Newly opened Tavolino warms up 9th Avenue with a taste of Italia

Gnocchi in a creative eggplant pesto sauce at Tavolino.

It doesn’t take long to heat up from winter’s cold after walking into this quaint and brand new Italian tavern in Midtown.

It’s the newest kitchen for chef Nick Accardi to craft his crostini, gnocchi, and grandma style pies in addition to a menu that offers a plethora of variety and gluten free options made on demand.

Accardi recommends you start the meal with some of that crostini and even a bowl of pasta fagioli for those really bitter winter nights.
Left to right: Pasta e fagioli next to a burrata pesto crostini with heirloom tomatoes and an artichoke crostini with mint and stracchino.

The artichoke crostini is filled with rich flavor that’s accentuated by Accardi’s drizzle of oil and mint along with many others flavors—dipping into the the soup is strongly encouraged.

That pasta e fagioli immediately sends a warm and cozy array through your body after the first spoonful, bringing plenty of zesty taste while remaining on the lighter side, it is after all just the start of a strong meal.  

Next comes the gnocchi, which is garnished in an eggplant pesto that you’ll simply want more and more of.
Accardi’s gnocchi in an eggplant pesto.

The chef explained that his Sicilian style recipe for the gnocchi replaces the traditional pine nut ingredient with almonds, which help to give the potato pasta its cloud like nature.

It’s the pesto’s naturally sweet taste from Accardi’s array of Italian herbs, flavors, and even a hint of anchovies which bring out the gnocchi’s flavor without feeling a dense aftermath that comes from eating a traditionally heavy pasta. Asking for some extra bread is always encouraged to clean all of the pesto from the plate as a whole. 

Now, it’s pizza time.
A half prosciutto di parma and a boscaiola white grandma style pie.

This is where things become interesting. Accardi whipped up a red and white pie that’s flavors, while opposite manage to compliment one another when eaten together.

The prosciutto is soft and the cheese is plenty gooey to give that half-pie an a grandma-margehrita taste with an x-factor of flavor that can’t be described, but only tasted. Meanwhile, the boscaiola has a much lighter flavor that’s tasted greatly in the portobello and porcini mushrooms along with the pie’s plentiful traces of truffle oil that balances out its heavier, red counterpart. 

Of course, no matter how full or wary you’ve become, there’s always dessert.
A slice of sea salted caramel cheesecake.

What a way to cap the meal. The caramel’s salty-sweet stickiness blends into the softer cheesecake and homemade graham base to a near perfection. Although it often goes without saying, the back of the cheesecake slice is the best. 

While Accardi only opened Tavolino some days ago, he’s already seen some great success and lines out the door, he says. With the attention to detail given to the meals served there, it’s no wonder. He’s also owner neighboring Tavola, which translated to table from Italian—it’s only natural that Tavolino means “little table” in Italiano. 

Tavolino’s main entrance at 496 9th Avenue.

Regardless of which of the two you prefer, be sure to make a reservation as all of these tables come in high demand. 

Alex Mitchell