Monday, July 5, 2010

Seattle: La Buona Tavola

On Pike Place, near the market, there's a small Italian specialty shop called La Buona Tavola, and they call themselves a "truffle cafe." It's not the chocolate truffle, but the earthy aromatic fungi. Truffle is beginning to be a popular ingredient in many restaurants, being used in new American cuisine, Japanese fusion, and even gastropubs, whereas before you can only find truffle-related items in Italian or French cuisines.

At La Buona Tavola, they carry everything related to truffles from oil, cream, spreads, to truffle-infused salt. Since it's a specialty store, they also carry a variety of hard to find Italian goodies such as legit balsamic vinegar aged in barrels and small-vineyards-type wines.

La Buona Tavola
1524 Pike Pl.
Seattle, WA 98101

Store front.

What really attracted us was the $5 wine tasting.

Inside the shop they have a table set up where you can sample all sorts of stuff. Truffle creams, truffle oil, truffle salt, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, pesto spread... everything the store has to offer.

A look at all the different oil offered for sampling. Favorite was the white truffle oil on the left.

Of course a variety of pasta that I've only seen in Italy can be purchased here.

Wonder what this tastes like haha.

More pasta.

For the $5 wine tasting, Mikol and I opted for red wines and first up was a small vineyard production from Italy in the variety of Montepulciano d'Abruzzo. I didn't think too much of this haha.

2nd red wine was a Barbera D'asti, which I did like. Similar to a Pinot. Beautiful color too when you hold it up to natural light!

Since we were from out of state, our server decided to let us try a syrah from Columbia Valley in Washington. I've always liked syrah from Washington since I find it not as harsh as the ones from Australia and the Haystack Needle is no exception! Smooth and the flavors just lingers on your tongue. Suppose to taste vanilla in there somewhere but I'm too noob :P

The girls opted for white wines and started off with an Italian Prosecco, which is sparkling wine similar to champagne.

Another sweet wine from Italy. Forgot the name or where it was from but girls definitely likes the sweetness. The last white one was actually a Moscato you can buy from wine shops everywhere so I didn't bother taking a picture. For $5, the red wines were definitely a good value since they also offered some pairings with their spread, preserves, and oils.

La Buona Tavola ended up being one of my favorite shops in Seattle just because the proprietor was extremely nice and took the time to explain what each oil, cream, or condiment is. Sampling everything was really fun too. Free samples of truffles FTW!