Tavolàta Sunday Feasts Bring Seattleites To Italy

In Seattle, Ethan Stowell's restaurant Tavolàta is known for bringing a whole new meaning to "family dinner", with communal dining centered on authentic, fresh Italian cuisine that's several steps above Olive Garden without the overblown check to match. The name itself means "to gather around a table," and Tavolàta does just that, seating guests around a 30-foot communal table that runs down the center of the narrow space, and serving up Italian meals featuring pasta that's freshly extruded every day.

Tavolàta draws on the warmth of this dining style to host monthly "Summer Feasts", with four-course family meals served at a tavolàta filled with 26 diners. July's Feast, brought to you by chef Brandon Kirksey, will take place on Sunday, July 8 and feature pork shoulder as the central ingredient. The menu is true to its designation as "feast", featuring mouthwatering appetizers like an antipasti comprised of buffalo mozzarella, Prosciutto di Parma, English peas and guanciale, eggplant caponata, and fried zucchini flowers, followed by the show-stealing slow roasted pork shoulder with lavender honey glaze and Maltagliati with porcini mushrooms, rapini, and capers. If you don't feel full to the point of bursting yet, there will also be freshly baked chocolate chip cookies to look forward to at the end.

If you'll be around later in the summer, see if you can snag a spot for August's Grilled Branzino Sunday Feast, or September's suckling pig (a popular favorite brought back for a second run). Later feasts this year are set to feature lasagna, turkey, and lobster.

The feasts are known to sell out quickly, so call to reserve a spot quick if you find yourself in Seattle come July. It's a reasonable $60 per person for a menu that sounds too good to be true, so check out the web site for reservations and more info.

All photos courtesy of Geoffrey Smith.