Ten Tables --my new favorite find
I've been meaning to get here forever, and I'm glad I finally did --last night's dinner was excellent.
I love this place --it's tiny and filled with the energy of patrons and staff --diners enjoying their meal --a staff of 4(?) cooking and seating people and serving. You can see the cooks in action (which I always enjoy) but more importantly, what they're cooking really is delicious.
On Wednesday nights, they're serving their 3 course, $25-prix fixe meal. Order any app, entree and dessert for $25. An amazing deal..one I hestitate to promote too much as it was packed in there last night --we got there at 6:45 and it was pretty much full, and stayed that way till we left which was after 9. It's interesting though, I don't think you have the option to order anything a la carte --ie, if you're not hungry enough for all three, and just want, say, an entree. I guess they figure there's very few people who won't take advantage of the deal and perhaps it's to discourage sharing btwn people. Regardless, it was really all excellent....let's see if i can remember the highlights:
--app :garlic soup: filled with the intense, sweet flavor of garlic (which is probably exuding from my pores today, but so worth it)
:others at the table ordered beet salads, which they all pronounced delicious
--entree:homemade pasta special of the night. this had chunks of tomato, basil, cockles (tiny clams), and pancetta (tho i can't really remember tasting that), sprinkled with mint. clearly homemade tagliatelle, interesting mix of flavors, beautifully presented and quite tasty.
:roasted chicken w/pine nuts, raisins --they do something to this chicken to sear the skin so it's crispy and buttery and absolutely delicious.
:bluefish, served atop a red pepper puree: phenomenal...i'm always leary w/bluefish as it can be fishy and if not prepared well isn't my favorite. this was exceptional.
--dessert: chocolate terrine: rich, with a dollop of thai basil ice cream (tho i asked for coffee ice cream and they said yes..) really intense coffee flavor, clearly homemade, not too sweet, ....with a sprinkling of sea salt under the ice cream, perhaps to bring out the intensity of the flavors? it worked.
--lemon tart: perfectly refreshing and flavorful after this huge meal...
We ordered 2 bottles of a california pinot noir, perfectly good with our meal. Service was friendly and fairly effecient...though we did wait a while in btwn courses. Understandable though, as it's clear this small staff is pumping out 3 courses for each person at these "ten tables"....
Anyway, I really enjoyed our experience here. I think the $25 prix fixe is an amazing value and I'd certainly go back any day of the week for a meal here. Looking forward to that, in fact.
it's one of my favorite places in boston too. i particularly liked their rice pudding dessert, which i don't remember seeing last time i was there (early june).
i have to disagree about 2 things though--while i thought the bluefish was outstanding, i thought pairing it with the roasted red pepper puree is a tragic mistake. i don't find the flavors at all complementary. they are both good, but not in one dish.
and for the chocolate terrine: the sea salt found made the dessert all but inedible. i don't know what the idea is there, but i really didn't like it. at all.
still though, these are relatively minor snafus in probably my favorite place in boston.
Totally concur re the bluefish --Helen, it was because of your previous praise on this dish that we ordered it. So, thanks! And it really was excellent. I've found bluefish to be hit or miss; can be really fishy and/or oily sometimes. This was perfectly cooked and was quite probably the best dish all-around.
I'm going back in a couple of weeks (for that same prix-fixe dinner) and will report back on the consistency....
I don't really know what to add. I just love this place. It's the only restaurant in Boston that delivers perfectly consistent, reasonably priced food with a good wine list. The bluefish is outstanding! If you don't think you are a bluefish person, this dish will convert you. Oh, and the wines... they have this excellent riesling for about $20/bottle -- excellent and very food-friendly.
re: A Fish Called Wanda
Another vote for the bluefish... I had it last night, and it was spectacular. The mix of the fish, the roasted red pepper sauce, and the sauteed swiss chard was perfect, and their rose went quite well with it. The rice pudding, the salad nicoise, and everything else was excellent, as usual. We brought my MIL there for her birthday, and although she's eaten all over at some of the best places, she practically licked her plate.
Also glad you liked it. I love it too...
Really like that they don't rush you in order to turn over their (ten!) tables. Of course, we do always take full advantage of the wine selection!
Agreed that reservations are required. I was lucky one wintry night and was able to wait with my party in the cellar. So much fun!
i'll add another voice to the ringing praise. ten tables is a special place for me - it was my first chowish experience guided by this board!
my SO made a surprise out of it. as we rode farther out on the orange line, i thought "this is ridiculous. no meal is worth this much travel!!" boy, was i wrong!
glad to hear it's still good under the new chef.
I concur-- Ten Tables is a wonderful, intimate, hip and energetic. Went on a Wednesday a few weeks back (which happens to be the only night the vegetarian tasting menu is not available, so beware :-( )and had the prix fixe menu and everything was perfect. The wines are fabulous and quite complementary to the food. Highly recommended!
I went here for the 1st time on last Sunday. Loved everything! Nice server-food was great, nice room...
Yeah--loved that garlic soup! Mussel app. special was great.
Mains--I had codfish cakes--good & filling. My girl had the steak and loved it! Nice Spanish red wine...good prices--Yeah, i'll be back :)