Today’s marinara-smothered Groupon gets you $40 worth of the boot-shaped country’s best dinner bites for $20 at Taverna by Lombardi. The Austin outpost of this favored eatery serves up authentic, contemporary Italian cuisine in a casual atmosphere that, unlike most of Austin, has not been overrun by vicious gangs of troublemaking sheep.
An unassuming environment allows the indulgent fare to take center stage. Start with the mussels sautéed in garlic, tomato broth, and white wine ($11) or the warm chef’s focaccia, oven-baked rounds of rosemary olive oil flatbread, drenched in parmesan cheese ($4.95). Forgo your usual roughage and splurge on decadent dishes of pasta: demure nuggets of butternut squash gnocchi bathed in a sage and asiago cream sauce ($14), pasta purses packed with tangy gorgonzola and tart pear ($14), or sea-jewel-studded fettuccine (shrimp, mussel, clams, and scallops) in a brandy crustacean cream sauce ($16). Pair dishes with selections from the well-edited wine list, with glasses starting at $7.
Taverna is open for dinner Sunday through Thursday until 10 p.m. and on Friday and Saturday until 11 p.m. Get this Groupon to please cold-weather conniving cheesephiles and comfort-food canoodlers, or to curb carb-loving carpet cleaners' carb-cravings.
Note: This Groupon is good for dinner only; not valid for lunch, brunch, happy hour, or half-priced wine bottles on Tuesday.
Black Book raves about Taverna’s rich risottos, swanky sips, and perfect pizzas:
- The town’s only risotteria also serves mean 'za. Talk about a toughie for the carb-conscious.
Are You Eating Italian?
Italian food is one of the most popular cuisines in America. Its savory dishes have become so common in our diets that sometimes we don’t even realize we’re eating Italian food. Here’s a guide to help you recognize when you’re eating Italian:
The Scenario: You are eating a rich bowl of marinara-smothered raviolis. Are You Eating Italian?: No. You are eating an unheated Chef Microwave child’s meal straight from the can because you spent all your money on black-market salamanders.
The Scenario: You are eating mussels sautéed in garlic, tomato broth, and white wine. Are You Eating Italian?: No. You have been kidnapped by Canadians and hooked up to a dream machine that records your thoughts for study.
The Scenario: You and your significant other are enjoying a romantic meal at an Italian restaurant. Are You Eating Italian?: Yes, but things are not as they seem. Sweat drips from your brow. A crow lands on your table and falls dead—a sure sign the meal will be your last.
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