By: Dan I. Cook and Kimberly Pekala
Last month Coral Springs Talk took a poll for the best Happy Hour and readers decided that Tavolino Della Nonna was number one. Our Facebook followers even swore by this place, so a deal is a deal and we set a date for us to stop by and find out what everyone was talking about.
First things first:
There always seems to be a side story with me when I write. This time it involved my daughter, Madison. She came home from Coral Springs Charter School and began to tell me about how her favorite teacher of all time asked her to write for the school newspaper. Being a writer, I was really excited to hear this news. Her favorite teacher’s name is Mrs. Kimberly Pekala.
Now, as my daughter is talking about Mrs. Pekala she got that spark in her eye like she was talking about Santa or a trip to Disney. This teacher must be something spectacular for my daughter to get so excited. I’m thinking, I have to meet this chick. I told my daughter this and she said that Mrs. Pekala read my reviews and loved them. When Madison said that, I sat up a little straighter, puffed my chest out, and if I were smoking a pipe I would have lit it up.
Now I had to meet her teacher. Within moments I had a crazy idea to have Mrs. Pekala co-write this review with me. I ask my daughter if she had a twitter account. Bingo!
Yes, I’m crazy and so I sent her a tweet telling her she’s my daughter’s favorite teacher etc… I then float my idea to her about co-writing this review with me. She says no.
She told me that her students are very important to her and they take up most of her time. She added that she likes to concentrate on them during the school year. However, could we do it during the holiday school break?
I’m talking to the Mary Poppins of teaching here. I love this woman now, and me being me, I’m not gonna wait or take no for an answer. I assured her that there is no heavy lifting to this review because it’s just about a restaurant not the Game of Thrones series. She finally said she was in. Hooray!
Then here came the setting of the hook folks. I told Mrs. Pekala, that I’ll treat her and her husband, as a thank you for all her hard work with her students. She was very polite and gracious saying it wasn’t necessary. In my mind I’m like, there was no way in hell I’m gonna let the Mary Poppins of teaching pay, especially if I’m asking her to work.
So all is good and the date was set to hit Tavolino.
I told her my rules for writing reviews which was basically there were no rules. I write what comes into my mind. It’s called inspiration. I told her that’s what separates me from other food and business writers. Basically, just be yourself. So here’s a review from a true Coral Springer, Kimberly Pekala, who was born in Coral Springs and graduated from JP Taravella High School. Kimberly teaches English and Journalism at Coral Springs Charter School, has a BA in English, an MFA in Creative Writing, an MEd in Curriculum and Instruction with a specialization in English from FAU.
Review of Tavolino Della Nonna
By: Kimberly Pekala
As a parent and a teacher, I don’t get out much, so when Dan invited my husband and I to happy hour at Tavolino Della Nonna, I was pleased to accept. It’s hard to find “grown-up” time as a parent, and it’s hard to maintain it during a night out with my husband because Coral Springs is not as large as you might think – we run into my students everywhere! Granted, that’s part of the charm of our community, and why my husband and I wanted to return. It’s a community that feels like home.
This sentiment was reinforced during happy hour at Tavolino. Upon arriving, we could see familiar faces milling about the entrance amongst the outdoor seating. The bar curved just inside the front door, which felt like a welcoming position. After greeting Dan and his wife, we had the chance to meet other residents enjoying their night out, some of whom were the parents of, or people who knew of, my students. I can’t express to you what a revelation it was to discover where the adults hang out, as opposed to the kids. Don’t get me wrong, I love my students, but their parents are far less likely to take my picture while I’m eating and post it on Instagram!
The bartender, Danielle, got our drinks right away, and we spent time marveling over their light-up drink menu. Frankly, every restaurant should invest in this little innovation because it allows you to enjoy shadowed ambiance and still be able to read the menu.
We ordered a few appetizers: the Margarita Pizzola, Nonna’s Meatball Sliders, and the infamous Tavolino’s Signature Pear Pasta. The pear pasta certainly lives up to the hype. It’s rich and creamy, with a sweet pear tang. My husband and I finished that one off first, and I assure you, we squabbled over the last bite. The meatball sliders were also very flavorful – enough to compel us to ask Edward Pozzuloi, the owner, what blend they used for their meatballs. He was pleasant and obliging, and his son Eddie Jr., who manages the restaurant, was wonderfully amiable. He is also a graduate of my school, so we enjoyed talking about his experience transitioning from student to adult amongst our staff, as many of them frequent the restaurant. Two (other than myself) were there that evening, which certainly complemented the community atmosphere.
Pozzuloi encouraged us to try to the Chocolate Volcano dessert, which was a rich, but not heavy, cake bursting with chocolate and topped with vanilla ice cream and several flavored sauces in an intricate design. It was beautiful and delicious. To cap off the extravagance, Pozzuloi brought out a platter of desserts for us to share. Though I was already well-past my limit, I did sample one of Tavolino’s Signature Cookies, an amaretto cookie of decadent flavor. Later in the evening, at home, we sampled the other desserts, and I assure you, they were all impressive, but the cookies truly stand out.
The food was wonderful, and the ambiance was pleasing, but I think what made the experience so enjoyable for my husband and I was that the restaurant encapsulates what we love about Coral Springs: the owners are an ingrained part of our community, and the patrons we socialized with shared our history in it. That being said, my husband and I are planning to make it more of a priority to make some “grown-up” time and get out and about again. We encourage you, other parents, to joins us. Sure, our city is well-known as a family-friendly place, but there’s space for the adults to be adults, too!
About Happy Hour at Tavolino’s
Happy Hour goes from 4:00- 7:00 p.m. Tuesday – Friday. It is a progressive menu which means that as it gets later, the prices rise. From 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. house wines and certain mixed drinks are $4.00. From 5:00 – 6:00 p.m., those items are $5.00. From 6:00 – 7:00 p.m., those items are $6.00. There are also selected items on the bar menu that follow the same pricing.
Kim said it all. It’s easy to see why this place was voted number 1. Thanks to everyone who participated in our poll.
Four beers filled to brim.
Remember to tell them Kim, Dan and Coral Springs Talk sent you and Stay Hungry!
Tavolino Della Nonna
10181 West Sample Road
Coral Springs, Fl. 33065
Tuesday- Thursday 11-10