Tavolata at The Charles Café

  • By Mark
  • 25 May, 2017

Join us every Wednesday and Friday for a social evening

What is a Tavolata?

Tavolata is Italian and in English means something like "convivial table". The special feature of a Tavolata is the convivial food on a large table, each of which is served on large plates. A Tavolata brings people together. Many tables are put together to form a large table, various dishes in pots and on plates placed in their midst and enjoyed by the guests and friends of The Charles Café as they please. Tavolata stands for (self)-organised table assemblies. The idea behind it - discussing together, laughing, but also eating and enjoying. Interesting conversations are being made and joint activities planned. The food is placed in beautifully arranged plates, large bowls and bottles with wine and water directly on the table, so that all can serve themselves. Great value is placed on high quality and freshly prepared food.

Why a Tavolata?

Inspired by Alain de Botton's book Religion for Atheists , his writings about food and our vision and mission to bring people together at the same table we decided to start our own Tavolata at The Charles Café.

"Our modern failure to properly connect eating with conviviality is sometimes manifest in restaurants. The noise and activity of restaurants typically suggests a refuge from the urban anonymity that surrounds them. With people in such close proximity, we can plausibly imagine that the barriers between ourselves and others will be eroded. But in reality most restaurants make no moves to present us to one another, they have no mechanisms for dispelling our mutual suspicions or for fracturing the clans into which we are segregated. They never extend the circle of our affections.

Like so many venues in the modern city (nightclubs, bars, football matches, art galleries), the restaurant rubs us up against people yet does nothing to connect us to them - as if we had forgotten that real community has precious little to do with just standing in a confined space with others. We must also sing, talk, hold hands - or we might as well be on our own.

Sitting down at a communal table with a group of strangers and properly mingling with them has the incomparable benefit of making it a little less likely to be able to hate them with impunity. The proximity required by a meal - something about passing someone dishes, unfurling your napkin at the same time, having to speak - makes it harder to continue to cling to the belief that the outsiders we'd previously spotted only in the train or shops and who wear unusual clothes and speak in distinctive accents are inhuman and deserve to be sent away. For all the large-scale political solutions to ethnic conflict, there are few more effective tools to promote tolerance between suspicious neighbours than to force them to have supper together."

Excerpt from an article by Alain de Botton published on theguardian.com, " Mealtimes religiously observed ".


All about The Charles Café

By Mark 25 May, 2017
Tavolata is Italian and in English means something like "convivial table". The special feature of a Tavolata is the convivial food on a large table, each of which is served on large plates. A Tavolata brings people together. Many tables are put together to form a large table, various dishes in pots and on plates placed in their midst and enjoyed by the guests and friends of The Charles Café as they please. Tavolata stands for (self)-organised table assemblies. The idea behind it - discussing together, laughing, but also eating and enjoying. Interesting conversations are being made and joint activities planned. The food is placed in beautifully arranged plates, large bowls and bottles with wine and water directly on the table, so that all can serve themselves. Great value is placed on high quality and freshly prepared food.
By Mark 10 May, 2017
Treat Mom to brunch this Mother's Day at The Charles Café! - Sunday 14th May - We'll be serving our breakfast favourites all day (8am-3pm) with special spoils for all the amazing Mom's! Reservations: 087 743 2359
By Mark 09 Apr, 2017
The inspiration for the evening was initiated after a conversation with one of our local guests who joined us for breakfast. Afterwards I thought it a great idea to get to know the heritage of the area the café is situated in, De Waterkant. I am originally from Johannesburg and not ever being a fan of curries and spicy dishes, I found the Cape Malay style pleasantly different to what I knew of "Indian" food. I became interested in the concept to explore a food culture I wasn't familiar with, and to share that with others. Hence Malay Mondays!

We started last week Monday 3rd April, with a limited amount of food prepared. The chef still joked that I would be filling up my fridge later that night with leftovers for the week.. But we sold out on all dishes! The Tasting option on the menu proved quite favourable. This option is for those who would like to try a little bit of everything, a malay tapas.

Feel like joining us for dinner on Malay Mondays? Booking advisable. Not sure? Check out the menu here .

Justine
By Mark 22 Mar, 2017
Usana Farm has been with us since the beginning, supplying us with their fresh pasture-reared farm eggs and their exquisite selection of wines.



Join us for a beautiful evening of handcrafted wines and homemade food!



Date: Tuesday 28th March 2017

Time: 18:30 for 19:00 - 22:00

Limited seating: 30

Price: R550/pp includes wine pairing

RSVP: Monday 27th March 2017

Contact: 082 455 3933 OR hello@thecharles.cafe to book your seating



The evening will begin with an arrival drink, a refreshing glass of Usana Sauvignon Blanc, followed by an introduction to The Charles Café and Usana Farm collaboration.

MENU
(3 Courses)

Starter


Homemade bruschetta, chargrilled asparagus, Usana poached egg, cream cheese & chive quenelle.

Wine pairing: Usana Pinot Gris

Main

Usana Cabernet braised brisket ravioli, Napoli-style tomato sauce, sage & parmesan crisps, garlic espuma.

Wine pairing: Usana Cabernet Sauvignon

OR


Usana white wine infused risotto, roasted seasonal vegetables, olive tapenade, parmesan black pepper wafers.

Wine pairing: Usana Pinot Gris / Sauvignon Blanc



Dessert

Almond & dark chocolate flourless torte, Usana Chenin Blanc & vanilla poached pears, matcha créme anglaise.

Wine pairing: Usana Chenin Blanc



After dinner coffee OR tea.



Wine will be available to purchase on the evening from JP Winshaw

.

We look forward to seeing you on the night! Contact us for a reservation.
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