly Italian restaurant—or any restaurant at all—in town. Most places would be lucky to have one perfect dish on the menu. Tabla has two: The housemade ravioli, filled with ricotta, wilted and tangy chard, poppy-seed butter and a poached egg, has already been celebrated, but don’t skip the black pepper fettuccine with shaved zucchini and roasted morel ’shrooms. Both dishes are delicious but not overbearing, leaving room for a starter like the $10 fish trio (a recent visit had salty little sardines that were out of this world) and the dessert menu, which has options both rich (chocolate truffle cake) and perfect for summer (a lemon poundcake with blueberries and lemon mascarpone). If you can, grab a seat in the back bar, where the open kitchen lets you converse with the chefs and avoid the bluster of a busy night on Northeast 28th Avenue. MICHAEL MANNHEIMER.
Ideal meal: Any pasta.
Best deal: The $24, three-course dinner.

 
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