1918 Dorchester Avenue
Boston, MA 02124
After more than 30 years behind the stove at his high end, South End restaurant (Icarus), chef-owner Chris Douglass headed just south of Boston to open not one, but two casual eateries in his own neck of the woods. Tavolo and sister establishment up the block, Ashmont Grill, are beacons of good food and liveliness, drawing hungry diners to the under-the-radar Peabody Square section of Dorchester.
The dining room, in shades of mocha and deep orange, and adorned with one-of-a-kind photographs by local artist Andy Ryan, is casual yet sophisticated – a perfect spot for a night out in the neighborhood. The lively and spacious bar, which looks out onto Dorchester Avenue, is equally accommodating, with plenty of high tops and comfortable bar seating.
The kitchen goes well beyond the basics – there are pizzas and paninis to be had – but housemade pasta, cheese and sausage often steal the show. Regulars return on a weekly basis to try the reasonably-priced prix fixe menus inspired by the regions of Italy. The meatballs alone are worth the drive down Dot Ave – just ask Bon Appétit.
As chef de cuisine of Dorchester's Tavolo, chef Nuno Alves is making a lot of people in Dorchester happy. Working closely with owner Chris Douglass, Alves uses his own personal culinary background as well as extensive professional experience in and around the city to uphold Tavolo's tradition of excellent, affordable food.
Alves brings his unique perspective - honed first in his childhood home in the Azores and then in the kitchen at Rialto, where he spent eight years working under chef-owner Jody Adams. As Executive Chef of the 33 Management Group, chef Alves overhauled the menus at both 33 Restaurant & Lounge and STIX Restaurant & Lounge. Using his arsenal of personal and professional culinary skills, he reinvented the dining experiences at both Back Bay eateries.
Known for his unrelenting creativity in the kitchen, Alves' culinary perspective embraces the diversity of New American cuisine. He also works closely with regional farmers and purveyors to incorporate sustainable, local ingredients into his menus.
"I strongly believe that local ingredients offer superior quality and help support regional agriculture and economic systems," says Alves. "There are some fascinating stories behind my ingredients - from the local mushroom forager, to the family-run farm in central Massachusetts that supplies speckled, just-laid eggs. Because of this I can offer a unique dining experience and delicious cuisine."
In his free time, Alves is involved with several nonprofit organizations, including The Food Project, Chef's Collaborative, Kids Can Cook, the Greater Boston Food Bank and Future Chefs.