“Scientists announced that they have located the gene for alcoholism. Scientists say they found it at a party, talking way too loudly.”

Conan O’Brien

I went to the Tavolo al Fresco Launch Party at the Glen Sanders on Tuesday (7/10). I didn’t really know what exactly to expect but this was the launch party for their new routine happy hours so I figured I’d check it out either way. For the months of July and August, you’re welcome to join them for not only half-off drink special but delicious food on the water.

For the launch party, I showed up around 5:30pm, a half hour after the event had already started, and it wasn’t as crowded as I expected. I say this in the nicest way possible and include myself in this but usually when there’s an event with free food it is overrun with people but the crowd was steady and pleasant.

To start, we headed over to the burger. It was a Certified Angus Beef burger with a crisp pancetta, red cabbage slaw and chipotle ketchup. When I picked up the burger I was afraid of the thick, crispness of the bread and that I wasn’t going to be able to take a bite but it was surprisingly soft enough but the size did take away from the flavor of the burger a bit. I don’t usually like anything that remotely looks, feels or tastes anything like coleslaw but I figured I’d give it a try to it was pretty tasty. The slaw was runny though so if you decide to order the full-size, be sure to eat it over the plate or you’ll end up with it on your lap. My favorite part was the chipotle ketchup, it had the perfect bite to balance the sweet slaw. While waiting in line we were handed spring pea bruchetta with cherry tomato “raisins” and white balsamic syrup.  It was delicious, I could have eaten 10 more of those. I looked on the menu for the Tavolo Happy Hour and didn’t see the bruchetta so I’ll have to ask during the next happy hour.

After, I had a small dish of Fusilli Pasta with English Peas, Ricotta, Sweet Red Onion and Creamy Pomodoro. I didn’t know what most of that was when I got home so I had to do a bit of research. Apparently fuilli pasta is long, thick, corkscrew shaped but what I ate looked and  tasted more like cavatelli. I don’t have much experience with pasta other than really liking it and eating it all the time so I wouldn’t bet money on it but either way it was delicious.  Pomodoro means tomato in Italian so I assumed that it’s like marinara sauce but it had more of a consistency of vodka sauce.

It seemed as if everywhere I turned there was more food. I ended up missing out on the parmigiano popcorn and some sort of strawberry shortcake dessert. I saw them being passed around but was never in the right spot at the right time to try it out for myself. The music was great. The flyer showed that there are going to be different bands each of the nights so you’ll be able to experience multiple great local bands. What really impressed me was how hands-on Angelo Mazzone was during the night. He may have stopped to talk to friends and family but was always attentive to people there and making sure everything was just so.

I was able to grab a creme brule from one of the waitresses and since it was my first, I don’t really have anything to compare it to. I know that to make it brown on the top they cook the sugar but I found the thick layer of sugar on the top distracting. The creme underneath was delicious but I could have done without the overly sweet crunchy bits.

My last stop was the wood-fired oven. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before but I have an obsession with wood-fired ovens, I want one someday, somehow. This pizza though wasn’t my favorite. There were two kinds, both whole-grain, one was sausage and cheese and one was vegetarian. I didn’t mind the vegetarian option with onions, peppers and cheese but there was something about the consistency of the sausage pizza wasn’t my favorite.

Overall, the food was delicious and it’s a great idea. How can you hate eating great tasting food outside on the patio by the water? I’ll be sure to go to one of the happy hour events just to see how it runs in comparison to the open cocktail party. Keep a look out for that blog entry!