You may remember it, or may have only heard the stories—something about that tiny 23-seat cafe on State Street where the young owner was your waiter, cook, busser, cashier. A little wild, a lot of heart, major chops; she was just a girl…
That girl was Sava Lelcaj, and her restaurant grew up right along with her. With her unflappable and unstoppable dedication to great food with even greater hospitality, what started as a tiny lunch stop matured into the 300-seat restaurant it is today, a community mainstay and an entrepreneur’s American dream. Where else could an Albanian kid, emigrated to the Bronx at age five, start her own business on grit and
Ten years later, Sava’s is now the flagship of a larger and growing hospitality organization while still serving the community in all the same ways originally intended—with a diverse and joyful menu, a lively, inviting and inclusive environment, and perhaps above all, the dynamically generous hospitality Sava and her team are best known for.
Aventura began, like many seductive ideas, with a creative human and an experience. When restaurateur Sava Lelcaj bought the building you’re sitting in, out of pure fascination plus great timing, she immediately fell in love with the history, the patina, the personality of the space, but perhaps most significantly, with—a table.
She gathered her friends around that table, in the cavern-like basement of this building, and was immediately transported to another place. Old World, wine and cheese, music and conversation, candlelight… tapas.
That same table now sits in the middle of Aventura restaurant, a continuing symbol of Sava and her team’s coming together over the love of authentic Spanish cuisine and culture; tapas, paella, cocas, vino, gin tonics. Literally carved from the bones of the original space (b. 1872) and utilizing classic Spanish design elements paired with works by local artists, the dining room and bar are intentionally intertwined, reiterating the deeply social experience of traditional Catalan and Valencian-style tapas bars.
We invite you to eat, drink, laugh and linger here; to enjoy the company of those you love as well as those you don’t yet know.
Aventura is a love affair, a Cupid’s arrow from us to you.
Tavolina was sparked by the idea that real, honest food, delivered with passion and style, could and should be experienced anywhere! For years, our loyal guests asked us to bring the SavCo experience beyond our restaurants and into their homes, offices and gathering spaces. We were eager to oblige and have since built some of the most unique catering services around.
Tavolina is the Albanian word for ‘table,’ which as in many cultures, is the heart of the home. It’s at the table where many of life’s most meaningful moments are shared… where family and friends experience the most exceptional gestures of generosity, warmth, and hospitality. Our team delights daily in the quiet orchestration of these moments, contributing in some small way to the simple pleasures of breaking bread with strangers and loved ones alike.
Our Restaurants… Your Tavolina.