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Feb 13, 1999 08:49 PM


  • e

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.

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  1. 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

      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

        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
          robert sietsema

          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

            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.

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

              1. re: Alan Divack

                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.

    2. s

      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

        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.