Occasionally when I dine out, I order a home run — a meal that begins and ends with perfection. And although there was a slight hitch with dessert, this dinner was pretty darn close.
Formerly known as George's Pizza, this Dodgingtown location has long been a neighborhood favorite. Tambascio's is named for its owners, who also run Newtown's My Place. Although both restaurants offer classic Italian fare, Tambascio's menu has a bit more flair with interesting choices.
The first hit was the Fresh Mozzarella and Tomato Salad ($7.59). The presentation was beautiful on a simple white dish that let the food speak for itself. Thickly sliced tomatoes were topped with equally lush buffalo mozzarella slabs, basil leaves and roasted red pepper strips then drizzled with olive oil and a balsamic syrup.
Basic green salads came with our entrees. Try the house dressing, which is fantastic with or without Gorgonzola cheese.
Next came my Veal and Sage Ravioli ($17.99). Usually, this dish is topped with goat cheese in addition to the portobello mushrooms. Not being a fan, I ordered it without goat cheese. With the first bite, I adored the tender, meat-filled pockets smothered in a buttery, brown sauce. The rosemary and abundant mushrooms added an earthy complexity to this rich dish.
My hungry husband chose the Porterhouse Lamb Chops ($21.99). These chops arrived medium rare, just as he ordered, served atop a salsa verde made from mint, basil and garlic. He enjoyed the lamb, one of our household favorites, as well as the crispy wedge potatoes and steamed broccoli and carrots.
For dessert, I wanted chocolate. I am mostly a chocolate purist. When given a choice, I like my chocolate without fruit flavorings. However, I decided to depart from my stubborn ways and order the Chocolate-orange Ice Cream ($5.25), partly because I was curious about the flavor, and also I am partial to Ferris ice cream. Ferris Acres Creamery makes this flavor exclusively for Tambascio's. And it was good — if you like orange-scented chocolate. Which I really don't.
The Cannoli ($5.25) that my husband ordered was delicious. The fresh, sweet mascarpone filling spilled out either end of the crispy tunnel and was dotted with chocolate chips.
Tambascio's is only open for dinner and is one of several places in town where you can indulge in Italian specialties. What sets it apart is its consistently fresh fare and the slightly unusual offerings, such as Portuguese-style Clams steamed with beer and chorizo ($11.99), Herb-Crusted Salmon with Roasted Fennel Risotto ($18.99) and Roasted Tomato and Goat Cheese Ravioli served with a roasted pepper pink sauce ($16.99).
Daily specials are listed on the restaurant's website. Portions are often large, so expect to have leftovers for lunch. Families looking for pizza, as well as couples getting out for a quiet evening will feel comfortable here. There is also a small counter at the bar for those who want some conversation. Tambascio's also delivers using Vroom Service.