A new restaurant takes over a familiar spot!
I joined Daniel Walker of Eat Arkansas for a menu tasting at the new Table 28. Just like its previous occupants (the restaurant is located where Vesuvio’s used to be), this restaurant serves up fantastic food in a smart, sophisticated, and cozy atmosphere… but that’s where the similarities between the two restaurants begin and end.
Table 28’s executive chef Scott Rains has put together an expansive menu with a Southern flair, touching on the classics, while embracing what seems to be a nice balance of surf and turf options.
Under the Small Bites section of the menu, I was particularly fond of two dishes: the quail bird lollipops with Tabasco butter and gorgonzola fondue, as well as the crispy squid filet. The lollipops were deep-fried ground quail, shaped into balls and served with a deliciously creamy dipping sauce. And as much as I enjoyed them, the quail played second fiddle to that amazing squid. Believe me, this isn’t your everyday calamari. Tender, meaty strips of squid filet are beer-battered, fried, and then served with cocktail sauce.
The Caesar kale salad with Parmesan, Boulevard Bread croutons, and sliced anchovies was also a winner. I’ve enjoyed seeing kale pop up on menus around town, and you certainly won’t be disappointed with Table 28’s preparation of this greenery.
The real show-stopper of the tasting was the monster, aged rib-eye “tomahawk” steak attached to a 12-inch bone. We were both caught off-guard by the sheer enormity of the meat. Cooked to a perfect medium rare, the steak proved to be just as tasty as it was jaw-dropping. And at $59, 2-3 people could easily share it, order a few sides, split a dessert, and call it a meal. I’d venture to guess a steak of that size and quality would run you between $75-100 at most restaurants.
If you find yourself at Table 28 with a bit of a sweet tooth, definitely opt for the sticky toffee pudding. Our version was served with some beautiful fresh blackberries and hazelnuts, and as you might imagine, was sweet, sticky, gooey, and delightful. This is the type of dessert that’s best served with four spoons.
Other various menu items include: beef carpaccio, chicken and waffles, crawfish cakes, diver caught scallops, hanger steak, and rabbit…just to name a few.
Table 28 is open Monday-Thursday (5-9 p.m.) and Friday-Saturday (5-10 p.m.). A full bar (with several cocktail options) is also available.
Note: Meal was complimentary…opinions were my own.