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Home » FOOD AND WINE in MA » MASSACHUSETTS (all topics)
Tavolo, Dorchester, Massachusetts

By Heidi Sarkozy | August 25, 2010

The Bar
The Interior of Tavolo
The Whipped Ricotta Appetizer
Polenta alla Icarus
Seared Scallops
Tavolo's Meatballs
The Fig and Prosciutto Pizza
The Mushroom Pizza

The chefs at Tavolo are serving up authentic Italian cuisine nowhere to be found in the North End of Boston.

Tavolo is an exciting place to dine with friends or mingle at the bar.   Chef and owner Chris Douglass and Chef Maxwell Thompson have just been awarded Boston Magazine’s “Best of Boston.” The menu is diverse and changes frequently. The food is flavorful and fresh without the heaviness that often defines Italian restaurant food.   The staff is welcoming, well informed, and they know their regular customers by first name and what they’re drinking with dinner.   It feels like home—but the food is better.

The Whipped Ricotta appetizer ($5) was light and smooth as velvet, with peppercorns on top, and served with grilled buttery toast.   This dish would be a perfect addition to the ‘make your own’ antipasto option on the menu.   By itself it would benefit from something salty like capers or a fresh herb like marjoram.

Polenta alla Icarus ($9) is one of the few dishes that migrated over from Icarus’ menu. It is crispy on the outside and buttery on the inside.   The caramelized mushrooms add that essential sweet and earthy flavor.

Tavolo’s famous Meatballs ($8) are served with marinara sauce, provolone and parmesan.   The veal and beef combination is so tender it melts in your mouth.   The nutty parmesan flavor is present with every bite and there is a wonderful balance of tomato and basil from the sauce.   The recipe to these meatballs and marinara sauce was featured in Bon Appétit Magazine’s May 2010 issue.

The Seared Scallops ($12/$24) are perfectly seared with brown butter.   This is a light and delicious small dish or main course.   The scallops are served over pureed cauliflower with thin slices of lemon flavored zucchini ‘noodles’ and topped with fried capers and cauliflower that are tantalizing in texture and unique flavor.

Of the pizzas on offer, the Fig and Prosciutto Pizza ($14) has a thin crispy crust topped with fresh figs, ricotta, parmesan and arugula and drizzled with balsamic vinegar.   It was as ravishing as it was tasty.

The highlight of my evening was the Mushroom Pizza ($13).   It emanates with the woodsy flavor of porcini sauce topped with caramelized Crimini mushrooms, just the right amount of Taleggio cheese (Italy’s answer to Brie) and hint of rosemary over a crispy crust.   It’s not your predictable every day pizza.   It would be a crime to take it off the menu.

Standouts from the dessert menu included the Flourless Chocolate Torte ($8).   The accompaniments of creamy pistachio ice cream, blueberry reduction sauce and crushed pistachio all made the dish the addiction that it has become for many.

Dolce de Leche gelato ($3) is a French kiss in a cup with caramel and milk chocolate chips with a creamy texture.   Not to be missed.

Tavolo has been awarded best bar by Improper Bostonian and many Dorchester/Milton locals.   It has a variety of clients, many of whom are regulars.   Why? Because in addition to great drinks, food, bartenders and crowd, Tavolo always has hot new menu items and special events.

Tuesday is live music night.   Pasta Tour is every Wednesday at 6:30 pm where the chefs create a delicious three-course meal ($18) featuring the specialties of particular regions of Italy.   Italy has 20 regions and they don’t miss any of them.   Space is limited so reservations are a must! Friday is mingling night, and on Sundays, Mad Men is shown with special vintage cocktails and 1960s inspired bar snacks.

There is free evening parking in the Ashmont Tire parking lot across the street as well as in the Odwin Learning Center lot.   Parking in the Odwin Learning Center is available after 6:30 pm during the week and all day on weekends.

TELEPHONE(617) 822 1918

1918 Dorchester Avenue
Dorchester, MA 02125

WEBSITE: www.tavoloristorante.com


Daily at 5PM

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