SEATTLE - The next time you're craving pasta at one o'clock in the morning, head to Belltown.
That's where you'll find Tavolata - a new contemporary Italian restaurant from chef Ethan Stowell.
"The first time I wanted to do a late night pasta joint was about six years ago," he says. "I went down to a place called 'The Globe' in San Francisco, and I thought it was cool."
Ethan's business partner - Patric Gabre-Kidan - is the one who came up with the name, Tavolata. "In Italy it's the big table that everyone gathers around."
The two met six years ago while working around another kind of table - The Painted Table (now Library Bistro). Ethan was the sous chef, Patric made the pastries.
"I love baking. I miss it now. I thought that I wouldn't, but I do miss it. But I was just looking for different challenges."
Besides Tavolata, Ethan is busy with his other restaurant, Union.
"It's definitely a full day, don't get me wrong," he says, adding that the two restaurants aren't really that different.
"It's the same mentality for this restaurant as it is for Union. It's quality sourcing, you know, looking for the better products out there."
While Union is all about ordering lots of courses with wine to match, Tavolata is more about family-style dining.
"People come into Tavolata and it's like, 'I'm gonna have a first course and and entree,' and I'm like, people aren't getting the concept of the place. You have to understand that you're coming into big portions meant to be shared, meant to be enjoyed and passed around the table," says Ethan.
You'll find his menu at Tavolata familiar yet unique to Seattle.
"Whether it's the Affettato plate, which is a cured meat plate, or the octopus and white bean salad. Right now the one I like is the polenta fritti with the bagana cauda which is an (Italian) anchovy dip."
And then there are the menu items that are a bit less familiar.
"The kitchen guys, not me, came up with the veal brain ravioli with a little brown butter and sage. It's nice, you know, you poach off the old brains, you poach them off in a little bit of milk and mirapois, remove the membrane, flake them up, mix them with a little ricotta and lemon zest."
After only a month in operation, Patric says Tavolata is already getting rave reviews.
"It just makes you feel good because it's been a lot of hard work to get it open, and so just having it received well is energizing."
Places Ethan likes to Go Eat! Cafe Lago, Via Tribunali, Nell's, Campagne.
For more information:
2323 2nd Avenue
Seattle, WA 98121
Dinner daily 5 p.m. to 2 a.m.