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Dining at Ten Tables -- Recommendations?

I have an upcoming reservation at Ten Tables and was wondering if there were any "must try" dishes on the menu. I looked around the boards a bit already and saw that many people like their charcuterie plate -- is that the chicken liver terrine they currently have on the menu or is it something else? What else have people had that they liked? Thanks in advance.

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  1. chocolate terrine with thai basil ice cream for dessert

    1. roasted beets appetizer and seared squid appetizer.

      1. homemade sausage. version with lentils/beans is awesome.

        1. I really enjoyed the rabbit with pappardelle. I'm not certain it's still on the menu, but it was delicious. A very good dining experience.

          4 Replies
          1. re: CocoDan

            Do you remember how they prepared the rabbit with the pappardelle? Do you think it'd be similar to the cavatelli with lamb ragu they currently have on the menu (and looks great)?

            Also, has anyone had the vegetarian tasting menu? I'm not a vegetarian but if it's something meat-eaters could enjoy I wouldn't be opposed to trying it out...Thanks!

            1. re: samosk318

              The vegetarian tasting menu is terrific and a great value. I think a carnivore could certainly enjoy it if not in the mood for meat.

              Only thing I don't like about it is not getting to choose my dessert - for some reason there's always something on the regular menu that sounds much better than what they choose to give for the tasting. (Their creme brulee is blah.)

              1. re: edamame

                Do you get to see what the courses are on the tasting menu prior to choosing, or is more of a "chef's whim" kind of thing?

                Thanks for the advice on the creme brulee. It's usually a go-to dessert of mine, but there seem to be many more interesting options on the dessert menu right now. If I don't go the tasting menu route, I'll probably be torn between the chocolate terrine (per galangatron's recommendation) and the banana upside down cake. Anyone have any thoughts regarding the latter option?

                1. re: samosk318

                  Chef's whim, but in my experience you can predict what you will have based on the regular menu. E.g., if the regular menu is what's online now, I would guess that the tasting menu is: beet salad, garlic soup, ricotta cavatelli minus the lamb ragu plus some sort of vegetable sauce, dessert. I think the portions of the soup course, and maybe the salad, might be a little smaller than what you would get if you ordered a la carte. Still a steal. Love this place.

          2. I haven't been this winter, but last year they made the BEST brandade de morue I've ever eaten, hands down. It's a puree of salt cod and potatoes and i don't know what else, served warm with little toasts to spread it on.

            1. Thanks for all the suggestions! Dinner is tonight, I'll report back and let you all know about it.

              1 Reply
              1. re: samosk318

                Went for the first time friday night and it was terrific. Had the calamari with preserved lemon appetizer and pasta with lamb ragu - both were great. DC had the swordfish with roasted cauliflower. I only got to taste the cauliflower which was the best preparation I have ever tasted.

                Hope you enjoy your visit as much as we did.

              2. Will the menu at the Cambridge location be the same/very similar to the JP one? Just wondering as I saw in Daily Candy (hold from lobbing anything at me...yes I get Daily Candy...they do sometimes break openings that I miss elsewhere--even on this board) they are opening in the old Craigie space tonight.

                1. Reservation was last night at 6:30 and we were seated right away. Short review -- It was great, and will definitely be returning. If people are interested in more detail, see below.

                  We each ordered a cocktail (the KK Kamikaze for her and Le Gaston 76 for me), and both were great. The Gaston was very crisp and refreshing and would be a great cocktail for the summer as well. Our waiter brought us over an amuse bouche after we ordered; it was Israeli cous cous with golden raisins and kalamata olives. Really nice balance of sweet from the raisins and salty from the olives. DC and I shared the chicken liver pate as an appetizer, and it was very good. It only had three toast points for a relatively large slice of pate, but it was definitely better on having too much bread and not enough pate! For the main courses my DC had the cavatelli with lamb ragu and I had the bavette steak with "salsa verde," though our waiter explained it as more of a chimichurri (with parsley, chervil, and tarragon). Both were phenomenal. My steak was cooked perfectly and the rosemary polenta was also excellent. I would have cleaned my plate but I wanted to save room for dessert. We decided to go with two desserts -- I had the chocolate terrine with thai basil ice cream and my DC had the profiteroles with banana ice cream and chocolate sauce that seems to have replaced the banana upside down cake on the online menu. Again, both were outstanding. I've been really into sweet courses with savory components lately so I really enjoyed the thai basil ice cream (and the sea salt accompanying the chocolate terrine). The profiteroles were also delicious. The banana ice cream was very banana-like, if that makes sense. A very enjoyable meal overall, and I'm looking forward to going back soon.

                  Sorry that got somewhat long-winded, but as you can probably tell I thought it was great and wanted to make sure I gave it its due. Kudos to anyone who read the whole review, and thanks to everyone for all the suggestions!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: samosk318

                    samosk318, great review. Thank you.

                    This was the JP location, I presume. Has anyone yet been to the new Cambridge spot?

                  2. While my experience at the JP Ten Tables wasn't so hot, I was excited to try out the new Ten Tables in Cambridge. Bigger menu, bigger venue, and easily accessible via the MBTA. Score! I already felt better about dining in this location even before I stepped through the door.

                    I breathed a sigh of relief as soon as I walked in. Space. Room to walk. Here, I would not be breathing down other peoples necks, overhearing every tidbit of their conversation, or feel generally cramped and squished. I really liked the atmosphere... dimly lit and sleek but at the same time, warm and cozy.

                    My initial drink order, a sweet wine infused with ginger, was not available. Dissapointing. Instead, I chose the refreshing Gaston (lillet with sliced cucumber and thyme). It was a great alternative. Not too sweet, not too dry... incredibly refreshing. I can see this being a fantastic summer drink.

                    We started out with the mussels- big and plump in a yummy apple, Brooklyn Beer, and cilantro sauce. I'm not going to lie, I was scooping the apples right out of the bowl when the mussels were gone. This stuff was GOOD. The number of mussels themselves wasn't overwhelming. I've been to places with a much larger portion. However, the quality at Ten Tables was much better.

                    For my entree, I had the scallops with farro, Meyers lemons, beets, and picholine olives. I am typically not a beet eater at ALL, but I was intrigued with this combination, especially since Meyers lemons are in season. I asked for the scallops to be more on the "done" side (I hate when they aren't fully cooked). They were cooked just as I liked them! I had never had farro before (a grain, allegedly with origins in the Middle East), but I really liked it. It was very earthy and almost nutty. I liked the combination of the smooth texture of the scallops with the subtle coarseness of the farro. This dish was pretty fantastic.

                    Slight issues with dessert... I ordered the toffee pudding and was brought creme caramel. The waiter was kind enough to let us keep the creme caramel, bring what I ordered, and comp both desserts. Seriously. SERIOUSLY- the toffee pudding was better than any dessert I have had in a long, long time. It came served in a ramekin, pipping hot, creamy, rich, and overall amazing. It was served with ice cream, which I was thankful for as it cooled down the pudding. I made sure to get every single bit of toffee out of the ramekin. I have no shame. I must have looked pretty ridiculous. The wait for the second dessert was slightly ridiculous, but the complementary desserts, along with the apologies from the owner and waiter, made up for the delay.

                    All in all, I was quite surprised at how well Ten Table's opening night was. Food was fantastic, service was good, and there weren't any staff breakdowns like other openings I've been to (crying, tantrums, running out of the restaurant... yes, I'm serious!). I left full and happy. I will be back very soon!

                    8 Replies
                    1. re: SaraASR

                      *Farro is a wheat berry (usually spelt). I went to Ten Tables in Cambridge last night and I am very undecided. Maybe my expectations were too high? Un-food related, we thought the room was maybe too dark, it was like 80˚, and the bench against the wall was a couple inches lower than the chairs. I could have used a booster seat, and I m 5'6". Anyway it would I think feel cozy if only the waiters didn't have to wear ties-tucked-into-their-shirts (do they do that in JP?) - really a mood crasher. Had a wine glass that smelled strongly of dishwasher detergent - never a good sign. But they just opened, so all benefit of the doubt! Friendly waiters! I was hoping it would be a little groovier than generic-harvard-square -- it felt stodgy, and very anglo-saxon. Yummy amuse, thankfully vegetarian, yummy chewy rolls, lovely oysters. Seemed like app and main portions were the same sizes - the apps were the right size and our entrees (and those nearby) were notably small (and I appreciate small portions!) But it does leave room for dessert - delicious thin slice of chocolateyist terrine with basil ice cream. No vegan dessert options (no vegan anything, actually) which would have been a happy thing to see. Totally crowded (how did everyone find about it so fast?! Maybe that's why they had to divvy out child-portions.) I'll try it again soon, hoping the menu changes frequently, though will bring my coat to my table so I can sit on it. : )

                      1. re: SaraASR

                        Thanks, Sara - we are going Friday night, and that scallop entree sounds right up my alley. Do you remember any other entrees or apps that were on the menu (the cambridge menu is not up yet). Did you have wine? Thanks for the early review!

                        1. re: Small Plates

                          Dining companion got a Berkshire pork and chicken sausage dish, which she liked.... much more chicken than pork. She got Reisling and enjoyed it. I know there was a chicken dish and a pasta dish, as well as some sort of fish, but I forget the specifics, I'm sorry!

                          Get the toffee pudding, whatever you do. You won't be sorry!

                          1. re: SaraASR

                            Three of us went to the Cambridge location last night. I'm guessing the parking situation has been mentioned. The restaurant only has 4 spaces in the lot, and the rest of the parking in the area is permit parking. You'll have to risk getting a ticket and the host didn''t really offer much in the way of suggestions. But once you're in you're comfortable. Nice little space, intimate. I did notice a previous poster's comment about the darkness and the heat of the place. I didn't think it was too dark, but at the end of the meal as the restaurant filled up I noticed the heat.

                            On to the food, we shared a dozen of the Wellfleet oysters with fresh horseradish and the homemade merguez sausage. Good oysters, not the best I've ever had, but the fresh horseradish was a great touch. The sausage was well cooked and its juices combined with a fennel, roasted pepper and fresh cheese, vinegar, and I think ricotta salata to make a great dressing.
                            For entrees we had the steak, the boudin blanc, and the scallop dish. The scallop and the steak were described in previous posts and I've got nothing to add, except that the beet flavor really comes through in the farro mixture and it's very tabbouleh-tasting (lotsof parsley flavor) The boudin blanc dish was served with a duck confit hash and apple slivers. Very bold flavors that complimented each other nicely if you combined them in one bite. My only regret is that we weren't gluttonous to also order the monkfish stew.

                            1. re: ysb

                              I have reservations tomorrow night and now have a pretty good sense of the menu due to all these detailed posts. Thanks 'hounds! The restaurant has also officially posted the Cambridge menu on the site. Is the $32.00 prix fixe in effect for Wed. nights? I think I read that somewhere--maybe Daily Candy.

                              1. re: ysb

                                Parking was a drag at Craigie Street Bistrot too. My strong suggestion is to hit up TT in Cambridge on a Sunday or holiday so you can park with impunity.

                                1. re: ysb

                                  I wish I got the scallop entree. We ordered the Chef's whim and ended up with the spicy tartare (with some Japanese Shimeji mushrooms - the dish was delicious and I will order it again and again. The monkfish stew was excellent as was the boudin noir. Some nice touches in an amuse of potato leek soup and a nice grapefruit mousse intermezzo before dessert. Food was fantastic. Timing a little off - but to be expected on a weekend night of first week. Will be back to taste the other dishes. Overall B+ - so glad we went.

                                  1. re: Small Plates

                                    If you park near the corner of Craigie St and Brattle there is plenty of on-street meter and no meter parking that is not resident restricted. It is about a 5 minute walk from there to the restaurant. From my experience, Cambridge police only really enforce resident parking during the day to keep commuters from parking in the neighborhoods. I really hope that they do great. Awesome people.