Tavolo

Mastermind Weekend 1/16

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I'm Tina

I’m the owner of Carrots ‘N’ Cake as well as a Certified Nutrition Coach and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner (FDN-P). I use macros and functional nutrition to help women find balance within their diets while achieving their body composition goals.

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Last night, I was invited to a blogger dinner at Tavolo in Dorchester. (The restaurant is literally yards from the Ashmont T stop.)

Tavolo serves all sorts of Italian cuisine– pizza, pasta, antipasti, wine, gelato… but it also offers a whole lot more!

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The decor inside Tavolo was funky and playful with bright, bold colors on the walls, swirly, globe-like lamps hanging from the ceiling, and whimsical chalk murals featuring cutesy critters munching on pizza slices. The restaurant had a fun-loving, laid-back vibe.

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Tavolo has a very casual atmosphere. It’s perfect for relaxing and chatting with friends or sitting at the bar to watch the game.

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Tavolo has a great Wednesday night deal: 3 courses for $18! 😀

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We had a lively group of 10 bloggers for dinner last night.

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Tavolo’s menu is fairly straightforward with a simple selection of dishes– all of which incorporate fresh ingredients from local farms. Love that!

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While waiting for everyone to arrive, I snacked on a piece of bread and sipped on a glass of the most delicious white wine.

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Before the meal officially started, Tavolo’s chef, Maxwell Thompson, introduced himself to the group. He was really cool! :mrgreen:

All of Max’s dishes were of high quality. You could tell that he definitely put a lot of work into what he was doing!

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The first course was a Watermelon Salad with feta, lemon, mint, and basil. The combination of watermelon and feta really surprised me. It was amazing! It was a wonderful balance of sweet and salty without being too heavy. Perfect for summer!

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The second course was Gnocchi alla Gricia: gnocchi with pancetta, pecorino, and local fava beans. The gnocchi were so light and fluffy. I’ve never tasted gnocchi like that before! The pancetta and pecorino added quite a bit of salty flavor to the dish.

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Up next were the chef’s house meatballs. Fan-tastic! They were tender and bursting with flavor from a variety of spices. The tomato sauce that the meatballs were served in was also rich and delicious. “Max’s Meatballs” are a regular menu item that can easily be added to any of the dishes or ordered as a side. If you visit Tavolo, you’ve gotta try them! 😀

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Paired with the meatballs was a full-flavored red wine: Sangiovese, Ca’ Del Solo, Bonny Doon.

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Delish!

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The next course was the Swordfish Involtini. Typically, a swordfish dish wouldn’t catch my attention on a menu, but I loved how it was prepared at Tavolo! The swordfish was wrapped around fontina, garlic, and parsley into a roll-up of sorts. This was the star dish of the night for me! SO GOOD!

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Following the swordfish was the Roast Duck Breast, which was served over faro and local string beans and topped with red currant. I’m not a big fan of duck, but I tried a few bites. The skin was crispy and packed with flavor. I loved the faro and beans, and practically devoured them!

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With the duck, we tried some Local Golden Zucchini, which made a great side dish.

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At this point in the evening, I was stuffed! But, of course, I had room for dessert! 😉

Dessert was a Blueberry ‘Genetti’ Cake, which was toasted blueberry pound caked with a touch of whipped cream on top. The toasted pound cake was out of this world! The smell alone was truly amazing! The edges of the pound cake were sweet and crispy, which definitely enhanced this simple dessert.

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Tavalo really seized the opportunity to showcase some of their non-Italian dishes. Tavolo is more than just pizza and pasta!

A number of the dishes from last night’s blogger dinner are not on the regular menu, but perhaps Tavolo has plans to add them soon? With that being said, everything I tried was absolutely delicious! I have a feeling that everything else on their menu is just as good!

Tavolo is most definitely worth a trip to check out! I’ve already told Mal that I am treating him to dinner there very soon! :mrgreen:

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35 Comments

  1. That golden zucchini looks DELISH! I’m also thinking of making my own watermelon salad today – so good!

    I wish places around here had blogger dinners, that would be a blast!

  2. Wow! What a cool restaurant!!!! Love that they made everything special for the bloggers. That watermelon salad sounds like perfection. Hope you have a good weekend.

  3. Cait – I think it’s pretty new. That part of Dot is pretty booming now.

    I love how you can go to a nice, casual, slightly upscale place in Boston, but you don’t have to drive all the way in town (headache!) or take the T (bigger headache)!

  4. That place sounds great! I will definitely have to check it out if I’m ever in the area. My husband is a big fan of Italian food (moreso than me) and it’s good to see some non-traditionally Italian items being served there too 🙂

  5. Blogger dinners always sound so fun! That food looks fabulous…. I’ve been trying to plan a trip to Boston so I’ll definitely keep Tavolo in mind!

  6. Nice – looks like you all enjoyed a nice evening! But your comment about how the restaurant “…seized the opportunity to showcase some of their non-Italian dishes” threw me off a bit. You’re right: what you were served does not reflect the American-Italian food tradition of pizza and pasta. But actually, most of the dishes you were served are pretty typically “Italian”: swordfish involtini, meatballs, duck, farro, etc. These are precisely the kind dishes a lucky traveler finds after escaping the tourist traps placed near the Spanish Steps or the Duomo. It’s exciting to see this aspect of the Italian culinary tradition spread in the US!

  7. That place looks so good! I love swordfish – a big fillet can be a bit too much (too meaty, maybe?) but that serving size looks perfect! I love that you got to try so many different things too!

    Also bread + wine to start = perfect.

  8. Your lucky you have such awesome recipes accessible to you! I may be visting Boston before the summer ends–what are your top 3 restaurant recommendations!?

  9. I first tried watermelon & feta salad years ago at a party, and fell in love with the combo then. You just reminded me that I have some feta in my fridge that I should pick up some watermelon to pair it with. Yum!

  10. I must be having one of my immature moments- I found the cropping on the first photo hilarious. Besides that- the dessert looks heavenly!!!!

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