Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Table 6

I've wanted to eat at Table 6 since Ian Kleinman did a pop up molecular donut restaurant there last summer. I liked the space and I really liked the fact they had a small parking lot out back (space for about 15 cars). I'm very much a suburban girl and if you want to ruin my dinner from the get go, make me circle for 15 minutes to find parking a half a mile away. This is what valets are for and yes, I will pay for the convenience.

So we got reservations for Restaurant Week.

The space is small and comfortable and welcoming. The whole kitchen is right out there behind the bar - no show kitchen and real kitchen. This is both good and bad - good because you can see it all happening as you wait, bad because if there's a large party ahead of you, like the 12 top about 10 minutes ahead of us, you will be waiting because there are just so many burners available.

For restaurant week they were offering a number of wines by the glass at $5.28. One of them was the "wacky wine of the night", and since they're known for their wines, I figured I'd ask about it. Turned out it was an Italian Montesomething or other, and since I like Italian wines, I went for it. Lovely, one of the better wines I had, not only for the price.

I started with the "gravlox" over cream cheese wontons with dill. I'm guessing they spelled it that way because it was a mix between gravlax and lox. In any case it was cured salmon, and I like cured salmon. Others had the house made tater tots (definitely NOT Ore Ida!) and blood orange ketchup and the chopped salad, which I liked a lot. Of course we were all sharing tastes. That's the fun of dining out with other foodies.

The beast of the night was brisket, falling apart tender and luscious with fat. Brisket has to be or it's like eating burlap. It came with a baked half potato crusted with cheese, a scalloped egg, which looked fried to me, and jardiniere. I thought the jardiniere (pickled vegetables) was a weird pairing until I realized that the crunch and acidity of the vegetables (mostly cauliflower, yum) was a lovely counterpoint to all that rich brisket/egg/potato.

They also had the fish of the night and a couple of other options with upcharges. The menu had changed from what's online and it's hard to remember.

Dessert was a hard choice: chocolate beignets or coconut cream pie. Yes, I'm a chocolate first, who cares what else comes second kind of person, but I love coconut cream pie. Fortunately, someone else ordered it and it was lovely, with cocoa nibs in the crust. The chocolate beignets were plain dough with liquid chocolate centers over apricot puree. Nicely chocolatey.

It's another place I want to go back, especially now that I know how to get in and out of that neighborhood and there's a place to park.


Got reservations for Linger for restaurant week (which is really two weeks, but who's counting?)

Started off with the Roasted Beet Bhel Puri, roasted beet salad with yogurt and crunchies. I was going to get the roasted chicken bun (a special to the restaurant week menu), but the server's description of the salad made it sound so good that I changed my mind. I'm glad I did. It was.

Others ordered the roasted chicken bun, which was delightful, with a nice bit of kim chee for a little spice, and the lentil dahl soup, classically Indian spiced.

Main was salmon tagine, another special to the restaurant week menu. Very good, classic Moroccan spices, they actually bothered to cook the salmon all the way through. I'm so tired of restaurants serving salmon half cooked or "rare" because their chefs are so afraid of overcooking the fish that they don't bother to cook it all the way at all.

We were with another couple who Don't. Eat. Fish. She asked for another taste of my fish because her first response was "THAT'S salmon?!?!". Apparently her mother in law overcooked poor quality salmon and the house reeked of it for days. Hey, I don't like overcooked poor quality salmon either.

Others had the Never Ever Beef Tender, which came with mashed plantains, and the pork ramen noodles, heady with Chinese Five Spice and rich with egg yolk.

Dessert? Churros and hot chocolate. I can't resist the combination. Others had the sea salt caramel sundae and the butterscotch pudding with the lemongrass cotton candy.

Prices on the regular menu were very reasonable - dishes are meant to be shared. I am so over the lots of small dishes trend, but the food was good, and I make exceptions when they do it right, not just to be trendy.

The space is urban and loud. The one glitch in the evening was the young beggar who was being a pest to those waiting for valet parking.