This April, Tavolino will open its doors in the heart of London Bridge with Louis Korovilas, formerly head chef of Bancone and a Giorgio Locatelli alumnus, helming the kitchen. Tavolino - meaning ‘small table’.
Tavolino will be split across two floors with floor-to-ceiling windows, giving diners a view of the Thames and the City’s skyline beyond.
The new restaurant will serve simple dishes cooked with produce from across Italy and the UK, carefully sourced by Korovilas from individual suppliers.
For lunch and dinner, guests at Tavolino can begin as the Italians do with a selection of bread baked in-house by pastry chef Taylor Sessegnon-Shakespeare including honeyed garlic focaccia, and an olive and parmesan roll. There woill also be cured salume such as Tuscan fennel salami, or panelle chips, a Sicilian chickpea fritter, with whipped anchovy.
Starters continue the focus on excellent Italian produce: there’s grilled radicchio, ricotta and walnuts; fried mussels to dip into bagna cauda; and fresh burrata supplied by an artisanal dairy in Puglia, served with grilled zucchini scarpece.
Each morning, Korovilas and his team will make their own fresh pasta from scratch for dishes including his signature dish of silk handkerchief pasta sheets, with walnut butter and Burford Brown yolk; tagliatelle, spicy ‘nduja and pork ragù; and hand-rolled potato gnocchi with tomato, basil and Barilotto cheese made with buffalo milk in Salerno.
A selection of pizzas are made Romagna-style on a thin, crispy sourdough base, topped with ingredients such as Puglian burrata, ‘nduja from Spilinga, black Taggiasca olives and Gorgonzola Riserva. Moving onto secondi, there are cuts of meat and fish to share such as sea bream with an agrodolce salad; and beef short rib, polenta and Stracchino.
Desserts at Tavolino continue to let the ingredients take centre-stage, with dishes such as a balsamic vinegar chocolate mousse using a seven year-aged Aggazotti from Modena and an Amalfi lemon meringue. Taylor’s take on Italian classics includes a skillet polenta cake, baked to order for two and served with caramelised white chocolate ice cream.
Korovilas said, “I respect the way the Italians cook: with a dedication to quality ingredients, eaten at their peak, with the flavours coaxed from each one.
'At Tavolino, we’ll be steering away from using overused produce of mediocre quality and have spent the last six months going directly to suppliers who have been perfecting their produce for several generations.
'For example, we’ve found the best Pecorino Sardo DOP and a 24-month aged Parmigiano Reggiano for our pastas, and our lemons are sourced directly from a farmer on the Amalfi coast.'