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Apr 20 2012

Table 3 A Restaurant Report

Titanic 3D is 3 hours long.

This apparent non sequitur does have a point. My wife and I dropped our daughter off at the movie and we had that amount of time to kill. What could be better than a long, leisurely dinner to kill that time?

The great thing in this instance is that Table 3 was less than a 100 yards from the theater that we dropped our daughter at for internment. Tucked on the north side of the Mall just outside of the Regal Theater, Table 3 brings a little bit of French charm to the neighborhood.

Table 3 and Market is a Bistro serving French comfort food with a healthy dose of local, sustainable ingredients. The inside of the restaurant is accented with dark wood and mirrors and there is a good sized patio outside if you would like to indulge in some people watching with your dinner.

Unlike the trend across the parking lot, the menu at Table 3 is a single page of elegant simplicity. The charcuterie and cheese plate are an obvious point of focus. The choices rotate depending on the season. Simple, high quality food is always a French staple.

Entrees range from $11.50 to $22 with a couple of steaks topping the range at $27 and $29. All reasonably priced for the quality of the food. Sides are additional but both of the dishes that we chose did not require a side.

While I was truly tempted by the charcuterie (next time, I promise) my wife and I opted for the goat cheese tart instead.

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I was a bit surprised to see something so quiche-looking delivered but it was very good. The filling was a savory, custardy cloud with roasted red peppers, mushrooms and big leaves of basil running though the tart. The plate was ringed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar for a pop of color and flavor. The goat cheese added just a bit of bite but the tart was marvelously subtle.

The service was excellent. We had established quickly with our server that we had time to kill and he let us dawdle along at our own pace but never left us for so long that we felt we had been abandoned. He was keenly interested in the food on the menu and knowledgeably described the things that we asked about.

Bread service is only provided on request…so we requested it! The baguette was a beautiful artistic piece of bread shaped like a letter Z where they had let a couple of pieces cook together. It had a wonderful, crusty exterior and was complimented with room temperature butter. Simple perfection.

After some question and answer (and some more dawdling) our waiter (why can I not remember his name?) helped guide us to a couple of selections for dinner.

My wife chose the cassoulet and our waiter strongly suggested that she have it topped with with a fried egg to which she willingly acceded. The dish was a white bean casserole with shredded pork and sausage and bread crumbs baked on top.

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It was served with a duck confit leg on the side. The dish had a smoky, slow cooked character that had layers of flavor and the egg was perfectly cooked so that the yolk, when broken over the cassoulet, added a lush richness to the whole dish. My wife did get one bite of the sausage that she did not think was completely cooked but on the whole it was a very successful dish. Serving it in an iron skillet added even more of a comfort food touch to the presentation.

Although I waffled a bit between the special and the pan-seared duck the waiter’s description of the daily special finally won me over. Fettucini with Fricassee of Rabbit with Dijon just sounded too interesting to pass up.

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Though not as visually appealing as my wife’s dish the fettucini arrived hot and savory. Other than a few carrots hiding in the pasta it was fairly monochromatic.

The sauce on the pasta had a delightful sweet undertone that complimented the rabbit very well. There were pearl onions and little pieces of the Benton’s bacon adding little pops of flavor as well. The pasta was cooked very nicely and the rabbit in the sauce was tasty and had great texture.

While I don’t eat rabbit often, it is obviously a challenge to prepare. The rabbit that was added to the top of the dish was a touch overcooked and so it had gotten a bit dry. Again, the minor flaws still left room for a very successful dish.

We finished our meal by splitting a desert. We ended up choosing the salted chocolate mousse which was served with cinnamon pastry cookies and a dollop of house made whipped cream. The salt and sweet melded beautifully and the cookies made excellent spoons for dipping! Coupled with a really good cup of decaf coffee it made a perfect end to the meal.

Although there were some little inconsistencies in the meal, the total experience was very good. I would say the that the goat cheese tart was the highlight of the meal. As a place to steal away for a date…for three hours, Table 3 gets a winning grade.

Guess it’s time to see if the Titanic has finished sinking yet…

Available for booking on Opentable.

Table 3 Restaurant and Market on Urbanspoon

Table 3 on Foodio54

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