Cozy * Rustic * Italian

April 9, 2011

Could you ask for anything more!!?

This afternoon was spent on the couch, reading, napping, watching Conan.

Then we showered, dressed and went OUT!


There was talk of making beans for dinner. But we needed a little jazz to the day.



On a blah night, cozy Italian seemed like the perfect fit.


Plus, I had a gift certicate from our friends Eric + Alex + little Finn from my BIRTHDAY to use! That’s right, we haven’t had a free weekend since October to plan a romantic date night. It’s been a busy 6 months (my half birthday is April 26!) and while the bakery is sure to keep us busy, at least it will keep us planted in Cville.


We have been wanting to try Tavola for ages! It was standing room only when we arrived at 6:30, which we thought would be early for dinner!


We were told the wait was over an hour (and they don’t take reservations) but since neither of us was terribly hungry, we decided to get a glass of wine and wait it out.

And by glass I mean carafe!


A half carafe – half a bottle of wine – split between us.


I nursed a large glass for our entire 1.45 minute wait. ONE glass!! Small, small sips. I knew I didn’t want to have two glasses – a rather new guideline of mine for hangover prevention. I know I always exceed my guidelines [it used to be 2 drinks per night] so I changed it to one knowing I’ll still go over!


The wine was amazing – an Italian bold red – and I very much enjoyed it.


Matt on the other hand is still on the multi-drinks-per-night plan and had a second glass with dinner


While we did have to wait an extremely long while, we talked and enjoyed the lovely ambiance of the restaurant. If I’m not starving, I do love a little wait sometimes. It’s cozy!


When we were finally seated, we got the best seat in the house! Right next to the open kitchen with great photography light!



While we were waiting we had seen another table order this amazingly looking appetizer so we ordered it ourselves! It was a Burrata – a fresh Italian cheese made with mozzarella and cream – with a side of arugula pesto and sundried tomatoes. Incredible!!!!!


The cheese was a mix between brie, mozzarella and a poached egg in texture! Absolutely loved it.


For dinner I went with Capellini Frutti di Mare “Fra Diavolo” – I almost always order seafood! It was fabulous and flavorful



Matt – at the risk of being boring – ordered Linguini with Clams, however I think his dish (swimming in butter, garlic and pizzazz) was even better than mine!



We traded many bites.

We seriously pondered the dessert menu. It’s very hard for me to pass on dessert on such a fun occasion, but I seriously asked my stomach AND my mouth if they were in the mood and I got a 50/50 vote. Mouth: Yay. Stomach: Nay. I decided one square of chocolate would do and I could wait till I got home and save $8. So that’s what I did!

Very very fun evening!!! Tomorrow, we hike.

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{ 76 comments… read them below or add one }

1 JenATX April 9, 2011 at 9:11 pm

i’m with you; sometimes I enjoy a little wait. If we get seated right away then me & the boyfriend will just have a glass of wine & wait to order our appetizer after we get in some “chat” time. it extends the evening :)

And your half birthday lands on me & my boyfriend’s anniversary! i do love april


2 Jenny @ Fitness Health and Food April 9, 2011 at 9:13 pm

ohh what a lovely date night!

we had the same thoughts last night and said no we need to get out! I’m a big fan of seafood pastas too :)


3 Grace April 9, 2011 at 9:15 pm

Thanks for sharing your date night! The food looks YUMMY


4 Sam April 9, 2011 at 9:19 pm

Damn, you’re good :)


5 Runeatrepeat April 9, 2011 at 9:22 pm

I think I always order seafood too! Great night :)


6 B & B April 10, 2011 at 7:57 am

I love seafood, but never have ordered it at a restaurant. I don’t know why. I think I always feel like it’s more risk of being food poisoned 😉 – silly though. Linguini with clam one day!


7 Natalia - a side of simple April 10, 2011 at 12:16 pm

I feel the same way! I’m always afraid it’s going to make me sick :(


8 Kate (What Kate is Cooking) April 9, 2011 at 9:22 pm

In my pre-vegetarian days, I used to LOVE linguine with clams- I commend Matt for his order :) Also, anything swimming in butter has to be good, right?


9 Hilary April 9, 2011 at 9:22 pm

Kudos to you for resisting dessert…way to stand strong! That burrata looks SO good…Rachael Ray talked about it on her show last week…and after seeing it here, I’m craving it in a mean way!


10 Allie (Live Laugh Eat) April 9, 2011 at 9:27 pm

Cute new purse! :) Kitchen light is crucial after the sun goes down…


11 Angel7 April 9, 2011 at 9:29 pm

The Burrata looked really good!

Usually by the end of a meal, there is no room for dessert in my stomach.

You can work off your meals tomorrow while on your hike :)


12 The Teenage Taste April 9, 2011 at 9:33 pm

Sounds like a great dinner! I’m loving the look of that Burata. YUM! :-)


13 Heather @ Health, Happiness, and Hope April 9, 2011 at 9:35 pm

So glad you got to enjoy your evening! You both look fabulous… tell Matt I really like his shirt(s) – the colors look great on him!

Side-note question: Do you and Matt take notice of the bread and compare or make mental notes for the bakery when you go out to eat? I just thought of that when I saw the bread in this post and was curious. :)


14 KathEats April 10, 2011 at 8:25 am

We do take notice of bread, but there are few restaurant breads we don’t like. We only spit out grocery store stuff, which I honestly think tastes like cardboard these days. But I do love myself a nice rustic roll or ciabatta.


15 [email protected] April 9, 2011 at 9:37 pm

Their food seriously looks amazing I love seafood and pasta together and the italian wine, yum! Glad you enjoyed your date night out :)


16 Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine April 9, 2011 at 9:39 pm

I went out to eat twice today and got good photo light in both places. A win, since that rarely happens. Simple pleasures! Dinner looks delicious, especially your fra diavola. I tend to order seafood when I’m out, as well!


17 Cindy April 9, 2011 at 9:39 pm

Sometimes the simplest of dishes are the best! Enjoy your hike tomorrow! I’m jealous!


18 Mandiee April 9, 2011 at 9:40 pm

Your half birthday is the day after my birthday. Happy early half-birthday to you, (half-)birthday buddy :P. My stepdad is Italian and often makes Capellini Frutti di Mare “Fra Diavolo” as a special treat (well, for the rest of my family since I’m vegan…but I am told it is DELICIOUS). I’m glad you enjoyed your special night out. Sometimes it’s nice to just sit back and relax, even if that means waiting. It’s a total plus that you got the perfect seat right by the open kitchen.

Have a lovely day!


19 Mandiee April 9, 2011 at 9:41 pm

Your half birthday is the day after my birthday. Happy early half-birthday to you, (half-)birthday buddy :P. My stepdad is Italian and often makes Capellini Frutti di Mare “Fra Diavolo” as a special treat (well, for the rest of my family since I’m vegan…but I am told it is DELICIOUS). I’m glad you enjoyed your special night out. Sometimes it’s nice to just sit back and relax, even if that means waiting. It’s a total plus that you got the perfect seat right by the open kitchen. Love.

Have a lovely day!


20 Emily (Comfortable Home Life) April 9, 2011 at 9:45 pm

Italian food is my absolute favorite. It’s sooooo good! I’m jealous of your delectable looking meal!! Enjoy your hike tomorrow!


21 Kristi @ KristiAteIt April 9, 2011 at 9:45 pm

Our birthdays are exactly 6 months apart! Mine is on April 26th :)
I’m glad you had such a great night out. It’s always nice to make the wait not seem so bad when you can enjoy a small glass of wine while you wait.


22 Dimple Snatcher April 9, 2011 at 9:46 pm

I NEED that appetizer in my life! Glad y’all had a fab time :)


23 Heather (Sugar & Spice) April 9, 2011 at 9:49 pm

The photographs are beautiful – I feel like I was at the restaurant, too. Glad you had such a great date night! Much deserved :)


24 Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table April 9, 2011 at 9:50 pm

I love the 1 glass knowing you’ll have 2 limit! I need to implement that one – summers make it too easy to get caught up in the “mood.”

Isn’t burrata amazing? I could eat THAT for dessert.


25 Lucy @ The Sweet Touch April 9, 2011 at 9:54 pm

The burrata looks amazing – I would love to attempt making some myself!

Nothing like a little bread, wine and pasta on a dreary night to cheer you up!


26 Carrie @ Nutrition By Carrie April 9, 2011 at 9:56 pm

Wow, the food looks amazing. I’m going to forward your post to my NC friends in case they find themselves in C-ville. I’m in Seattle, so I’m sure I’ll never make it there!

I’m not a huge fan of long waits at restaurants, but a few months ago in Sedona, we had to wait almost two hours for a table at an amazing Mexican restaurant (Elote Cafe) that doesn’t take reservations. It was totally worth the wait. And I nursed a single beer through (most of) the wait 😉


27 [email protected] Grains of Paradise April 9, 2011 at 10:06 pm

Burrata is my most favorite cheese in the world however it’s impossible to find on Maui. Good thing though for I finally made the jump to veganism…


28 sarah (sarah learns) April 9, 2011 at 10:07 pm

i enjoy a little wait too – especially if it’s a wait with a good drink! i always get seafood when we eat italian too – it’s hard to beat it! :)


29 Katie @ Nourishing Flourishing April 9, 2011 at 10:08 pm

Fun night! Tomorrow is supposed to be dreary here, so we’ll probably sit inside and watch things as you did today. Ah, weekends :)


30 Susan April 9, 2011 at 10:15 pm

Ooooh, I love burrata!!!!


31 staceyhealthylife April 9, 2011 at 10:25 pm

What a fun date night.


32 Camille April 9, 2011 at 10:27 pm

I am constantly impressed by how intuitively you eat. You are seriously inspiring!


33 Courtney @ the granola chronicles April 9, 2011 at 10:37 pm

What a wonderful date! Glad you could find time to enjoy that gift certificate.


34 Meri April 9, 2011 at 11:07 pm

Most days, I’m on a one drink plan too. If I feel like it I”ll drink more but I’ve started to enjoy the drink more if I am not on a guzzling plan :)


35 Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) April 9, 2011 at 11:08 pm

What an awesome evening…yay for random gift certificates waiting to be used!

And nursing 1 glass of wine for nearly 2 hrs?! I am impressed!

Have fun on your hike tomorrow. And you two cleaned up very well…lookin’ good there :)


36 Khushboo April 9, 2011 at 11:38 pm

Last night we waited 45 minutes for a table at brunch and I’m pretty sure it made my eggs taste that much better!


37 Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife April 10, 2011 at 12:18 am

I don’t love waiting….but maybe because I am sort of impatient?! haha. Lovely night out it looks like. Fun :)


38 J3nn(Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) April 10, 2011 at 12:20 am

Sounds like a fun evening! Your food looks great, and I agree, waiting can be good. I like to actually be hub fry and enjoy the meal.

Love your silvery bag!!


39 J3nn(Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) April 10, 2011 at 12:21 am

Haha, that’s supposed to say hungry, not hub fry!! iPad autofill is annoying sometimes, lol.


40 Ashley April 10, 2011 at 1:24 am

What a cute night! Glad you got in some r+r today. I’m hoping to tomorrow!!!


41 lynn @ the actor's diet April 10, 2011 at 2:29 am

wow i do not think i could wait that long for dinner!!!


42 Hannah @ Healthy Life April 10, 2011 at 3:03 am

The starter looks totally delicious! I also like waiting for a table if the restaurant has a great atmosphere and you know it will be worth the wait.


43 Miranda @ Working Mom Works Out April 10, 2011 at 4:53 am

Ooh, you guys got all fancied up for dinner. Looks amazing. I usually order seafood when I go out, too. I find it hard to recreate those dishes at home.


44 Heidi - apples under my bed April 10, 2011 at 5:12 am

awe what a lovely night! waiting for a table with a glass of beautiful red isn’t so bad, hey :) Spaghetti vongole is my absolutely favourite dish!! Yum.
Heidi xo


45 Simply Life April 10, 2011 at 5:16 am

Great looking meal!


46 Christine @ Burning It Off April 10, 2011 at 5:36 am

Looks like it was worth the wait! I agree, I don’t mind waiting if the restaurant is really nice and I’m not too hungry; it draws out the overall experience.


47 Sarah (Running To Slow Things Down) April 10, 2011 at 6:26 am

I enjoy a wait as well! As long as I’m not ready to chew off my arm. OR, as long as there is bread and wine at the table. 😉

Lovely day! 😀


48 Crystal April 10, 2011 at 6:28 am

That seafood pasta looks fabulous! Sometimes it’s nice to wait to be seated. It makes the dinner feel more special than being wisked in and out in 45 minutes flat.


49 sarah (the SHU box) April 10, 2011 at 6:48 am

kath! the fact that you could see your wait as ‘cozy’ — well, again, that is why you are awesome :) looks like such a great night!!

and these days i am all about seafood/fish (or veg.) at restaurants, too. similar to you, i have stopped eating meat if i don’t know where it came from. plus i honestly love seafood more, anyway!


50 sarah (the SHU box) April 10, 2011 at 6:50 am

oh, and i hear you on dessert – josh and i have gotten wary of dessert at restaurants b/c it always seems to be what tips us over from happily satisfied –> uncomfortable! if i’m being honest, i’m probably happiest when i enjoy treats as snacks in the afternoon :)


51 KathEats April 10, 2011 at 8:26 am

:) Exactly! I was picturing myself sleeping on my stomach and it being SO full (which has happened a lot lately). I hate going to sleep stuffed!


52 chelsey @ clean eating chelsey April 10, 2011 at 7:14 am

What a beautiful restaurant! We went out last night too (we were in the need of a change) but went to a Mexican restaurant instead!


53 Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin April 10, 2011 at 7:18 am

I can’t believe you had to wait for nearly 2 hours! But that appetizer looks like it was worth the wait. I think I would have been tempted to order a second plate of the Burrata and eat that as my meal! 😉


54 Char April 10, 2011 at 7:29 am

Oh this pasta looks SO good, and I want some pronto!! We just had our date night on Friday, and I like to limit myself to one glass now, too. Just enough to really enjoy it :)


55 Mary (Sisters Running the Kitchen) April 10, 2011 at 7:49 am

both of your pasta dishes look amazing!! Pasta and Clams is my new favorite thing! Glad that you two were able to finally go out together!


56 kaila @ healthy helper! April 10, 2011 at 8:03 am

I don’t mind waiting either as long as the environment is nice and I am in good company! Looks like you had a fabulous Saturday night! Food always adds a little fun to a blah day!


57 Corinne Rao April 10, 2011 at 8:03 am

Hi Kath, just want to say I enjoy your blog very much. I started reading it about 4 months back, and now it’s my one place to go everyday and get inspired by your healthy lifestyle. I am a physician, and I wish more people would try to be healthy and active as you do. I enjoy being part of your life thru your blog. Thank you!


58 KathEats April 10, 2011 at 8:26 am

Thank you!


59 Suzanne @ continuing my education April 10, 2011 at 8:13 am

Yum! I haven’t been there yet, need to put it on my short list!


60 Kris April 10, 2011 at 8:19 am

What a lovely evening you two enjoyed! You deserved it.


61 [email protected] April 10, 2011 at 8:20 am

that appetizer makes my mouth water! I had burrata in an appetizer a few weeks ago at a restaurant and LOVED it. However, when I got home, I could not remember the name of the cheese, until I saw you write about it here! Now I’m on the hunt for a place that sells it so I can try to recreate that appetizer!


62 Amanda (The Nutritionist Reviews) April 10, 2011 at 8:22 am

Looks like a great date night! how fun.


63 Jess (Sweet Potato) April 10, 2011 at 8:26 am

You know its going to be a great meal if you have to wait 1.45 hours to be seated!


64 Jil @ Big City, Lil Kitchen April 10, 2011 at 8:56 am

This meal definitely looks worth the wait! and I love when restaurants have room for you to chill until your table is ready.


65 ashley April 10, 2011 at 9:08 am

when we visited charlottesville, we managed to sneak into tavola without a wait! it was delicious, and one of my favorite meals ever!


66 Gina April 10, 2011 at 9:58 am

I too was going to pass on dessert last night…and then our server placed the dessert menu in front of us and I saw it. Rhubarb crumble with house-made vanilla bean ice cream and I was a goner! Worth.every.bite!!!!


67 Lea @ Healthy Coconut April 10, 2011 at 10:59 am

I need to do that more often, ask my mouth and my stomach if it can handle dessert. Usually I just chow down and then feel overly full half way thru.

Your half birthday, April 26, is my birthday! I have a fascination with #26 too.


68 Brooke at Plum Pie April 10, 2011 at 11:50 am

Tavola is my FAVORITE restaurant in Cville!! We usually sit at the bar because there is often a long wait and the bar is almost always faster. I crave the burrata app all the time! So delicious. And the Shrimp Capellini with gorgonzola butter is phenomenal!


69 JessicaEn April 10, 2011 at 12:13 pm

I feel you on dessert… one of the WORST feelings in the world to me is being too full. I try to remember that i can always have more if I am not satisfied.


70 Haley April 10, 2011 at 2:40 pm

Since my children have come along, waiting is NOT an option!! 😉


71 Dee April 10, 2011 at 3:40 pm

oh wow! a 1.45 hour wait would have had me ready to blow. I don’t do with waiting very well. Lol. But dang, it looks and sounds like it was well worth it!


72 Emily April 10, 2011 at 5:10 pm

Your half birthday is my real birthday! Looks like a fantastic dinner!


73 Hannah April 10, 2011 at 11:02 pm

Shiny shiny shoes! And oh, how wonderful the seafood stew looks!


74 Molly April 11, 2011 at 7:49 am

Mussels are my newest weakness. Pair them with fresh bread and I’m in heaven.


75 Diana @ frontyardfoodie April 12, 2011 at 10:29 am

Date nights rock and can only be made better when they’re cheaper! We always try to date with Groupons. haha


76 Melissa @ Journey to Marvelous April 12, 2011 at 2:24 pm

Too often, my mouth wins the battle between mouth and stomach when it comes to dessert! I’m learning though…and it’s good confirmation when I wake up the next morning feeling great and ready to go, not bloated and dragging from too much food the night before!


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