Thursday, September 19, 2013

Tavolo, Molto Deliziosa!

I enjoyed my first visit to Tavolo when they had a "pre-soft opening" benefit for the Moore, Oklahoma tornado victims. The vibe was amazing as was the food. Today, we visited Tavolo for lunch to celebrate a friend's birthday.

We started this birthday celebration lunch with an Antipasto, the Piedpont Carpaccio, made with locally raised beef, pecorino, lemon and fried caper . This rustic, simple, yet beyond flavorful bite was THE spot-on starter that fulfilled our expectations of flavors to come. Roy was our server...he always rocks it and takes great care of the people at the tables to which he's assigned.
locally raised beef, pecorino, lemon, fried caper

The birthday girl's hubby ordered the Italian Sausage Flat Bread Pizza. Yes, it tasted as savory and delicious as it looks...nice choice :-)
cotechino sausage, cremini mushrooms, red onion,
madeleine cheese, san marzano tomato sauce

The birthday girl, Cathy, chose the Ricotta Gnocchi, made with braised lamb, mint pesto, green onion, and cremini...I think love was added to it as well. Yeah, pure love. 
braised lamb, mint pesto, green onion, cremini mushrooms

Next, the birthday girl's son, Derek, ordered the Garlic Herb Chicken, with prosciutto, spinach, green onion, salsa verde, and creamy parmesan polenta. The chicken is wrapped in a delicate sheet of prosciutto, cooked lightly crisped on the outside, juicy and tender on the inside. I know you see the flavor oozing on that plate.

prosciutto, spinach, green onion, salsa verde, and creamy parmesan polenta

Susan ordered the Uovo Fritto salad which consisted of bibb lettuce, crispy 5 minute egg (that's the big, crispy ball you see in the center...mmm), pancetta, parmesan, 
bacon-anchovy dressing and added chicken confit.
bibb lettuce, crispy 5 minute egg, pancetta, parmesan, bacon-anchovy dressing
Add Chicken Confit - $4

Lastly, yours truly ordered the Beef Short Rib Panino sandwich, made with
gorgonzola, red onion agrodolce, arugula. It came with a choice of arugula salad or pesto potato salad. I chose the pesto potatoes. The meat was so darn tender...everything on the plate was bursting with flavor. 

gorgonzola, red onion agrodolce, arugula

 The food was as one would expect from any of Chef Justin Thompson's restaurants. Every bite bursting with flavor and prepared by chefs that know how to cook. They never overpower the ingredients with unnecessary spices. In contrast, the chefs have mastered the method of preparation to the point that the components on each dish mingle in harmony so that the flavors of each vegetable, grain and protein are strong and as one dreams they should taste.

Okay, for the downside, which I've never experienced in any of Chef Thompson's establishments. I suppose there is a first time for everything.  While the service was outstanding and the food delectable, there was a lack of preparation on the chef's part. 
The chef on staff today didn't have the specials ready so, we never had the opportunity to hear those specials. Made us feel like we might have missed out on something great. 

Also, originally, I'd ordered the Porchetta, a dish composed of roasted pork loin wrapped in pork belly, eggplant caponata, orange gremolata, and peach mostarda. Yum, right? They didn't have that prepared either so, I couldn't order it. 
If you follow my reviews, you know when my eyes fixate on a menu item, that's what I go for.  What a disappointment.  No explanation, just, "it's not ready, we don't have it" on both the daily specials and Porchetta. And I really hate that poor Roy was the one that had to tell us and anyone else that didn't get those two options. The chef in charge really should have personally taken the rap for that. Roy handled it like the pro he is. 

I'm not in any hurry to go back...and won't til I get over the disappointment. Yes, it's not the end of the world and it's not like they totally failed..but it was kind of like finally getting a long-awaited first kiss from that hot guy, and experiencing a bad kiss :-/  
Buon appetito!                                                                                         

Tavolo: Italian Bistro on Urbanspoon

Check out the reviews on UrbanSpoon. One thing I will say, kudos to Chef Justin Thompson for addressing each diner review on UrbanSpoon, good or bad, he faces the music and his appreciation for his patrons is obvious.

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