Saturday, January 28, 2023 Jan 28, 2023
47° F Dallas, TX
Food and Drink

Review: Taverna

Taverna kills the mood.
By Nancy Nichols |

Taverna is wildly popular with the neighborhood locals. And why shouldn’t it be? The “intimate, yet lively” concept was designed by Alberto Lombardi, the granddaddy of all things Dallas Italian. Even when the dining room is full, which is most of the time, the room is intimate, lively, and cozy. The menu is short, safe, and affordable—dinner entrees run about $14.50 and top out at $21. There is fresh focaccia and pizza from a woodstone oven, which makes it kid-friendly; if you go too early, the ambience is a little lively for grownups who want a romantic meal. It was a cold night in February when we were ushered past the velvet curtains and to a two top in the center of the room. The lights were low. Votive candles illuminated the room. We were feeling sexy, in a mood for a nice Italian meal and an amorous Sangiovese. “We have no Sangiovese,” said our waiter. “Instead I suggest a Travaglini Gattinara, 2001. It’s 100 percent Nebbiolo.” Once he poured the wine and we’d signaled our approval (it’s just as sexy as Sangiovese), we clinked glasses and exchanged flirty winks. We felt special. Until we looked around and saw the same bottle on about half of the tables. Salads were average at best. The Caesar was limp and the dressing lacked any distinctively strong flavor. A house salad was an uninspired plate of greens. We waited for our entrees, finishing the bottle of wine before they eventually appeared. The porcini lasagna layered with bolognese, béchamel, and Parmesan was cold. Same for the pan-seared beef tenderloin. Back to the kitchen they went and eventually were delivered by a manager who expressed his apologies. The lasagna was bubbling hot, but the steak had been thrown back on the grill, and the medium rare we originally ordered was now hot, but medium well. “Dessert?” asked our waiter, as he cleared our half-eaten dinners. “No thanks,” we said. “We’re no longer in the mood.”

Get contact information for Taverna.