This is one of my favorite restaurants in Austin. The staff and atmosphere are very welcoming. The food and wine make me feel like I am in Italy. My husband and I experienced a relaxed Sunday dinner.
We started with the Charred Octopus appetizer, paired with a glass of Sicilian red wine (Donnafugata “Sedara”–Nero D’Avola/Cab.)
I ordered the octopus because I had a dish similar to this when I was in Sicily. This plate transported me back to Sicily. The Octopus was smoky and tender. It was served with roasted fingerling potatoes that were crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. The accompanying salsa verde added a refreshing finish.
For our salad course we had the Roasted Beet Salad.
The roasted beets were served with tender mache lettuce, spinach, orange wedges and goat cheese. The salad was topped off with toasted hazelnuts and a honey, champagne vinaigrette. This is one of the best beet salads I have had. It was fresh, had just the right amount of acidity and the toasted hazelnuts added a flavorful crunch.
For our next course, we both ordered the Eggplant Parmigiana. My husband got it with the spaghetti. I decided to go a little lighter by substituting sautéed asparagus for the pasta.
Eggplant Parmigiana is my favorite Italian dish. It is the dish I use to judge an Italian restaurant. The best Eggplant Parmigiana I have ever had was in a small osteria in Bologna, Italy. This one is so that good that it matched the one I had in Bologna. It is fork tender and melts in your mouth.
For our main course we decided to order one entrée from the regular menu and one entrée from the specials board.
From the regular menu we ordered the Salmon Piccata, pan seared in a lemon caper sauce served with sautéed spinach and asparagus.
The salmon was crispy on the outside and just pink in the center. The accompanying vegetables and piccata sauce were perfectly seasoned. The whole dish was fresh and flavorful.
From the specials board we ordered the Sea Bass Puttanesca, pan seared served on a bed of pasta puttanesca.
The sea bass had a savory crust with a fresh flaky interior. Their pasta is imported from Italy. It was cooked al dente and sauced just right. The puttanesca sauce was garlicy, salty and spicy. The dish was delicious. I think they should put it on their regular menu.
After this big meal we decided to skip dessert. Alexander, our excellent waiter, insisted that we have the Tiramisu because it is the house specialty. So we went ahead and ordered it.
I have had Tiramisu many times. This one was very well presented and also tasted very good. It was soft and creamy. Not too sweet, with a good balance of chocolate and coffee.
We enjoyed our dining experience so much, that Taverna Domain has become one of our go to restaurants. Good food, service and ambiance.