You don’t have to worry about whether or not you’re going to get the best table when you visit Restaurant Row’s newest dining establishment, The Table. As the name suggests, there is only one. But what a table it is, twenty-two feet by five and a half feet. It seats 22, and looks as though it is in the dining room of someone’s grand home.
Notice I didn’t call The Table a restaurant. It prefers to be called a supper club, though that doesn’t really describe it very well, either. The Table is a dining experience, available for one seating per night, Fridays and Saturdays only. You may reserve the space for you and 21 of your friends, or you may join in as a party of one, two or more to fill in seats on a regular night. Think of it more as a chef’s table kind of experience.
The menu is set, although the chefs are happy to accommodate dietary restrictions, and usually features five courses, each paired with a wine. The price is set, too: $100 per person, inclusive of tax and gratuity, which is more than reasonable for the quality and the experience.
I attended a media dinner meant to showcase the venue. We sipped on Champagne and nibbled on passed hors d’oeuvres while waiting to be called to the table for seating.
Our first course featured king salmon on a frisee salad with a poached egg from Lake Meadow Naturals (the chef/owners, Tyler Brassil and Loren Falsone, endeavor to use local, sustainable and organic products as much as possible). The salmon was perfectly grilled and had the nicest char, but I really enjoyed the broken yolk of the egg serving as the salad’s dressing. A 2009 Bastianich Malvasia from Croatia accompanied.
Next came a roasted acorn squash crespelle, the Italian version of a crepe, filled with housemade “two-milk” ricotta, in a sweet corn veloute garnished with purple Peruvian potatoes and generous slices of black truffles. It was richness all around, but it was not overwhelming. The wine was the Scholium Project’s 2009 Riquewihr, Lost Slough Vineyards, from Fairfield, Calif.
Roasted local quail followed, served with apple and black mission fig and a wild mushroom ragu. And to top it off, a generous lobe of seared foie gras. I don’t often find quail worth the trouble — this one was. A 2008 Nebbiolo from Matteo Correggia was the paired wine.
I never thought I’d find a cheese course I couldn’t finish, but the samples of Camembert, Cabrales and Manchego were too big to eat. Hated leaving them, especially the gorgeously mottled Cabrales. Sater Vineyards 2008 North Valley wine provided a satisfying quaff.
Needless to say, when dessert was served, I could only manage a bite. Well, maybe three. The peach cake was OK, but the barrel-aged caramel was amazing, and the coffee ice cream was all I needed to keep me awake the rest of the night.
The table of The Table is a beautiful slab of purple Brazilian granite that sits beneath a row of lights decorated with varying lengths of monkey-tail glass curlicues. Elegant draperies, fine art and a wet bar with an impressive wine rack of glowing resin rods add to the feel of being in a fine home.
Falsone is the former executive chef for Seasons 52 and was one of Food & Wine magazine’s top 10 new chefs in 2000. She and Brassil, who is also her husband, also teach at Orlando’s Le Cordon Bleu culinary academy.
It isn’t the place of a reviewer to be concerned about the tenability of a business, but I worry that this concept can be sustained with so few seatings each week. I suppose some of the costs are ameliorated by cooking classes and sharing the space — and the rent — with a caterer. And Brassil and Falsone have enough experience in the business to know what they’re doing. Sustainable is a current buzzword associated with food; I’d like to see it applied to the places that serve it, too.
The Table is at 8060 Via Dellagio Way, Orlando. It is open for dinner Friday and Saturday or by special arrangement. Here is a link to thetableorlando.com. The phone number is 407-900-3463.