La Tavola (The Table), Hertel’s latest entry in the North Buffalo restaurant scene, is only a matter of a couple of weeks away from opening. I spoke to owners Victor Cali (former pizzeria owner) and Patrizio Gentile (owner of Gecko’s on Hertel), who told me that customers will be treated with homemade seasonal offerings, Neapolitan pizzas, pasta fagioli and ever-changing specials. Chef Chris Luccari has come onboard to make sure that guests are treated with house specialties that include homemade pasta (build your own dish) and even Italian creations with a Creole spin.
Thanks to two operation kitchens, one for show and one for prep, along with a wood fired oven that can crank out pizzas in four minutes, this team is convinced that they will quickly become the sweetheart restaurant of foodies everywhere. “We’re here for the serious food lovers,” said Patrizio. “We’re going to accommodate the meat lovers and the vegetarians – we have a sauce that is meat free for those who want it. We wanted to create something right out of NYC, from the handcrafted food to the intimate atmosphere. There will be classic small plates, featuring perfectly portioned food that is priced right.”
The interior of La Tavola Trattoria (formerly North End) has come a long way since the crew has taken it over. One look around is enough to get anyone excited about the place. Walls have come down, and there is a new open-air feel about the place, especially when the patio doors are cranked open. Venetian plaster and exposed brick, with granite countertops and stainless steel accents, make for plenty of different seating vignettes within the restaurant. Every little detail has been thought out, from operational flow to the purse hooks found at the bar.
La Tavola will be open for both lunch and dinner seven days a week (Monday lunch only). The owners are looking forward to running a hands-on business filled with plenty of character and charisma. “I call it the triple threat,” said Chef Luccari. “Great food, plenty of experience, and lots of personality… all of the things that make for a good restaurant.”
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La Tavola Trattoria
1458 Hertel Ave