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Disappointing meal at Pava, Newton

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Went to Pava for dinner tonight and was very disappointed. I had wanted to try it for quite some time, especially given the largely positive reviews on this board. Tuna appetizer was miniscule and way overpriced given it wasn't even that tasty. Tried both the pizza bianco and the papardelle with beef short ribs. The pizza was very greasy and quite bland. The pasta was okay, though nothing special. It had very little actual meat in it, and all of the flavors were overpowered by the omnipresent asparagus. Overall, the meal did not live up to expectations, and I would not return. What have other people's experiences been recently?

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  1. Rachmel, my experience was similar to yours. Add to that indifferent staff, and heavy-handed flavorings across the board (dishes tasting "polluted" with way too much tomalley, for example) -- yech. Clueless about wine suggestions, it seemed to me that most of the staff were hired for looks over knowledge/skill. Oh well. We did wind up getting a complimentary dessert sent up from the kitchen after some confusion with the order and requests to speak with the chef, Susan Regis did come up to chat for a bit. Realizing that we had connections in common, the resultant dessert was sent up. Overall, not good -- which is confusing. The place is pretty (minimalism is OK), but not with my service. Ah: lest I forget, the gnocchi was, indeed, excellent, so hats off on that end. That's about it. I've been told to try them for lunch instead, but I'm hardly ever in the area and don't feel compelled to go out of my way for a potentially disappointing experience again.

    8 Replies
    1. re: tealilly

      I enjoyed my meals there when Susan Regis was the chef but I have not been since she left. I agree about the servers. I think they are young women who work in the clothing store Carlos and Tess which they also own. They are not food people. I am not sure who is the chef there now and if the menu has changed.

      1. re: hoplover

        Menu is 90% new

      2. re: tealilly

        I'm confused. I thought Susan left. Is she still there during service?

        1. re: southie

          Last I looked, Regis was definitely gone, so I think tealilly must have been discussing an earlier experience. I was never wowed by this place even when Regis was there, just didn't think most of the dishes hung together, and the owners' custom of setting ridiculous prices on their clothes had bled over a bit to the restaurant.

          I wonder if anyone knows where Regis has landed. Pava seemed like a misadventure for someone whose work is usually very high quality.

          1. re: MC Slim JB

            I believe she's involved with Lydia on one of her two new projects - the seafood place in York, ME, and the restaurant by the hospitals near South Bay.

            1. re: almansa

              Where is the South Bay restaurant going to be? What kind of cuisine?

              1. re: southie

                My bad - I was told by the hospitals, and I assumed South Bay. It's in the Liberty Hotel by Mass General.

            2. re: MC Slim JB

              Hello everyone, sorry for the misleading timeframe -- yes, this was a while back, when Susan was still there. I'm not even remotely interested in seeing what's going on now. A shame, actually, I like Tess & Carlos' clothing line, and thought that their cafe would be such a natural fit. Alas, not.

        2. WE are big fans of Pava. Have had many outstanding meals there. However, our last visit, about a week ago, left us very discouraged. First, the place was empty on a Friday night, which was sad. The food was good but not excellent. I had a duck confit and breast, quite good but zucchini fritters were not great and nowhere near
          as good as fried zucchini SUsan Regis made. HOme made papardellle was good. What really upset us was that there is no longer any reasonably priced glass of wine
          on the list- two at 12 and 13 and the rest at $15 per glass, and not even a generous pour. I really like Tess and have loved this restaurant but I fear it is on its last legs.

          2 Replies
          1. re: emilief

            Man, those are crazy prices for a glass of wine.

            1. re: emilief

              A few weeks ago we paid $11. Nothing above $13 I believe.

            2. hello, just a note that I, Susan Regis, have not been the Chef at Pava since late May...I've never responded or posted on chowhound, but just thought that info should be out there...better luck next time...I'll be cooking again soon...ciao

              1 Reply
              1. re: mopivaloo

                And we'll look forward to following you. Best of luck!