The bottom line: A restaurant focused on Italian and Spanish fusion dishes that is bound to bring me back for happy hour!
As many of the Urbanspoon readers might notice, we too at Foodies Have Fun were invited by La Tagliatella to the Media NIght they hosted for those of us who like to eat and then tell you all about it! 🙂 This was most certainly an inventive way for this new restaurant to get the word out…so new restaurants opening in Charlotte you might want to take notice. What foodie is ever going to turn down food!? And by all means La Taglietalla were great hosts that not only opened up their doors to us, but also took the time to talk to us about the story behind the restaurant and shared information about the menu. In the effort of not sounding repetitive I will try to just highlight some of this information and you will also get to read a little bit about the experience that one of our guest bloggers, Ari, had as well since I dragged her to come with me to this event!
La Taglietella is mainly an European chain restaurant with over 135 locations around Europe and the world. They recently opened in China and India and in the US the Charlotte location is only 1 of 5. Menu wise you will see a lot of traditional Italian dishes although once talking to the General Manager he made mention that it can be considered more of an Italian/Spanish fusion. For example you will see the use of many Spanish staples such as the “chorizo” incorporated into their food. Furthermore, the head chef of the restaurant is based in Barcelona thus bringing in some of the Spanish cuisine into the mixture. Another interesting fact that I was able to learn is that their drinks menu was actually developed exclusively for the US. In Europe meals are mainly just accompanied by wine and specialty cocktails are the rarity. And this of course now brings me to the food!!
Drinks wise I had the Pastrocchio di Mora which is made of Buffalo Trace Bourbon, Tuaca, fresh lemon, blackberries and mint. I found it refreshing and relatively strong. You can find pieces of blackberries floating around and this adds that little extra something to the drink in my opinion. If you feel that it sounds a lot like a mojito then I would have to agree with you. The mint is probably what provides the similarity between the two.
Meal wise we started the night with a Caesar salad. The salad consisted of mixed greens with solé di Puglia tomatoes, anchovies, shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano and croutons. One of the things that I liked about the salad is that they provided the dressing on the side so you were the one in charge of how much you wanted. In my case this was a big plus because to me the dressing had much more of a stronger anchovy flavor than what I am used to. The tomatoes were a good addition as they balanced the more saltier taste of the pieces of anchovies and cheese that were present.
We then moved on to the the Focacce Liguri which was two pieces of focaccia bread, one topped with goat cheese, honey, bresaola and balsamic reduction glaze and finished with crushed pistachios, and the second piece had provoletta cheese, duck ham, arugula and shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano. This is for sure an appetizer that I will like to get again. I have never had duck ham and I would have to say I really liked it. From the two pieces my favorite one was the one with the goat cheese.
For our main meals we had the Tagliatella pizza which consisted of tomato, mozzarella, fried eggplant, Parmigiano-Reggiano drizzled with honey and aceto balsamico. This was hands down my favorite part of the meal! I enjoyed that the pizza had a crispy/thin crust and that the tomato sauce was kept to a minimum. It brought me back to the pizzas I used to find when I studied abroad in Italy in that the sauce was not the star of the dish, as it is in many of the casual pizza places in the US. The eggplant was perfect and the honey was such a wonderful surprise to my taste buds! It was a dish that was definitely well balanced in all aspects!
We also had a serving of two different types of pastas but Ari will cover most of that in her post as we had a pretty similar assessment. And if by now you’d think we would be so stuffed we couldn’t possibly continue eating…you are mistaken! Somehow we made room for not 1 but 2 desserts! I told you no foodie can turn down food. The desserts we got were a custard type cheesecake and a “Rocher” cake. My favorite one had to be the “Rocher” cake. It seriously did taste like you were eating a Ferrer Rocher with every bite! It was moist, soft, chocolaty, and the hazelnut flavor was there at all times. Although I liked the cheesecake and it was light I felt that it was too sweet for me.
La Taglietella is an interesting restaurant with an extensive menu. Overall I was satisfied with some of the things I saw and tasted and know I will be back to see what else I can discover food wise!
I am always ready to try new restaurants and I was very excited when Maria invited me to accompany her on one of her blogging restaurant adventures- especially since it was for a brand new restaurant! As I stepped into La Tagliatella, I felt as though I was transported to a luxurious European restaurant. Though it was elegant, it felt very warm and cozy at the same time. The coloring, lighting, intricate chandeliers and ceiling detail all added to the inviting ambiance. Maria and I were seated after checking in for the media party and were provided with a folder filled with information about the restaurant and menus.
Once we were seated, a friendly server asked us for our drink preferences. I ordered a glass of house red wine. I am very particular with my wines, but for a house red La Tagliatella has a great selection. It was dry and subtle and it would go perfectly with a pizza or pasta entrée. After providing us with cocktails, the server explained the set menu to us. I could not believe that they were going to supply us with so much food! We were about to embark on six different Italian and Spanish fusion specialties- and I was very excited.
The first course was a Cesar salad complete with anchovies and a fantastic parmesan cheese. Though the anchovies were not my favorite (are they anyone’s?), the salad seemed to be made with high quality ingredients and was a great start to the meal.
As Maria mentioned after the focaccia and the pizza we also were served two large pasta entrees. One entrée was a cheese and calabrese sauce topped tortellene dish. The green tortellini looked exotic and I was hoping it would taste as good as it looked. Sure enough, they tasted even better. Though tortellene would never be my first pasta choice (I am more of a fettucini type of girl…) I was happy with this dish. The pasta was cooked just right and the variety of flavor with mozzarella, tomato, and basil was excellent. The second dish was a noodle and truffle dish complete with a fried egg on top. Seeing an egg on pasta struck me as odd, but La Tagliatella includes an egg on top of a couple of their pizzas as well. Though it looked strange, it tasted very good. The truffles added elegance to the dish along with a sophisticated flavor.
By this point, Maria and I were both so full that we decided to take a little break before we could continue on our culinary journey. What better way to take a break and help digestion than to try a cocktail? I was glancing over the cocktail menu when the Il Fresco caught my eye. The drink consists of Skyy vodka, and a lemon and lime mix. It would be a great cocktail to enjoy on a hot day since it was so refreshing.
Finally, it was time for my favorite part of the meal-dessert! La Tagliatella served a scrumptious cheesecake and a “Rocher” cake. The cheesecake tasted like flan and cheesecake blended together- and it was fantastic. The Rocher cake tasted like a rich chocolate cream pie. It was also very good, but nothing can compare to cheesecake for me.
I would also like to compliment the service that La Tagliatella provided. The servers were extremely helpful and friendly. Though the menu is a little complicated, the servers had a lot of knowledge about all of the dishes and did a great job of explaining. I was also very impressed that the managers came by to check on Maria and I several times to make sure that we were enjoying our experience. It was evident that it was important to them that we left happy. Overall, I had a wonderful experience and I plan on going back to La Tagliatella often.
In fact, I already went back a second time this past week to try their $5.00 pizza happy hour (of course I ordered the La Tagliatella pizza again), along with delicious sangria. The service was just as attentive and polite at my second visit and I enjoyed sitting out on the patio. I am glad to have found a sophisticated yet affordable spot that incorporates my two favorite types of cuisine, Spanish and Italian.