By Jeff Théodore, Contributing writer
WESTBOROUGH – Abby Winant wants diners to feel at home when they step into Tavolino, a popular Westborough restaurant in business since 2009.
“We want to be the place where people come together for bar mitzvahs, weddings and bereavements – a space for people when they need this special event in their life,” Winant said in a recent interview.
She started working at the restaurant in 2011 as a part-time bartender and rose through the ranks to become General Manager.
Winant now also plans that the restaurant will become a hub for private events.
“We want to expand our patio and add a deck,” she said.
The patio has twenty tables that can accommodate 60 guests. The occupancy of the restaurant itself is approximately 150 people.
Highlighting the need for more private spaces, the restaurant closed its pizza bar and turned it into a private room in 2020 after a million dollar renovation. Renovation work on the restaurant had taken place after a faulty water heater burst and caused severe water damage in 2019.
“We encourage people who haven’t been here for a while to try us again,” says Winant. “We have a new HVAC system and our airflow is perfect. We have new management, a new leader and a whole new staff. We refreshed the place a bit.
Tavolino may have relatively new dishes, but its menu still maintains a tried and true Italian flavor with favorites such as the spicy Cioppino seafood, a stew consisting of clams, cod, mussels, shrimp, scallops with a side of crostini. gate. There’s also Piccatta, a dish that includes sautéed chicken or veal with garlic, capers, lemon, and white wine.
Don’t forget the restaurant’s handmade bolognese sauce, a well-known creation from Bologna, Italy, which is served with pappardelle ribbon pasta.
Winant says the restaurant offers quite a few vegetarian options. It is also exploring the possibility of more vegan food options.
“We’re getting a lot more requests from vegans,” she said.
The restaurant can cater for almost any wine request, with a comprehensive list that can be served by the glass or by the bottle.
“We hand select every wine on our list,” said Winant, citing that some of Tavolino’s more than 100 wines come from places as far away as Sicily and Argentina and as close as Napa and Sonoma Valley in California. .
For those who aren’t heavy drinkers, Tavolino offers a wide range of non-alcoholic drinks and fun “mocktails”. These include a Cranberry Honey Zinger, which consists of a homemade rosemary fig honey reduction, cranberry juice, and a hint of ginger beer.
Whether for a meal or a drink, Winant is keen to stay in touch with regulars and new customers.
“I live in the town of Westborough so I got to know a lot of people who come in,” she said.
Tavolino is closed on Mondays but it is open from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Sundays.
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