A Tavola in Winchester and there's good reason to believe those changes will be positive, exciting and delicious.
Back in November 2011, Chef Vittorio Ettore, the owner of Bistro 5 in Medford, opened a second restaurant, A Tavola. Initially, it was an excellent restaurant, becoming one of my new favorites, offering compelling Italian cuisine. However, over time, and with a number of different chefs working at the restaurant, I, and others, felt that the quality of the cuisine had slipped and I stopped dining there. Throughout all this time, Bistro 5 has remained one of my top favorites, being consistently excellent.
This past fall, Chef Joe Carli became the new Chef de Cuisine at A Tavola and then earlier this month, Chef Carli became the new owner of the restaurant. Chef Carli has just started to put his own stamp on the kitchen, and after two recent visits, I'm confident the restaurant is in great hands and I'll likely become a regular once again.
Top 50 Restaurants of 2019, including Osteria Posto, Posto, and Bistro 5. From July 2010 to October 2013, Chef Carli worked for Vittorio Ettore at Bistro 5, so it's understandable why Chef Ettore chose to sell A Tavola to Chef Carli. After leaving Bistro 5, Chef Carli worked at Posto, in Somerville, and most recently, he worked at Osteria Posto in Waltham. His dream has to been to own his own restaurant, and that dream has now become a reality. He now has an outlet for his culinary passion, and I believe we can expect some exciting things from him.
One evening, I had a couple different glasses of wine, including the 2016 Pietra Pinta Nero Buono, made from an indigenous Italian grape. Delicious black fruit with spicy notes, good acidity, and smooth tannins. An excellent companion for many of the restaurant's various dishes. Highly recommended. The 2015 Duca di Salaparuta Lavico Nerelo Mascalese is a more tannic and serious of a wine, with black cherry, ripe plum flavors and dark spices. It works best with heartier meat dishes.
As A Tavola is a farm to table restaurant, the availability of a number of ingredients will vary, dependent on what is available at local farms and markets. Sometimes, the chef will get fortunate and be offered a whole heritage pig, duck or rabbit. Then, he uses his creativity to produce special dishes for the day, and the dishes may be of limited availability. If you follow A Tavola on Facebook, you can see what new dishes are being offered each day.
In addition, they offer a Take-Out Menu, including items such as Antipasto, Insalata, Zuppa, Pasta Dishes (including a few not on the usual menu), and Grilled Flatbreads (Wednesday only). On the evening I sat at the bar in front of the kitchen, I saw a fair amount of take-out dishes prepared. There is also a Take-Out Catering menu, offering large trays for 8-10 people.
While dining there, and after ordering your dinner, you'll receive complimentary, warm bread and oil. The bread has a nice, crusty exterior with a softer interior bread, and also would be good for dipping in the sauces of some of their dishes.
I highly recommend that all of my readers check out A Tavola in Winchester and experience Chef Carli's Italian cuisine!