Here is my suggestion of restaurant categorization: there are those restaurants that you go to because you want be surprised, and there are those that are a safe move, where whenever you come, you eat the same classic dishes again and again. Tavola in Herzliya Pituach belongs to the second category. It has been here for 18 years, at the end of an ancient tree boulevard that makes a nice addition to its stable character. Tavola is not the kind of restaurant that would try to reinvent the wheel or make an impression with sophisticated inventions. Its main purpose it to serve good food in a nice atmosphere, which can work well for a romantic dinner for two or a family dinner out.
There is one more thing that never changes in Tavola, and that is the generous size of dishes. My capriccio, for instance, is served on a huge plate padded with lightly cured thin filet slices. It could have easily been enough for two diners, if only I wouldn't have jealously taken it all to myself, as well as the hot focaccia that is served with it. Not to worry, my partner is not deprived of anything. On his plate sits an impressive pile of whole stir-fried fleshy mushrooms, in home-made pesto and white wine, and feta cheese cubes that add beautiful tastes and flavors.
Main courses are a dilemma. On the one hand, Tavola is an Italian restaurant, which accordingly offers a rich selection of pasta dishes: spaghetti and fettuccine, tomato or cream sauce, gnocchi, ravioli, and heavily crusted cannelloni and lasagna – the options are endless. On the other hand, the fish and meat options are tempting as well.
We end up saving the pasta for our next visit, while focusing on an entrecote for him and salmon filet for me. The salmon, which comes recommended by our lovely waitress, is an example of a right fusion of health and taste: a generous slice of oven baked salmon, with citrus caramel that gives it a bitter-sweet touch, together with green beans that were slightly blanched and tiny browned potatoes - a great dish. His entrecote is medium done, just like he likes it, with beautiful burning marks on the outside, redness and juiciness on the inside.
He can do without his side dishes, though. So he just eats separately the mushroom-Chianti sauce, which is nice on its own and hands the salad over to me, as a nice addition to my fish – and we are both very happy.
Desserts at Tavola are of the classic genre, which is fine with us. Just give us a cream Brulee and panna cotta with berries, and watch us leave this restaurant with a smile on our faces.