Tavolavila started as an invitation-only supper club where we hosted seasonal meals in a private home.
Our inspiration was the amazing (and amazingly long) dinner at Mariazinha in Porto, Portugal. It was a 10-seat restaurant run completely by a husband (front of the house) and wife (back of the house). There was no menu. You ate what they prepared from ingredients they purchased that day at the farmers’ market.
Overall we have felt that dining is Europe is much less frenzied and frenetic than in the United States. While we enjoy the high energy of packed San Francisco restaurants, it can be tiresome to have a waiters rush the bill to you so they can “turn tables” and get the next patrons (who are often crowded around the front door) into your spot.
We set out to create a dining event. No one hovering to get your seat. No hushed tones of too-big-for-their-britches fancy restaurants. This is home cooking. You are eating out, but in.
Eat out in.
Now we are investigating how to bring the best of California style and cooking and blending it with the best of Portugal’s food and lifestyle. We want to explore and highlight the small, artisanal producers in Portugal. We want to discover the freshest ingredients, and prepare them with the same light touch as we do in California — to coax the best flavors and retain the color and texture.
The logo was designed by a dear friend and colleague Dennis Gallagher. He and I partnered on some very challenging and rewarding design projects for over 20 years.