The Charlottesville 29

If there were just 29 restaurants in Charlottesville, what would be the ideal 29?

Tag: Tavola

Tavola’s Secrets Revealed: New book with recipes from Charlottesville’s beloved Italian restaurant


As many Tavola regulars know, there is history behind the restaurant’s unusual take on carbonara, the popular Roman pasta dish with a sauce of eggs, cheese, and either pancetta or guanciale. While Tavola chef-owner Michael Keaveny includes all of those in his linguine carbonara, he also adds something rarely seen in the dish: sausage. Why? That’s the way Keaveny learned how to make it.

As a teeanger in Hartford, Connecticut, Keaveny lived just around the corner from the legendary Italian-American restaurant Carbone’s. Growing up, Keaveny says, it was “kind of a given” that he would work at Carbone’s as soon as he was old enough. There, where Keaveny started as a dishwasher before working his way up, the carbonara always included sausage.  That was the way Keaveny figured it was supposed to be made. Plus, he says, it was delicious. And so, when, many years later Keaveny opened his own Italian restaurant, his carbonara contained sausage, just like at Carbone’s.

Has it been a hit? Well, yes. Tavola recently marked its tenth anniversary, and in its first decade served 24,593 plates of linguine carbonara.

And now, you can make it yourself.

To celebrate the ten year mark, Tavola has released a book, tavola – 10 greatest hits, music and food, with recipes of some of the restaurant’s most beloved dishes. Because Keaveny’s ingredient-driven approach to food often minimalizes chef intrusion, many of the dishes are not difficult to execute at home. Available online and at New Dominion, among other outlets, the book also includes recommended pairings, both wine and music.

So, what sounds good with Tavola’s linguine carbonara?  Bod Dylan’s When I Paint My Masterpiece.

Five Finds on Friday: Rachel Snogles


Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Rachel Snogles, GM of Kama, the new Japanese restaurant at Violet Crown, whose Grand Opening is this weekend. A preview of Kama is here. Snogles’ picks:

1) Linguine Alla Carbonara at Tavola. “The quality of the pasta and attention to flavors in each dish are impeccable. Every pasta I’ve had has been fantastic, but a particular favorite is the linguine alla carbonara. Takes me back to Italy with every bite.”

2) Seven Hills Beef Tartare in The Coat Room at Brasserie Saison. “Whenever my family and I want a special night where we don’t have to think about making decisions, we always go to The Coat Room. They take it out of our hands and send food and drinks that suit our mood, though we always get the steak tartare with grilled oyster aioli when it is on the menu.”

3) Croque Madame at brunch at Commonwealth Restaurant. “I love brunch and rarely get to go, so when I do I want somewhere that does more than just bacon and eggs. At Commonwealth they nail it from classics like Eggs Benedict with Surryano ham to something more unique like the Dutch pancake with citrus chive marscapone with macerated berries. A personal favorite is the croque madame with the runny egg and delicious bechamel. It’s perfect for when I cannot decide between lunch and dinner.”

4) Margherita Pizza at Lampo.  “When it comes to wanting more than just a slice of pizza, Lampo is an obvious choice. A perfect crust makes the margherita pizza a treat every time. Save space for their cheese selection too.”

5) Pastry from MarieBette.  “Whether I am craving a canele, a chocolate almond croissant or simply want some good bread, MarieBette never disappoints.  It takes all my self control to not be there daily.”


Tavola Auction: Killer B’s Wine Class and Dinner


Here is your chance to experience Tavola like you never have before, while helping to feed the area’s hungry: The Charlottesville 29 Restaurant Auctions. Along with all of the other restaurants in The Charlottesville 29, Tavola has created a once-in-a-lifetime experience for whoever pledges the highest donation to The Blue Ridge Area Food Bank. Thanks to the generosity of Tavola, the entire winning bid goes directly to the food bank. And, thanks to the efficiency of the food bank, each dollar donated creates four meals for the area’s hungry.

The Tavola signature experience for The Charlottesville 29 Restaurant Auctions:

Killer B’s Wine Class and Dinner

A longtime winner of Wine Spectator’s Award of Excellence, Tavola presents a very special wine and food experience in celebration of the three “B’s” of Italian wine: Barbaresco, Barolo and Brunello. Tavola wine director Priscilla Curley, a certified sommelier who also owns The Wine Guild, will lead the auction winner and five guests through an exploration of Italy’s three most revered wines. Guests will learn about the wines and the regions surrounding them, while tasting extraordinary, world-class examples of each.

To accompany the wines, Chef Dylan Allwood will let loose for a spectacular six-course dinner in Tavola’s private dining room. In addition, Tavola’s award winning bar managers, Steve Yang and Rebecca Edwards, will create a signature cocktail just for the group.

Finally, to complete the theme of Italian “B’s”, The Elysium Honey Co. will provide a variety of their Italian expressions, for use in preparing the dinner. After the meal, every guest will take home an Elysium honey sampler gift set.

Note: The auction winner will schedule their experience on a weekday that is mutually convenient for Tavola.


Place your bids by email at Public bidding ends on August 9, when all prior bidders in the auction for Tavola will have a chance to bid again until the highest donation is reached, and a winner is declared. Regular updates of the leading bid will be posted below.

Current Bid: $2,700