In the last month, nothing much has gone according to plan (see cancelled trip to China in previous post). That strange turn of events has echoed in small aftershocks that continue to remind me that plans are always subject to change—but not always for the worse, as it turns out.
So as I stood on the sidewalk in front of Reata reading a sign that said they were closed, on the evening for which I had reserved a table for three, it wasn’t so much a surprise as it was a continuation of the previous weeks’ theme. But at that moment, it seemed a shame. It was my husband’s birthday—a big one that ends in a zero. My sister-in-law was in town. We had a babysitter. And just the day before, I had made very specific reservations for the three of us, ensuring that there was a vegetarian option available, as well as a table with a view.
So we ducked into nearby Taverna, a longtime favorite of my husband’s for its rich Italian food and wine, and told them our predicament. No sooner had we taken seats than three complimentary glasses of champagne arrived. We settled in for a decadent meal: I had the butternut squash gnocchi with fried sage leaves, a glass of Kunde Estate Zinfandel, and a house salad. The food at Taverna is always really good. And the service is outstanding. I’m told they’ll even make their signature risotto with vegetable broth instead of chicken broth with a couple days’ notice. On the regular menu, you’ll find four entrees that are meatless, plus some that can be adapted (the Paglia e Fieno, a pasta dish with Chicken, Wild Mushrooms, Truffle Oil & Cream Sauce, can be made very successfully without the chicken). Taverna has come to feel like a cozy neighborhood restaurant to us, and after coming to the rescue on our special evening out, I love them even more. (Apologies for the poor photography; gnocchi always tastes much better than it looks.)