I tried the Taberna on Thursday for the first time. I know it is frequently recommended on the list and since I walk by it just about every day I was curious to see if the food is as lovely as the decor.
I had previously investigated the menu by looking at the one posted by the door for passers-by. A word to the wise, this is somewhat out of date in terms of price. Appetizers are currently between 9 and 14 and entrees are between 25 and 35.
There were four fish specials the day of our visit (a Thursday). My bf had the hake in clam and garlic sauce and I had another (sorry, it was a couple of days ago) in a tapenade sauce. They were both delicious and the fish was perfectly cooked. We also had a side of grilled asparagus which was really outstanding and tasted of bacon (no warning on the menu though for vegetarians). The dishes were also true a la carte in that there was no accompanying starch/veggie.
One thing that annoyed me was the removal of our regular utensils for fish utensils--it is almost impossible to cut asparagus with a fish knife and I can't fit a whole spear in my mouth. I guess we could have asked for real utensils back but...
It looked like, judging from the very worn dessert menus, that the desserts never change and dessert specials are not done so I'm guessing no pastry chef on duty. We inquired about a cheese plate instead (not on the menu) and had a lovely assortment of five or six delicious cheeses including cabrales and manchego and some others I wasn't familiar with. The bread served with the cheese was the same as the regular dinner bread (a selection of white and olive).
The wine list tended to the expensive side. We were not celebrating, just looking for a mid-week pick-me-up, so I was slightly irked that out of all of the whites only two were priced below $40.
Overall, it was a nice meal in a nice setting and I am looking forward to returning to try the paella that a lot of people were ordering. Taberna is not for the faint of wallet however. I definitely had the sense that they were catering to World Bank expense account types.