Want Wonderful Italian Food, With Spectacular Service?
If you're ever in New Paltz, check this place out.
I'm somewhat particular about restaurants. There are a lot of "okay" restaurants out there, but there are very few really memorable ones. Every once in a while you find a local gem. And for me, one specific place comes to mind.
Technically this place isn't a local find for me, at least not anymore. For a few years, I lived in New Paltz, New York, while taking classes. I still make my way up there whenever I can. But one place I haven't visited nearly enough is my favorite Italian restaurant. My first visit occurred when an old professor took our class there for the end of the semester. Yes, there are professors who actually interact with their classes, but we were also graduate students, so that had a bit to do with the less formal relationship.
But why do I love this place so much? The answer is simple. It has quality service and quality food.
It's a small restaurant, but not quite a hole in the wall. The food is excellent, and the service is just as phenomenal. The servers know and understand the menu. They communicate well, both with the customer and with the kitchen.
What does kitchen communication have to do with quality service? Everything. On so many occasions, at other restaurants, I would find out that the kitchen was out of a menu item, only after ordering it. There's something distasteful about ordering something only to find that you can't have it. Such a thing would never happen at this restaurant.
Simple Quality Menu
One reason why the servers are able to learn the menu so well is that it's simple. There aren't a million options, but the options they have are all wonderful. There's always a seasonal selection of appetizers, entrees, and desserts, along with a few regular items.
They also have actual specials. I hate to continue to compare this restaurant to others I've frequented, but it's hard not to. I've been to so many restaurants that have "specials" that haven't changed in months, or even years! But not here. When I go in and I ask for the specials, I know what I'm getting is going to be special.
A Tavola Trattoria
Okay, so I intentionally buried the lead a bit. However, I really wanted to talk about how wonderful the restaurant is, before my readers ran off to Google it. A Tavola Trattoria is simply wonderful. "A Tavola" itself means "to the table" and when you're there, that's exactly where you want to be.
I miss this place terribly, and as soon as things go back to normal enough, I'll be heading to New Paltz for a relaxing evening there. The food and atmosphere are simply perfect. I feel at home, and relaxed.
The only real decision I have to make is what should I order? I won't know what the specials are until I get there. But I know there are a few regular menu options that I'll probably consider right away.
The grilled octopus is amazing. Even people who don't like octopus will probably like it here. Normally when I think of octopus, and when most people think of octopus, they probably think of near rubbery slices of seafood. I understand. Octopus sushi is good, but it is chewy. The grilled octopus at A Tavola is tender. Seriously tender!
Mac N' Truffle
I'm obsessed with truffles. I love them. The flavors are rich and funky. I also love mac and cheese. It's comfort food. Combine the two and you have a perfect combination. The Mac N' Truffle is one of the first dishes I tried at A Tavola. It doesn't disappoint. If you like truffles and you like mac and cheese, this one is a solid go-to.
The cocktail menu changes semi-regularly. But like everything else served at A Tavola, you can't go wrong. This place has some of the best cocktails in the Hudson Valley. All the ingredients are high quality, and tremendous skill is used in crafting each cocktail.
Hope to See You There
Really. I've missed this place so much. It's been far too long since I've been there. I can't even find any recent pictures in my phone. Then again, I'm often so busy focusing on eating the food there that I have no time to take a picture of anything before it's gone!
If you find yourself in New Paltz, and A Tavola is open, I would definitely check them out. Reservations are definitely recommended, and I'm sure seats are even more limited right now. But it's well worth it.