Front Page A Modern Twist
A young restaurateur is bringing a new fine dining experience to the region. Read on for all the delicious details.
Rocco Catanzarite is taking the Dayton area restaurant scene by storm. In April 2019 he launched Murphy’s Craftbar + Kitchen, and then in May, as the world resumed in the midst of a global pandemic, he opened Tavolo – Modern Italian.
“The Italian word for table is ‘tavolo,’ and in Italy it is very common for families to gather around a table multiple times a week with a large group,” he says. “There, dining together is more of a social activity than just about having dinner.”
And that’s what he wanted to bring to customers in Sidney when he opened Tavolo – Modern Italian – an experience unlike any other.
“As we were discussing the atmosphere and menus, we kept thinking back to what the ‘table’ means in Italy,” says Catanzarite. “How do we deliver the best possible customer experience to each guest? We execute it by delivering on an exceptional experience.”
All of the dishes at Tavolo – Modern Italian are made in-house, and the atmosphere is influenced by modern, relaxing decor.
Catanzarite’s own Italian heritage played a significant role in his decision to open an Italian restaurant. Part of a brand that’s already growing at a rapid rate, he wanted to bring a destination restaurant to his small hometown.
“We felt the area could use a restaurant concept like Tavolo,” he says. “The restaurant scene in Sidney is fairly small, and for fine dining restaurants it’s even smaller. Tavolo is Sidney’s first destination restaurant, and it’s a good feeling not having to drive many miles to have an experience like what we provide.”
The team at Tavolo – Modern Italian is composed of young professionals, balanced out by a few seasoned vets. “My managers are all in their 20s and young 30s, myself being 24,” he says. “We all have a lot of energy, and we focus on doing things we love.”
The Chef at Tavolo is seasoned veteran Keith Taylor, who brings years of experience in the food industry, including the ability to cook with different styles of foods.
“He’s brought a lot of knowledge to this restaurant, unique menus, and new twists on traditional dishes,” says Catanzarite.
Foods on the menu at Tavolo – Modern Italian include Gemelli, Chicken Parmesan, Arancini, Stuffed Mushrooms, and so much more. “It’s something that those who are passionate about the food scene should check out,” he says.
House-made drinks on the menu include the Rosa Margarita, The Marriage of Figaro, and the Tiki Alligators in Venice.
The future of Tavolo – Modern Italian is looking bright despite the pandemic. “It’s forced us out of our comfort zone, and ultimately, I think it’s a good learning experience for everyone involved,” he says. “We are really pushing the envelope and it’s motivated us to think differently, more efficiently, and to really put our heads together,” he adds. “If we can continue to thrive and grow with all of these challenges in our way we will be better for it.”
Catanzarite says that he’s looking forward to opening multiple new concepts in the next couple of years. “I couldn’t be more thankful for the opportunities and the individuals involved,” he adds.