If I see agnolotti on the menu, I order it. The trouble is I don't see it often. Overshadowed by the popular ravioli and tortellini, the half moon shaped agnolotti is like the ignored step sister of Italian filled pastas. Maybe for that reason, I particularly want to love it and the version at La Tavola more than justifies my affection.
Wonderfully flexible, La Tavola allows me to order the agnolotti in appetizer size, leaving room for a second appetizer, and of course dessert. The little ones came four in a pack, resembling more of Chinese dumplings than their Italian siblings. The half moon shape provided a balanced ratio of toothsome shell to innards. In this case, the innards composed of a well-seasoned combination of very tender braised beef and veal. The sauce of thyme and butter formed a luxuriously sticky coating, which was cleverly counter balanced by an acidic red wine reduction. the appetizer portion was perfect for satisfying a craving while still leaving me wanting.
I followed up with a second appetizer of mussels steamed with tomatoes, red onions, parsley, oregano, and thyme. The liquid had the right amount of tang and savoriness without overwhelming the taste of the chubby mussels. Amazingly, each mussel stayed in its own shell with no absentee or random floater.
Satisfied but not stuffed, I demanded the homemade ice cream of the day. Not lacking in butter fat content, the generous scoops provided a pleasantly creamy and cool ending to a very enjoyable and relaxing meal.
With a good selection of half bottles to accompanying a not overly indulging meal for two, La Tavola remains one of my favorite places for an unhurried dinner with someone good for a chat.
992 Virginia Ave.
Atlanta, GA 30306