Le Tableau, Lower East Side
A few months ago, Eric Asimov reviewed Le Tableau in
his Under $25 column. It's at 511 E. 5th, east of Ave.
This is a nice restaurant. Pleasant atmosphere, good
service, and excellent food. I stuck to the day's
specials, a lovely gazpacho with a pile of perfect
calamari in the middle, and then a roasted whole red
snapper with a sauce similar to putanesca. A friend
had another special, rack of lamb with Moroccan
seasoning, also excellent. The lamb was advertised as
coming with mint tabbouleh that turned out to be
mint-seasoned cous-cous, also good but not what the
Desserts were very good, especially the banana tart.
The wine list is interesting and varied, including
several good wines by the glass.
Either prices have gone up, or Eric's definition of a
meal is a lot leaner than mine. With appetizers,
entrees, dessert, and a bottle of wine split three
ways, it came to nearly $50 per person.
Le Tableau is still in great shape. We had diner there Friday night, August 25th, and it remains exactly as Josh descibed -- excellent food, good service, pleasant atmosphere (if a bit crowded; there were only two tables free the whole time we were there). My boyfriend and I both had the organic mesclun salad as a starter; I had the escargot entree (a special, one of the best entrees I've had in months) and he had the steak. They also provided a little pate with pesto to spread on your bread, in lieu of butter. There's not much of interest to look at in the joint, but who cares? Dinner for two (two appet, two entrees, one glass of wine/beer each, no dessert) came to $45 -- try to do better than that in the East Village nowadays. Also, I think they still have their $20 prix fixe dinner most of the week. It's the perfect neighborhood spot.