il tavolo in Italian means ‘the table’ and every Thursday night at 100 Mile Table in Byron Bay, Chef and self-confessed Italophile David Lovett invites you to his pop up cucina and Italian table where hand-shaped pasta, gnocchi, focaccia and dolce flow.
If you’ve sampled David’s cooking in Byron Bay at 100 Mile Table and earlier at Beach, you know that you can taste his passion and love for Italian food in every mouthful – from his fresh ricotta to his ragu. There’s no secret Nonna out the back at il tavolo– although David’s son Archie is there every week as his dedicated sous chef. It’s all David, inspired by his Italian food heroes, like the legendary Antonio Carluccio.
Each week David writes a fresh menu for il tavolo, gathering inspiration from the seasons, local suppliers, his collection of battle worn cookbooks and a catalogue of his own legendary dishes.
On Tuesdays David makes the pasta and the focaccia dough and shapes the pillowy gnocchi. On Wednesdays he handrolls the pici or the ravioli or the spaghetti after hours with Italian music blaring and a cold beer to keep him company. On Thursdays the finer details are added – the eggplant is roasted, the focaccia is baked and the sweets are prepared.
The weekly menu at il tavolo is simple with one entrée featuring David’s famous focaccia, and two choices for main for $35 per person. Dessert is an optional extra. Gluten free and vegetarian options are always available.
Expect entrées like focaccia with house made ricotta and roasted capsicum or onion focaccia served with white beans and cavallo nero sauce for dipping and mopping the plate clean.
Main meals might include gnocchi with pesto or alla sorrentina (tomato and mozzarella), fazzoletti (handkerchief pasta) with mushroom, David’s house made sausage and yolk for richness, ricotta ravioli with butter and sage or pici with cuttlefish.
Dolce or sweets, if you have room (!) might be chocolate and eggplant cake or poached pears.
il tavolo is open from 5pm – 8pm every Thursday. Dinner is on a walk-in basis so no need to make a reservation. The early hour makes it the perfect place for a post work dinner, an early family feast or a gathering of friends on a ‘school night’. It’s BYO, so grab a bottle on your way.
The 100 Mile Table philosophy has always been about sharing of food with family and friends around the table. il tavolo is an extension of this. Every week you will find couples and families sitting together at the café’s shared tables enjoying an authentic Italian trattoria style dinner made with local, quality ingredients by a Chef who puts his passion for all things Italian on a plate. If you love Italian food, il tavolo is a must visit. More than once.