114 Front St., Smyrna, TN 37167
Date of visit: June 2018
In the small town of Smyrna, TN., just outside of south Nashville about 25 miles is Massimo’s La Tavola Ristorante Italiano. Like most small suburbs Smyrna has many restaurants and stores to choose from. But like most all metropolitan areas it has mostly large corporate chains so we searched and found this great little authentic Italian restaurant that didn’t really look like much from the outside. The building was old and a bit dingy. It looked like it could use a fresh coat of paint and a fresh sign above the doorway. But most every storefront adjacent to 114 Front St. was much the same. Small shops of local people hoping to fulfill that American dream. The area was a tiny downtown community of a dozen or so stores and each of them was in old historic buildings directly across from the railway tracks.
After three visits to this wonderful establishment, I am writing this review in hopes that more people will search out these smaller establishments. The food was, in the end, excellent. We had ordered the mushroom ravioli and a fettuccine alfredo with chicken. The marinara sauce, used for the ravioli, had a little too much pepper in it for our personal taste. But we mentioned this to the manager and he quickly apologized and offered to bring any other dish on the menu. After we had finished our dinner the manager let us know a new batch of pasta sauce had been made. without asking us he brought out a sample for us to taste. The second batch was excellent and we decided then we would go back and eat here again the following week.
On our second visit, we decided to try the Lasagna and the Capellini Genovese. All entrees come with a house or Caesar salad and we both opted for the house salad with balsamic vinaigrette. The salads were made with fresh greens and very crisp. The lasagna was delicious and was definitely made from scratch. The pasta was cooked perfectly and not overcooked as it usually is in most restaurants. The Capellini Genovese included shrimp and scallops in a creamy pesto sauce and again the noodles were cooked to perfection, and the homemade pesto sauce was so good I would eat with nothing else.
On our third visit, we decided we had to try the pizza. Being a real Italian restaurant the pizza has to be excellent one would assume. And we were right again. The marinara sauce was homemade. The fresh mushrooms and pepperoni topping the pizza was delicious. We had the Bruschetta for an appetizer and I recommend you try it as well. They offer an extensive wine selection but unfortunately, we did not try any of it so we can’t report on that.
In summary, we will visit them again the next time we are in Smyrna, Tn.