a tavola

4.5
339 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 339 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.7
service
4.7
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Quiet
84% of people would recommend it to a friend
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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
3 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
11 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
16 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
41 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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CO
Chicago
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 3ambience 3

My boyfriend & I went on Valentine's Day. First of all, all of the food we did have was delicious. No complaints there, however I was very surprised that the menu was missing a few entree items that are heavily emphasized on their website. I asked 3 different waitresses if there were other entree options than the 3 offered on the menu. They all said no, even to the Osso Bucco which I asked about specifically. I overheard one waitress telling a different table that one of their shipments hadn't arrived yet & that was they didn't have certain entrees. I was disappointed, but ordered the short rib entree which was delicious. However, while I was eating it, about 30 minutes after I had asked about the missing menu items, I overheard a waitress offering the table next to us the Osso Bucco that I had my heart set and was told was not available that night! Again, the pastas & entree we had were all very delicious, but I was disappointed that I was unable to order what had been advertised & then overheard it being offered to other customers. Very confusing experience.

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KN
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on February 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I have been to A Tavola a few times now adore the charm of the unassuming house that you walk into off Chicago avenue. The gnocchi is my favorite thing. It’s like eating soft decadent pillows, but everything I’ve had is good. Great place for a date or a small celebration.

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S
Chicago
19 reviews
Dined on February 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I went w/ a friend for restaurant week. We had a very nice evening. The food was great and so was the ambiance and service. I'm glad it has been in my neighborhood for so many years and I hope it stays.

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N
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on February 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Absolutely delicious! Highly recommend for a date night!

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OT
Chicago
9 reviews
Dined on February 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful! Everything was delicious in an intimate atmosphere. The pastas, the short rib, and unexpectedly, the chocolate torte, were all great. Would definitely recommend.

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SE
Naples
8 reviews
Dined on February 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We visited for restaurant week. We had short ribs gnocchi and roasted chicken and the most delicious lemon tart. These were the stand outs from the 4 course meal. Can't wait to go back. The setting is very intimate with just 10 tables. Service was friendly and unpretentious. I'm looking forward to to trying their ribeye steak as it is highly recommend. They also have outdoor seating in the summer.

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G
1 review
Dined on February 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The four of us all truly enjoyed our experience during restaurant week. The best Italian food...so fresh and flavorful!! We all loved our selections. Portions were generous. Service was attentive and kind. Restaurant is a bit hidden as it blends on the street, but no need for a big sign. You know this place is a very special find as soon as you walk in the door.

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GR
1 review
Dined on January 31, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 2

It was ok the food is good, somethings were not available on the menu like potatoes, really? The ambience was extremely quite almost uncomfortable and freezing, I saw a few people with their coats on so it was not just me.

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S
Denver
11 reviews
Dined on January 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Great dining experience during restaurant week highly recommend! If you love gnocchi, you should definitely get it here!

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C
Chicago
1 review
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved the atmosphere and ambiance. The food was delicious and can’t wait to go again. Fantastic choice for a date night!

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M
Chicago
37 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 3

We tried a tavola for a restaurant week for dinner with friends. We live nearby and always like to try to discover somewhere new never having been there before. When we arrived there was a line of guests in the tiny vestibule area, and the dining area is curtained off. We stood there for about 15 minutes totally ignored by staff. There was no signage saying 'a server would be with you' and so many people were wedged into this tiny waiting area we had to go stand on the stairs and couldn't make our way up to the door. Finally a waitress came out and luckily our table was ready so our group of 6 was seated but others who had been there longer than us in smaller groups still were wedged into this bizarre waiting area. For restaurant week the prix fixe menu looked delicious for $44. Course 1 was great both the salads and roasted vegetable. Course 2 of pasta: bolognese and gnocchi -- the bolo was the best thing on the menu, everyone agreed. Great portion sizes and were were excited for the main course. Course 3 the main event: everyone ordered the short rib. We had high hopes having had 2 great courses but were immediately disappointed as the meat was horribly overly salted. It tasted like they'd thrown a whole container of salt on the cut. Dessert was fine, anything to quench your palate of the excessive salt. All in all 3/4 courses were good but the main course was terrible (hence my score) which left us all in agreement we'd likely not return or recommend. Disappointing overall.

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OT
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on January 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a lovely experience here. The restaurant itself was cozy, and gave you the feeling you were actually in Italy. Our server was attentive, gave great suggestions and knew quite a bit about each dish. The house wine is delicious!

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OT
1 review
Dined on January 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is one of our favorite restaurants for a date night. We just love everything about it.

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l
Chicago
12 reviews
Dined on January 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic meal and a beautiful small restaurant! The place was highly recommended and did not disappoint! It deserves a Micheli star.

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S
Chicago
10 reviews
Dined on January 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

The food is top notch. We love going here for date night and other special occasions. The prices are a bit high for comfort but otherwise no complaints

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AC
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined on January 8, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Went for our wedding anniversary and from start to finish it was a great experience! I am vegan and the staff reached out to me personally to let me know my options and did the some once we arrived. Our server was so friendly and the food was delicious. We had a few of their vegetable options (DELICIOUS) be my husband got the gnocchi which he said is some of the best he's had in a long time. We rounded of the meal with coffee, desserts and champagne. Great night and thanks so much to the team for taking care of us.

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s
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Went there for Nee Years Eve and had an awesome meal! Prime rib and gnocchi! Delicious! Because we were in a living room, it felt like dining with friends or family. Very comfortable, and again awesome food!

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P
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on December 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything was fantastic!! I loved it!!!
The food, service atmosphere was just great!!! Highly recommend this place!!!

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J
Chicago
1 review
Dined on December 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delicious food, great ambiance, knowledgeable, friendly and unobtrusive wait staff.

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OT
1 review
Dined on December 15, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A tavola was Amazing , we had the 44oz. Ribeye for two and Gnocci! Fresh and cooked to perfection! Minimal spices to keep the beef true! Can't wait to go when we visit again!

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