A Tavola Media & Reviews

Chef Vittorio Ettore on Channel 7 News

"TV Dinner" with Billy Costa, NECN

 

The Improper Bostonian...
Suburbanites mourned when chef Chris Parsons shuttered Parsons Table in Winchester Center in late November, but Vittorio Ettore is happy about the change. The Tuscan-born chef/owner of Bistro 5 has taken over the barnwood-clad spot and turned it into A Tavola, a modern Italian restaurant that promises to continue the farm-to-fork trend he helped pioneer locally.

“I’d been eying this location for so long,” he says. “Then all of a sudden I got an e-mail from Chris. How could I not take this opportunity?” Ettore has lived in Winchester for nearly 10 years, and A Tavola (Italian for table) is within walking distance of his home—an ideal situation for a busy dad. “This is the restaurant I’ve wanted to do for so long,” he says. “It’s important for me to be able to talk to my customers. I can’t imagine having a place where I can’t see everyone that’s there.” He and chef de cuisine Brendan Woods will get plenty of face time in the 48-seat space.

Renovations included adding more weathered boards to the walls and bathing the square dining room in rich red hues, evocative of Italy. Decor is simple—antique tools and signage from Wright-Locke Farm down the road—while the cuisine promises to be more ornate. Dishes include handmade tagliatelle with cuttlefish, cherry tomatoes and basil or cocoa-spiced pappardelle with braised rabbit and goat cheese. There’s also made-to-order seafood risotto, available in shades of yellow, red, black and white.

But Ettore seems most excited about the porchetta, a whole-roasted pig served with sausage, kale and acorn squash beneath a smoking dome. “The farm-to-table movement has made people more comfortable with knowing that their pork actually came from a pig, or that chicken comes from a chicken,” he says with a laugh.

An all-Italian wine list is largely served by the quartino instead of the glass, to encourage diners to sample different labels. Each pour is enough for two people to get a taste, and a bottle is finished in three orders. “It’s just a way of keeping everything fresh,” Ettore says. “We like things fresh here.”

- Kyle Wright, The Improper Bostonian

Boston Globe Magazine features A Tavol in its "Best of the New"...
Chef Vittorio Ettore's Bistro 5 has been the toast of Medford for years. Now he's opened a second, more casual spot, in Winchester. Small plates of duck sausage and foie gras mousse, goat's milk ricotta, and grilled calamari, along with pasta dishes and entrees, are sure to make it the toast of the town.

- The Boston Globe Magazine