FOOD | Quirky, rustic Italian.
VIBE | Friendly, casual, devoid of pretension.
DECOR | Farmhouse-meets-country tavern.
DISH | Polpette (meatballs, with tomato and cheese sauce).
TIP | There’s a vegetarian dinner menu on Meatless Mondays.
Set in an arts and crafts-style home on Edmonton Trail N.E., Tavernetta is rather easy to miss. It’s neither trendy nor flashy. In fact, it’s not even immediately recognizable as a restaurant from the outside. The inside, however, is another story.
Warm and unassuming with the casual authenticity of an Italian country eatery, there’s a timelessness to the decor that suggests you’re in for a hearty, rustic and lively meal. And you are.
Chef and co-owner Keith Luce, who most recently ran Lina’s Market, has designed a menu of seriously good food that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Antipasti includes house-made bread with “good olive oil.” The spiedini (skewers) include a bright-tasting beef with salsa verde. And the piatti e ciotole (plates and bowls) list includes a rigatoni with tomato sauce that will have you wondering how it’s possible to coax so much flavor out of the humble tomato.
Tavernetta co-owner Tony Migliarese, who also co-owns Proof, serves negronis and house wine by the litre (or there are great wines by the bottle if you want to be all fancy) and is apt to offer some grappa to finish, as is the Italian way. There’s a welcome patio, a bocce court and all kinds of fun to be had indoors and out.
1002 Edmonton Tr. N.E., 403-250-8894, tavernettayyc.ca