I’ll Just Pick: Tavolo Pronto Fresh

By Elaine Van Develde

Call them all Tavolicious — the key fresh ingredients in just some of our favorite foods at Tavolo Pronto in Fair Haven.

Yes. Tavolicious. That works. They’re a special blend of uniquely Tavolo and just plain delicious. There are so many Tavolicious things at Tavolo.

But, for the sake of keeping it sort of simple, and not too terribly corny, for our I’ll Just Pick feature of the week, we decided today to hone in on some basics found in many a Tavolo order and one special sandwich.

The basics: that fresh, crusty, preservative-free bread; chicken; and the creamy balsamic salad dressing.

We’ll start with the bread. Owner, and baker extraordinaire, Patti Balderas tells us that it comes in daily from Balthazar Bakery in New York. Bread can make or break a sandwich. This bread always makes it. Always has. Always will.

And there’s some — no, lots of — beauty in the fact that you can buy and behold it separately to take home, too. Delivered fresh daily are: ciabatta hero rolls, ciabatta loaves, baguettes, and that favorite of this editor, the rosemary ring.

Crusty yummy. OK, so that sounds a little weird. There’s nothing weird about the gourmet goodness of what’s otherwise just plain ol’  dough from the oven.

Then there’s the chicken. They’re no chickens when it comes to making the most of chicken in dishes and sandwiches at Tavolo. That’s because it, too, is always fresh and cooked just right. They use Perdue and “we go through a lot of chicken, so we’re always prepping and cooking it,” Patti said.

That’s just another staple, of the meat variety, that can make or break a dish, a sandwich or a salad. Again, it makes it. Never a miss on this one. Tender, fresh, tasty.

We’ll get to the salad in a minute.

The sandwich — featuring that tasty chicken. Well, in addition to a classic favorite chicken sandwich at Tavolo, known as  #27, or grilled chicken, fresh mozzarella and roasted peppers on ciabatta, there’s chicken parmesan, and then there’s balsamic chicken from the prepared foods display fridge. All, yes, Tavolicious. They bread it, they bake it, they grill it. All good. No. All foodie fabulous.

Like that good luck penny, find a chicken dish, sandwich or salad at Tavolo, pick it up!

There are also special chicken sandwiches of the day. Today, and they tell us tomorrow, and perhaps an encore or other day, there is a simple cajun chicken sandwich.

The sandwich, built from the fresh ciabatta roll inward, has cajun chicken breast, cheddar cheese, bacon, avocado, tomato and lettuce and red onion. Pretty basic? Yes. Basically tasty.

On top of all the other fabulous foodie scents wafting around as you walk into Tavolo, the hint of cajun in the air is enough impetus to give this a taste. Go ahead.

Or you may decide to have a salad topped with chicken. The dressing is so Tavolicious you’ll find yourself asking for extra — to drink. OK, perhaps that’s an exaggeration. But, it’s not far off!

Patti tells us that the reason for that is the dressing is all homemade — and pretty simple. Our favorite: creamy balsamic. It’s freshly whipped eggs, balsamic vinegar, basil, salt and pepper and perhaps some other secret ingredient. Can’t give it all away!

But, we just may be able to drink this stuff on a regular basis. In fact, we’re thinking you could end up needing a 12-step program to stop the imbibing of the creamy balsamic. But, we digress.

Fresh and cooked with care counts for all the Tavoliciousness in this place.

OK, so, in the interest of full disclosure, we love Tavolo. We love the food. We love the city Italian market/deli/cafe vibe. We love the people who make it happen every day. Everything they do here just embodies a simple recipe for foodie success — good people making good food. They care. That counts for a lot. We care, too, about

We’ve over-indulged the palate enough for one day, but we could go on. Really, we could. Next Tavolicious pick … Patti’s desserts. Oh, and the pizza. Oh, and the artichoke hearts … Oh, and the meatballs … Oh, and …

Just pop in and check out the menu or click here to like Tavolo on Facebook and see what’s cooking there. There’s always something good cooking in the Tavolo kitchen. Mangia pronto!

Tavolo Pronto, a/k/a Fair Haven’s Table, is located at 610 River Road, Fair Haven, and is owned and operated by Arturo and Patti Balderas. He’s chief chef, creating dishes, cooking and supervising the kitchen. She bakes all those scrumptious desserts. The Balderas duo is pretty sweet. They do breakfasts, lunches, dinners, prepped foods, catering. Oh, and there’s a prepped Thanksgiving feast for order, too. Oh, and … just go!