Taverna Proves a Hit For Intimate, Casual Dining

Lombardi's Taverna boasts seasonal specials and traditional Italian fare.

My wife and I have been to Taverna perhaps three or four times. In the past, we have gone on Sunday nights, which seemed perfect. There are no crowds, and there is no wait for a table.

With few patrons competing for service, the wait staff is easily attentive and the atmosphere is pleasantly quiet and intimate. Our visits were too infrequent to call it "our place," though we mutually agreed – it’s a great choice for spending a quiet evening with a reliably good dinner.

Our most recent experience took place on a very busy Saturday night. The busyness took nothing from our occasion; rather, it was an unexpected gift. With a half-hour or so to wait for seating, we adjourned to the bar, standing in a quiet corner and talking over a glass each of Shiraz, our favorite red. With four small children at home, a lingering evening alone together is a rare treasure.

The smartly dressed, polite, intelligent looking people around us only increased our awareness that this spot is "it." The bustling bistro ambience gave our evening out a new tone, as if we had slipped away on vacation, if only for the night. A front table by the window offered a chance to pull back the curtains, letting in glimpses of the comings and goings of others out to enjoy a night of great food, gatherings with friends, or quick escapes like ours.

The flounder special was perfect, lemony with capers, julienned peppers, and cut crisp green beans, over creamy risotto. Subtly tangy. Appropriately warm. Satisfying, not heavy. My wife enjoyed her gnocchi. Seemingly gone in a flash, I missed the chance to ask for a bite, though the outcome speaks in part to the surprisingly undersized portion as much as her enjoyment of the dish.

No matter, there was room for dessert, a rare indulgence for us at restaurants. We agreed to share a slice of cappuccino pie, though the tiramisu sounded a bit more tempting to me. Not too much, but a suitable chocolatey finish to our pleasurable evening.

Taverna is a hit, with me and my wife. Wonder what they’re serving for lunch?On The Web:

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