a tavola

4.3
359 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Italian
Founded in 1995, a tavola is one of the city’s best restaurants, bringing Chicago an intimate and authentic dining experience. At a tavola the emphasis is, appropriately, on the food. Authentic dishes from Italian regions are re-created using Italian cooking methods and the finest imported Italian products.

a tavola is the culmination of professional cooking experience by Daniel Bocik, a versatile chef from Chicago, who brings back home the knowledge and experience of an education at the California Culinary Academy and the finest restaurants of San Francisco, Paris, and Milan. To ensure the freshest food at a tavola, fresh fruits and vegetables are selected from a local organic farmer, meats and seafood are personally selected by Chef Dan from local markets.
What 359 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.3based on recent ratings
4.2
food
4.7
service
4.4
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Quiet
85% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

A favorite for summer time - Amazing setting and patio, super friendly and professional service. The food is usually very good - a small menu done well - but it can be a bit inconsistent. Great if you are in neighborhood, and worth searching out when weather is nice.

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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I love how this place is hidden away. I had actually forgotten it was there until I walked past the sandwich board sign. Made a reservation to come back and was not disappointed. The food was excellent and the wait staff was very attentive and friendly. They definitely went above and beyond and made the experience just as memorable as the first time I went years ago. This place is doing a lot of things right, I would highly recommend it.

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K
Chicago
10 reviews
Dined on July 8, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 3ambience 2

Something has changed at a tavola. The once lovely back patio was barren and more importantly the food was bad. The fish on the menu was unavailable, the chicken was plain and tepid, the once fabulous gnocchi was leaden and the salads were overdressed and limp. It felt like everything was leftovers. It was embarrassing to have taken guests there and was a waste of $$.

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LG
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on July 6, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 4

Have been going here for years. This was the first time that food was bad.

Pasta tasted like it had been cooked ahead of time, was mushy, and did not taste fresh. Gnocchi was tough. Fish was catfish (What Italian restaurant serves catfish as their only fish?), ribs were mediocre.

Very disappointing- not sure if new ownership or not, but had been very excited to come back & brought friends, but won’t be back again anytime soon unless the quality improves.

Maybe just a bad night, we have had a lot of good ones here, but too many things were disappointing, even for one bad night.

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A
Chicago
55 reviews
Dined on July 5, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 5

Great food! Back patio is a treat.

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TO
Chicago
1 review
Dined on July 5, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

The biesteaka was very good.It brought memeories of a resturant in Tuscany.The biesteaka there was the best steak We ever had. This was a copy.

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CS
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on July 2, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 2

Have you ever gone to a restaurant for the second time because the first experience far exceeded your expectations only to be completely let down. The signature dish, steak and gnocchi was not available, the fish of the day was not available. Please call ahead if you are expecting the full menu.

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MD
Kansas City
1 review
Dined on July 2, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

The restaurant is located in a very charming building and has a beautiful romantic ambiance. The meal I had was very good but I would not order it again not that it was bad but that it was too much for me. The Grilled Marinated Portobello mushroom appetizer could have easily been my entree. It was as delicious as any steak I have ever eaten. I upgraded the gnocchi to entree portion which I should not have because it was very rich. The Torta Di Limon was to die for! The crust was perfect. It was crisp yet melted as you chewed and the lemon cream was beautiful.

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OT
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined on June 29, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 5ambience 1

The patio is embarrassing. The weeds are overgrown so much so that having a dress or skirt you can feel them while sitting at the table. There are a number of dead plants in pots and weeds growing in the planters. In addition, half the outdoor lights were not lit up as well as a large piece of lattice was missing on the west side of the patio . Come on!!! You have a patio in the city that I would not come back too. We will not be back. We were extremely disappointed.

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OT
Dallas
1 review
Dined on June 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Consistently superb experience places a tavola at the top of my list of favorite US dining experiences.

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TL
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on June 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

First and foremost I must say the service was fantastic.
Our server, Leslie, was excellent and she was assisted by another server who made sure our waters were always filled and places cleared.

The martinis were great! The mushroom and gnocchi appetizers were to die for.
My husband had the beef short rib...very good.
I had the whitefish special that was wonderful.

Leslie surprised us with a complimentary piece of flourless chocolate cake with almonds. A perfect ending to a wonderful evening.

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CZ
1 review
Dined on June 14, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Great food! Great patio dining and ambiance! The patio experience was exactly what we were hoping for in a quiet post-meeting day for the group of 7 of us. If we had had to dine inside, I think the experience would not have been as suitable, because the interior was very dark.

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SW
1 review
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A new friend named Paul recommended A Tavola to us as we visited Chicago for the weekend. We were simply amazed as each course provided delicious and fresh tastes. Our server, Michelle, was the best.

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PR
Chicago
24 reviews
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Limited menu but food and service were outstanding. Great outside area in back. Very limited wine list.

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OT
Chicago
39 reviews
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Outstanding and creative food and service.

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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on June 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Was just looking for a place to grab dinner before a late-night concert at The Empty Bottle and found A Tavola - and what a find it was. It is a tiny restaurant with a small but delicious menu. The prix fixe 4 course meal was perfect for us all. Allowed us to get to try a bit of everything (don’t miss their dessert! - with 5 of us we were able to get all 4 options to share). The service/pace was like a European restaurant which we love rather than being rushed and we had the time so it made for a great start to the evening. We will definitely be back.

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OT
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on June 1, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

First time there. Really loved everything about the place. Cocktails were great! But got watered down quickly because of the small ice. Food was wonderful. Definitely will be back.

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SM
Chicago
1 review
Dined on May 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was a amazing great staff nice indoor and outdoor seating areas. All I can say is yum!

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E
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on May 28, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Great food, atmosphere, and service. Gnocchi was so delicious along with the mains. However, must have sewer issues because the bathroom smelled awful. If you are charging $30 for your entrees, you should be able to afford some potpourri for the bathroom!

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OT
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on May 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Came here for our first anniversary and very pleased with our choice! Great food and experience.

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B
New York Area
18 reviews
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful hidden gem! Can’t believe we hadn’t been there before. The food was exceptional. The Florentine steak is perfection! The tagliatelle was excellent. The focaccia is not to be missed. Save room for dessert if you can.

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DH
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Love the food. However, the new chef may have tweaked the famous gnocchi a bit that was less desirable. It was less “melt in you mouth”

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c
Chicago
24 reviews
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Outstanding food and service in an intimate atmosphere

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TD
1 review
Dined on May 4, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

We were surprised by how little pasta was on the very small menu, but had a delectable braised chicken dish that was delicious. The restaurant is very small and quiet and the service was excellent. The focaccia was the best I gave ever had.
There is no sign outside with the restaurant name, which gave us a delightful secret feel.

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TO
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on May 4, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Gnocchi was a little disappointing after all the great reviews but the whitefish was delicious. I’m still unhappy about the $10 bottle of water.

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MC
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined on May 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

With wonderful Gnocci at the heart of the meal, a tavola is a great place for a special meal. the atmosphere is serene and the food and service are excellent. Somewhat pricey but worth it.

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a
Chicago
13 reviews
Dined on April 27, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

The gnocchi is so good! The 40oz steak special was great!!! Get the pre-fixe with the short rib. The staff was so kind and helpful! Will definitely come back

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PB
Chicago
1 review
Dined on April 26, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

My second time dining here. For an Italian restaurant their options for pasta are limited. Additionally the vegetarian options are not much beyond salad and the gnocchi which was decent. Menu that is displayed online is different from what was in the restaurant

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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on April 26, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

I was disappointed with the menu items. The menu online showed more options.

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FR
Chicago
14 reviews
Dined on April 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Intimate and wonderful restaurant with incredible food and intimate atmosphere.

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TF
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on March 30, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 3ambience 5

In three words, terrible, terrible and terrible. Had a 7:30 reservation on Saturday night and arrived on time. It's a very small space so I did notice that 2 other tables were empty. They only have 10 tables and they don't turn them fast. They had 4 entrees listed that night and 2 were already sold out? Of course we found out about this after placing our original order; whitefish. Come to find out they had a total of 12 whitefish. Second option the huge porterhouse to share; also sold out. It is 7:30, not 10:30, and the server said they have an early dinner crowd. I've been here before and that's not true. This is Chicago not the 5pm coupon-crowd in Ft Lauderdale. We finally settled on our dishes; tagliatelle bolognese and half-roasted chicken. If you know this noodle it is long and wide and what was served appeared to have chopped prior to being served and was clearly smothered in a vodka sauce. My half-chicken was actually two pieces that looked like they had exploded in the oven - could not even make out that it was part of a chicken. It looked as if they tried to hide this mess with a layer of veggies. We sent both dishes back, told the server how awful it was, and at no time did chef/owner make it to the table.

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RA
Chicago
8 reviews
Dined on March 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

One of my favorites. A menu that is limited but steady in worthy quality.
A smaller, more intimate place.

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T
Chicago
45 reviews
Dined on March 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I had a friend in from Boston and wanted to take her to a restaurant where we could have a conversation without having to yell. The choice was perfect, not only for the quiet and warm ambiance, but especially for the high quality of the food and service. Everything was prepared and presented with attention to detail. The portions were generous and all of the selections were outstanding. We had the whitefish and short rib entrees, the gnocchi and tagliatelle with bolognese and these dishes were outstanding. The only thing to be aware of is that there is only a Fixed Prix menu at $60 per person and the menu is small. For us the choices worked well with our tastes. I will happily return!

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DB
1 review
Dined on March 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I love this place! I've been going since my mother discovered it more than 15 years ago. First, I love the comfortable space in a 2-flat. I'm glad that noise was part of the survey: restaurants these days are either crammed with TVs over every free inch of wall space or blasting some music that makes you yell over the table at your fellow diners. There is some decent jazz music playing at A Tavola, but the key sound is people commiserating over dinner, which is what it should be. The service is tight, always there when you need someone and never far away. The food is reliably wonderful. We had Italian braised beef, arugula salad and the gnocchis (you must never miss the gnocchis, they are delightful! ..like little clouds of flavor and prepared by folks who know what they're doing). We finished with the panna cotta, another delight. Maybe the wine is a bit expensive and I'd like more by-the-glass choices, but always a happy and satisfying experience. I'm looking forward to summer when the garden the back opens (always nice to be next to the herbs when they're watered and have their scents waft over).

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OT
Chicago
8 reviews
Dined on March 15, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 3

Don’t waste your time or money. Overall, I would say this place is about average. The prices are high so I expected the food to be outstanding. We got the special 40oz steak with gnocchi and split it between 3 people. Although it was plenty of food, it was just fine. I was excited to try the gnocchi because I heard it was the best in the city. Again, I would say it’s average. I would have rather gone somewhere else.

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JL
Chicago
10 reviews
Dined on March 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We had the most amazing dinner. As the only guests at an early reservation on a Tuesday, the owners and cook spent time going over recommending items, his personal favorites, and menu item he thought we should not miss out on. We decided with the 40 oz steak and gnocchi. After several years in Chicago, the gnocchi was the best gnocchi I have ever eaten.

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AJ
Chicago
17 reviews
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 3

Very small, somewhat quaint place. Service was very good, food was good, not great.

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PF
Pittsburgh
43 reviews
Dined on March 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Tiny rustic establishment that you’ll miss if you blink while passing the front door. Go for the intimate experience and food, set you expectations low on the wine selection as there are about 6 reds on the list (all quite nice). The braised short rib fell off the bone. Service was kind and timely.

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NH
Chicago
9 reviews
Dined on February 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A Tavola is a neighborhood hidden gem. We've been several times and for several different reasons, date night, a celebratory dinner for my father's retirement and hosted a birthday party upstairs. Each time we've visited, the service and food has been amazing. It goes without saying that the gnocchi is the real selling point at A Tavola, however, all other items on the small menu are standouts as well. The cacio e pepe is the closest version we've had outside of Italy, the Bistec is great for sharing, the chicken is moist and delicious and the desserts are to die for. No matter the event, feel confident that a Tavola will be a hit. Just make sure to make reservations as there are only 10 tables. This is one of our favorite restaurants in the city!

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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on February 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Good date spot.

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