Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Tavalo's, Dorchester

Tavalo is a newer restaurant/bar that is part of the expanding Chris Douglass chain which includes Ashmont Grille right across the street from Tavalo. We, of course, choose the full bar over the almost empty dining room at 7 pm, Friday. Odd start to our night - I send the young female bartender into a mini-meltdown with my standard "Do you have any unblended rye?" She gets the usual deer in the headline look, turns her back to us and fumbles around a bit, then moves over to the equally young mail bartender. Several minutes go by when neither of them turns around to face us. She goes off to do something and he continues to ignore us for several more minutes. Finally he comes over to us. I go through my hole rigamarole...very little of each sweet and dry vermouth, stirred not shaken...blah, blah, blah. No rye. Only a few types of bourbon so I go with a Knob Creek perfect manhattan. The guy on the bar stool next to me comments after I place my order that he's never heard anyone ask about unblended rye. The drink turns out pretty good flavor-wise but it's not very cold. Good thing about the wait is we have had plenty of time to figure out what we want to eat. We get an cheese plate which wasn't bad but wasn't great. We got the Goat Cheese, peppers, carmelized onions and roasted garlic pizza (we asked for and got no olives - I have never understood olives on pizza. The thing just looked awful and tasted pretty bad too. The female bartender must have seen the look on our faces because she came right over and asked if we didn't like the pizza and almost in the same breath offered to get us something else. We try the margherita pizza. We can't return the second pizza but it was seriously flawed too. You can't complain about the ingredients because they have chosen to make pizzas with tomatoes instead of sauce and it was quite pretty even with the not quite red tomatoes. But the entire center of the pizza dough was not cooked. Given all that though, I would try this place again and I might even give the pizza a try again. The bar staff eventually warmed up to us, the patrons next to us were friendly and it might be a good place to catch a Celtics game.

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