The owners of a trattoria and bar opening on Vine St. plan to bring fresh, wood-fired pizza to Over-the-Rhine later this year.
The restaurant, A Tavola Pizza
, grew out of a weekly pizza night that Jared Wayne began hosting at Northside's Take the Cake restaurant a little over a year ago. The events quickly drew 150 diners every time and it wasn't long before Wayne and a couple of friends decided to open their own place.
The new restaurant at 1220 Vine St. will feature an open kitchen with a wood fired oven at its center and bar-style seating around it. Toppings will come from nearby farms, and the dough, cheese and meat will be prepared in house by hand. One owner, Sam Ginocchio, will design cocktails with locally-sourced herbs and fruits for the bar, which will also have a selection of Cincinnati beers. Another owner, Bill Draznik, will cure meats like bacon and soppresso and hand-make sausage. A Tavola's menu will change with the seasons but will always have some type of Margherita pizza, Wayne said.
In the past year Wayne has traveled to lumberyards in the Berkshire Mountains to select wood for chairs and slab tables that he's designed and built, mostly with hand tools, in his Mt. Adams studio. He doesn't like using words like "boutique," "artisan," or even "local," but said food and furniture crafted by hand and sourced locally will translate into a better dining experience.
"People's response when you're building furniture by hand - it's like it's something they've never seen before," he said. "I think people connect with it more because they can see human touch in it, and that's exactly what we're going to do with the food too. Nothing crazy, just pizza made with local ingredients, and it happens to be a lot better when you make it with that stuff."
Wayne said he and Ginocchio grew up as neighbors eating from their family's gardens in North Avondale, and emphasized that the "localness" of A Tavola will not give it a high price. Like the pizza, the business plan is simple.
"The price point of our menu is going to be very affordable," he said. "I can buy ingredients that were grown around here, we can create a profitable business and we can feed people really wholesome food."
Writer: Henry SweetsPhotography by Scott Beseler