Pizza and pasta: that’s what 72% of all Americans think Italian food consists of. But we know better here in Dorchester. There’s no need to drive to the North End, where it’s impossible to park. Just go to Chris Douglass’s Tavolo, where Barbara and I dined sumptuously last night.
Yes, you can get excellent pizza and pasta at Tavolo. If that’s what you want, then by all means go for it; we’ve done that. But it’s not what we had last night. We started with the rosemary focaccia—accompanied by chili flakes, parmesan, and evoo—and the lovely house-made meatballs with marinara and parmesan. Then came the delicious entrees: a black-pepper-crusted flat iron bistecca with cognac cream for Barbara, and perfectly grilled lamb chops for me (both served with poached potatoes, broccoli rabe, and appropriate fresh herbs). In lieu of dessert, a grappa for Barbara and a double espresso for me. (Yes, I can easily go to sleep after a double espresso.)
Now if you want to supplement your Tavolo experience to get a broader picture of Italian cuisine, you have two choices: you could, of course, travel around Italy, or you could watch Stanley Tucci’s amazing food-oriented travelogue Searching for Italy (on CNN). I recommend both.
But still go to Tavolo!
Oh, by the way, remember that 72% figure in my first paragraph? Like most statistics, it was made up on the spot.