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Jan 17, 2007 08:36 AM

Tavolo Long Branch

Just had dinner there and had several surprises. The place tries for upscale but the decor doesnt permit it. You climb rickety stairs to a small room crowded with tables. You eat in the bldg's rafters with drawings of nude women around the room. And it's dark ... very dark. Use a penlight to see the menu. However, they have a nice wine and martini menu and varied food menu with choice of antipasti, insalate, pasta, meat, fish and pizza. The desserts were lacking the night of our visit. At least the canolis werent purchased at Caputos. The red sauce was good just a little sweet. Pizza was better than average a bit well done though not real thin. Salmon portion was huge. We didnt try any of the antipasts or wine. Empty wallet syndrome.
Inconveniently, the restrooms (more nude women) are downstairs. Dont know if we'll return. Food was good but the dining room wasnt comfortable.

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    1. re: tom porc

      Tom, I agree with you. We went maybe 3 times, hoping each would be better, but it was'nt. I also think it is too overpriced. The portions are small, too.

      I HATE the fact about the stairs. I feel as if I am going into an attic to clean. We tried the house red wine with dinner. I cannot remember what it was. I did like it. The only down side, they put it in a huge ceramic pitcher, so when you wanted to pour more, you had to use two hands because the pitcher was so heavy!!

      Our last visit was last summer, and I have no desire to go back. Many of my family members feel the same. Now you posted this, and it just reinstates my feelings!

      Thanks for the post, Tom!

    2. We've been to Tavalo 4 times over the last 3 years. The first visit was excellent, the 2nd a little less so. The third time around we were kept waiting at the bar for 45 minutes for our table and an additional 30 minutes for our entrees. At one point I had to get up and intercept our inattentive waiter and ask for bread. None had been delivered to the table after we were seated. He seemed surprised that we would ask for such a thing. When they finally arrived the entrees were adequate, nothing more.

      It was 18 months before we summoned up our nerve to go back. We called on Saturday morning for a reservation that evening at 7:00 and were told that everything would be just fine. Not so. When we arrived they first couldn't find the record of our reservation, then they found it, and finally kept us waiting for almost 30 minutes while they found and set our table. The food itself was decent but nothing remarkable. Expensive for what it was.

      Never again.

      Although I happen to like the pictures of nude women . . .

      1. Thanks for your thoughts, T. Glad that you went and experienced it for yourself, although little of what you report would send me back there. Kind of a flaky place that should and can be better that it often is, it's not cheap. Not particularly expensive either but it should be more even than it is for the money.

        Thanks for taking one for the team.


        4 Replies
        1. re: Deb Van D

          You're welcome, Deb. I do like to try new places but most are too expensive for me.
          Today I grabbed take out from Long Branch Barbecue a portugese joint on Broadway. Tried the beef ribs, pork ribs and grilled portugese sausage. Prices are $10 and all come with french fries, yellow rice and beans. Didnt realize the portions were HUGE. One could feed two people. I have enough left overs for 3 days. The sausage (looks like a long kielbasa) was my favorite and spicy.

          1. re: tom porc

            That sounds great! I have seen that place and wondered about it. Thanks for the information, we'll put it on the list.

            1. re: tom porc

              Can you say more about the portuguese barbecue in LB? Do you remember the name? What's it near?

              1. re: val ann c

                Yes, Val Ann, its simply called Long Branch Barbecue 295 Broadway. Same block as Manfredi. Very very simple place. Square tables vinyl tableclothes. Dont even think all the chairs matched. Definately better to take out.
                Basically there is a brick barbecue behind the counter and they put the meat in some kind of rack and slip it into the barbecue. Nothing fancy about the food. They have whole chicken, Pork ribs (a bit fatty for me), Beef ribs, Pork steaks, T-bone steak, quail, Grilled calamari, pork cubes, and portuguese sausage for $10. For a few dollars more they have grilled cod and shrimp in garlic sauce. You can also get half portions for $6. I prefered the sausage. The beef while not very tender was tasty while the pork ribs were too fatty for me. The french fries were soggy by the time I got home. If I go back I'll try the pork cubes. Closed on Weds. Still you get a lot for $10.
                I think Acapulquenos (mexican) was better. There I enjoyed the chicken over the beef dishes. And its dining area is more pleasant.

          2. Thanks Tom. I like Acapulquenos -- especially the steak tacos.

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