One of the downsides of being on a diet is that my regular blog posts about my favorite local restaurants get sidelined. Well, this week I cheated a bit and had dinner at one of my favorite restaurants, Taverna.
Taverna was created by local restaurateur Alberto Lombardi and has some of the most wonderful food in town. It is always fresh, robust and excellently prepared and presented. The food is not typical pizza/pasta/chicken fare. It is a more traditional upscale Italian featuring seafood specialties, risottos (my favorite is the parmesan cheese and truffle oil risotto), excellent ,meat entrees including beef tenderloin and (as an occasional special) grilled lamb chops, and authentic thin pizzas.
On my most recent visit, my dining companion and I shares 2 special appetizers, the lentil soup and the heirloom tomato salad with blue cheese dressing. Both were exceptional. The blue cheese was rich and balanced the sweetness of the tomato nicely. The lentil soup was hearty and the vegetables blended well with the lentils and seasoning.
For an entrée, I decided on the beef tenderloin. It was one of the best examples I have ever had. Cooked perfectly and served with polenta and string beans, it was filling and flavorful.
I normally order the pizza at Taverna because it is so refreshing and light. Taverna is unique because they actually have a pizzaiolo from Italy manning the pizza oven at the restaurant. Pizzaiolo is a designation and special honor that Italian chefs achieve after extensive training in the making of pizza. Pizzaiolos hand make their crusts and never use a rolling pin on the dough. The result is an extremely thin crust that enhances the flavor of the fresh toppings. I have tried all of Taverna's pizzas and each of them is special in their own right.
Taverna is a special restaurant. Casual and classic in atmosphere, it is located at 3210 Armstrong Avenue, off of Dallas' popular Knox Street and adjacent to the Travis Walk complex. If you are looking for a nice dinner out, or somewhere to celebrate a special occasion, Taverna is a great choice!