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Tabla

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Eric R. Feb 13, 1999 08:49 PM

For my birthday I was taken to Tabla. Very
impressed! The place is spacious, well appointed, and
visually exciting. The staff was helpful and cordial
without being cloying or overbearing ( the usual Danny
Meyer excellent service). The food was terrific. It
was able to be inventive without being prissy or
overwhelming. Especially impressed by the crab cake,
diver scallops, roasted lamb chop. Dessert was
wonderful-apple tart and vanilla kulfi with a pennant
of gold vark. It's early in the life of this place;
it will be interesting to watch it evolve.
Go, I want to see what others experience.

  1. s
    SHANTANU MOHAN Feb 27, 1999 04:07 PM

    I did TABLA yesterday..I have to say that even tough it
    was a pleasure dining there I did not leave
    satisfied..what ws it American Indain I don't know what
    to call it. For Indian I have loved Akabr for years
    the food the people and the setting it is soooo sexy
    unreal. The music needed some work but that has
    changed too. Any way for fusion American I have loved
    Vong but thats JEAn Georges so it is almost like tabla
    is left without a leg. In the mean time it is busy as
    hell and reservations are ha

    1 Reply
    1. re: SHANTANU MOHAN
      g
      Gary Cheong Feb 27, 1999 04:29 PM

      No one should walk in to Tabla expecting Indian food.
      The chef is of Indian origin, and makes use of spices
      used in Indian cooking. But he is NOT cooking Indian
      food. If you expect it to be like your fave Akbar,
      then you'll be sorely disappointed. Perhaps your pre-
      conceived ideas of how its food is supposed to be is
      clouding your judgement.

    2. s
      Stephen Jury Feb 13, 1999 08:50 PM

      I had a meal there in early January.The food was
      excellent.The lamb ravioli in particular was extremely
      good.But the service....Oh my! It was horrible, in fact
      so bad that I will need some convincing before I
      return.To their credit Tabla acknowledged this and we
      were served complimentary desserts but at these prices
      I look for service to be at least acceptable.

      6 Replies
      1. re: Stephen Jury
        g
        Gary Cheong Feb 13, 1999 08:51 PM

        Just came home from a late dinner at Tabla. I too
        loved the lamb ravioli. The fricasee of cockles,
        mussels and octopus was good too. The only problem I
        had was the temperature of the food coming out. My
        guest's duck samosa was delicious, but would have been
        more wonderful if it came out hot enough. The broth
        in my fricasee was lukewarm as was the various
        shellfish but the mashed potatoes that came with it
        was piping hot.

        1. re: Gary Cheong
          g
          Gail Feb 24, 1999 02:36 PM

          I've had dinner and lunch there. Service and food were
          great. downstairs was a perfect lunch spot. Mussels and
          raita and nan were marvelous and dessert Koula with
          fruit was awesome. Go there its truly superb

          1. re: Gail
            r
            robert sietsema Feb 25, 1999 01:37 PM

            I've got to agree with the previous contributor--food
            is great, and pleasantly weird. I've never had anything
            quite like it, especially the stuffed purple onion.

            1. re: robert sietsema
              s
              steve d. Mar 5, 1999 10:59 AM

              Took my brother there last night for his last dinner in NY and we were both extremely happy. Impossible to get a reservation at the main restaurant, but had no trouble getting seated at the Bread Bar (odd name). Whatever problems they may have had with service originally have been thoroughly solved -- from our hurried entry from the cold, windy street to our hurried exit to catch an 8:00 show of Snakebit on E. 15th St. (highly recommended, by the way -- by mutual decision the best play we saw during his stay) we were treated with friendly and helpful courtesy, and our waiter was attentive without being obtrusive. My field green salad was excellent (love those mustard seeds), but next time I'm going to order the lentil soup my brother had -- the tiny bit he allowed me to extract on my knife blade made me intensely jealous and eager to parse all those flavors. We both had the lamb tandoori as entrees, which is good because it was fabulous and might have caused dissension. And I second the raves for the vanilla-bean kulfi dessert, which the waiter said was his personal favorite and which is now mine. (I didn't actually eat more than a couple of the tiny bits of corn etc. that come with it, but they added visual interest, as did the gold top.) The coffee was good and strong, of vital importance to this caffeine addict. (AND I just called and discovered they found the Greek sailor's cap I thought I had lost for good after over a dozen years of yeoman service.) So go and enjoy -- just don't expect the dishes you're used to from "real" Indian places!

              1. re: steve d.
                a
                Alan Divack Mar 5, 1999 11:38 AM

                how much does a dinner at the bread bar cost (as
                opposed to the main restaurant)?

                1. re: Alan Divack
                  s
                  steve d. Mar 5, 1999 01:22 PM

                  Well, our tab (app, entree, dessert, coffee, a drink each) came to a tad over $100 pre-tip. The lamb was $17; my pint of Stoudt's was, as I recall, $5.50, quite reasonable for a shmancy place like that. In retrospect, we wouldn't have gotten two orders of bread; they weren't sufficiently distinct, and we wound up leaving quite a bit (at $3.50 a pop). Otherwise, well worth it.
                  I might add that since all the waiters and 95% of the customers are clad entirely in black, anyone wearing, say, a pastel top really stands out.

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