Thursday, April 8, 2021

La Taverna

As of this writing, San Diego is officially in the orange tier of reopening. Personally, I'm glad for the businesses that will get to re-open safely and show us their strengths. I'm so sad though that so many businesses were unable to make it to this occasion. So, so many small businesses have been heavily hurt or closed permanently by this last year and the events of the pandemic.

I truly hope that this orange tier predicts an upwards trajectory, and that we are, as a city, heading towards better days.

Even with the lockdowns and closings, some new restaurants have managed to emerge. One such is La Taverna, located right on 5th Avenue in Hillcrest. La Taverna is open daily for lunch and dinner, serving up Italian favorites like chicken parmigiana and lobster ravioli. 

The restaurant is doing an incredible job with the restrictions regarding COVID-19. With constant cleaning, spacing of tables, and mask enforcement, it is a safe, health-conscious space to dine. 

I almost cannot consume Italian food without a glass of wine, so straight away we ordered a Pinot Grigio and Chianti. The wine list is long, but not so much that you spend half your evening pouring over it. And the staff is happy to help with your selections!

We started out with a classic -- caprese salad. Caprese salad tastes just like summer to me, and with the weather getting warmer every day, I'm ready to taste the fresh tomatoes, basil, and buffalo mozzarella. A caprese is so simple, but is somehow so much greater than the sum of its parts. This salad featured an entire ball of fresh mozzarella and fresh, flavorful tomatoes with a light drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper. A perfect starter. 
Another great starter to try is the Carpaccio di Manzo, or beef carpaccio. I've had it prepared all sorts of ways, but La Taverna does it in the classic style with raw filet mignon, arugula, capers, and parmesan. The beef is very high quality, and trust me, it is safe to consume raw. Carpaccio is a very classic Roman dish, but rarely seems to be on modern Italian menus. Definitely worth ordering and checking out.

After a lot of angst over what sounded the best (everything!), I decided on the lasagna. I know, I said I wanted light fare when I ordered the caprese salad, but who can resist loads of cheese and homemade bolognese sauce? This lasagna was magnificent, with mounds of melty cheese, and huge! It was easily one of the best lasagnas that I've had, and I'm up there with Garfield in my love of lasagna. 
For our other entree, we chose the ravioli di aragosta, which is lobster ravioli with a tomato cream sauce. This dish just tasted luxurious, with loads of main lobster in homemade ravioli, and a rich, zingy sauce. It was certainly indulgent, but so worth every bite.

I love, love tiramisu. It might just be my favorite dessert. It's even better because I never have to share with my daughter, since it typically contains rum and espresso. Kidding, kidding. I love sharing my desserts. The tiramisu is just slightly sweet, but mainly creamy, so it is absolutely a grown up dessert. Served with a little fresh fruit to take the edge off of the deepness of the dessert, it is just perfect. 

We also ordered a cannoli, a very traditional Italian treat. Cannolis seem to be more and more rare these days as well, which is too bad, because they are delicious. This cannoli was sweet, creamy, with a crispy shell, and just a sweet, fresh flavor. One of the best cannolis I've had in a long time. 

La Taverna is now open daily for lunch and dinner, located on 5th Avenue in beautiful Hillcrest! 

April 08, 2021 / by / 0 Comments

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