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Restaurants & Bars

La Tavernetta

MAG | Jul 30, 2003 10:11 AM

I wasn't necessarily intending to provide posts on three new places, but serendipitously, I came across the above-referenced restaurant yesterday. It's not particularly surprising that I had never heard of La Tavernetta before given its location. The address, 3023 N. Broadway, is not the problem, its situation in the basement of a building with a nail salon as its main tenant provides a better explanation. We sat outside so I couldn't describe the interior, which my husband called dank and somewhat dreary. Not the place that you would expect to produce such well-executed Italian standards.

To start, I had the polenta with sausage, rich and flavorful, yet not overly filling. My husband ordered the calamari, which was perfectly prepared - lightly breaded and served with a rich marinara sauce on the side. The one significant weakness of the meal came next, the complimentary soup and salad. My dressing was a bit bitter, but it was served on crisp, sweet greens with red ripe tomato slices. The minestrone was adequate, nothing mind blowing. For our main courses, we both ordered the pastas. Apparently, La Tavernetta's specialty is its hand made pasta. My lasagne did not disappoint. The gnocci was a bit overcooked, but the sauce was excellent.

La Tavernetta has a good menu, filled with rustic italian dishes, such as penne arrabiata, braised beef, eggplant and chicken parmesan. Equally important, it is a good value. La Tavernetta does not have a liquor license and considering it has been open for a year, I don't anticipate that it will be getting one. I'm certain its location also helps to keep costs down.

Happily, we learned that La Tavernetta both offers carry out and delivery. Living in Roscoe Village, we don't have access to any good italians providing this service, so I believe we will be exploring more of La Tavernetta's menu in the future.

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