Becoming parents for the first time, we’ve realised that date nights just won’t be as frequent as they once were – although there’s nothing quite like a quiet night in with our son, Lewis (or a not so quiet night in as the case may be). We managed to escape from Newcastle to the big smoke of Belfast last Saturday night to enjoy an evening of dining at La Taverna.
La Taverna is located upstairs at the Fratelli restaurant in Belfast (you can read our Fratelli Belfast review here). We had booked a table for early in the evening and managed to get a seat outside on the balcony, overlooking one of Belfast’s busiest streets, Great Victoria Street. As we took our seats and looked at the menu, we knew we were in for a treat. Indeed, the inside of La Taverna has a great character about it and was busy with groups making the most of the cocktail deals and great wine list.
A Feast To Behold
As we scanned our eyes over the menu, there was just so much on offer that we were beginning to struggle to decide on what to order – we couldn’t order everything, could we? In the end, we decided to go with a selection of small plates to begin, as we had our eyes set on something spectacular for the main course.
Small Plates at La Taverna
To begin we ordered three small plates – a bolognese and salami stromboli (rolled pizza), a spiced chicken cicchetti fritti, and a buffalo mozzarella cicchetti freddi. The stromboli pizza starter was very moreish, and the bolognese and salami combo is one of three you can order – the others being pancetta, mushroom & truffle, and crab, salmon, and capers. The spiced chicken strips were served with a salsa rossa which provided an additional kick to the dish, and the mozzarella and marinated tomato dish provided the fresh taste that was needed to complement this trio of starters.
With several dishes to choose from for the starter, including cold plates, baked plates, and fried plates, there’s plenty of variety and something for everyone. If you’re visiting La Taverna with friends and manage to get a seat on the balcony, a selection of these small plates and a bottle of wine could be just what the doctor ordered! A great start to our meal, and the perfect appetizer for the main event. We couldn’t wait for the next course!
Sharing Platter at La Taverna
For the main course, there was a selection of three sharing platters to consider – steak, chicken, and risotto or a pasta and seafood option. Regular followers of the blog will know we’re big steak fans, so the choice for main was a fairly simple one – the padella sharing platter of chump steak, rosemary baked potatoes, pearl onions, and tenderstem broccoli.
Served with a creamy peppercorn sauce, this sharing platter was absolutely divine. The rosemary baked potatoes were wonderfully crispy and full of flavour, while the chump steak itself was perfectly cooked. There is quite a bit of eating in the platter for two people, which is always a good sign. We paired the steak with a glass of Italian red wine as recommended by our very attentive waitress.
As we approached the end of the main course, we sat back and reflected on what had been a truly mammoth feast from starter to main. La Taverna had certainly made an impression on us, and it’s the sort of impression you hope to get when visiting a restaurant for the first time. As we sat back sipping on the red wine and taking in the noise of Belfast City Centre from the balcony, we took stock of how big a year 2017 had been for us, and made a toast to a wonderful date night 🙂
Time For Dessert
We had just about left enough room to squeeze in a dessert (well, it would have been rude not to), and it was back to a trio of small dishes as we enjoyed a cheesecake, pannacotta and chocolate mousse. The dishes were just the right size and it was a great way to finish the evening. We’d left with a smile on our face from what had been a great feast at La Taverna.
If you’re looking for dining options in Belfast City Centre for large groups, or even something a little intimate for two, La Taverna ticks plenty of boxes. A great menu with lots of variety, food that is packed with flavour, a wonderful setting and a fab drinks menu ensure you’ll have plenty of reason to smile. We’d certainly recommend trying out La Taverna, and avoid eating for a good few hours before you go – you’ll need the room 🙂
Have you eaten in La Taverna or Fratelli? We’d love to know what you thought of it. Did you have an experience similar to ours? Let us know by commenting below or connecting with us on Facebook or Twitter.
You can find out more about La Taverna by visiting www.fratellibelfast.com.
**We were invited to dine at La Taverna. All opinions are entirely our own.**