Opened in 2013 and tucked in a non-descript nook just behind the convention center – not quite Shaw, but certainly not downtown – Table has been wowing guests for almost two years. The clean modern exterior is a stark contrast to the older row houses along side the restaurant with a garage door front look, and the sparse inside allows the creative and beautifully plated dishes to literally pop off the plate.
We love leaving downtown and stopping in for lunch. It’s just enough off the beaten path to be mysterious and that just adds to the enjoyment. With an open kitchen downstairs, you get a view of the Chef and the food prep stations.
Once upstairs the environment is intimate and purposefully minimalistic – the plates are anything but. The menu changes, almost weekly, as many REAL Certified restaurants are known to do in order to keep the freshest ingredients possible.
According to their site:
Table is proud to partner with the US Healthful Food Council to become one of the first restaurants in the nation to be REAL Verified. Responsible Epicurean and Agricultural Leadership (REAL) is a voluntary, points-based nutrition and sustainable best practices certification program modeled after the US Green Building Council’s LEED Certification.
To start, in the summer months, the soft shell crab is a must. Many places in DC sadly over-dress this simple Southern delicacy, and to add insult to injury, overcharge. This is the best I’ve had in a restaurant in DC. Simply fried whole soft shell crabs are served along with a simply dressed frise salad and summer vegetables.
Another dish we love, when offered, is the charred octopus. Enough for a light lunch entree, or a starter, tender octopus is perfectly grilled with just enough charred crispy bits without being overcooked or burnt. Elegantly dressed with capers, red onion, and parsley, we find ourselves loving and craving this light lunch option.
For those who want a bit more, their grilled hanger steak with swiss chard is a must. Tender, grass-fed, organic beef is grilled with light seasoning to a perfect medium-rare (preferred temp). The vegetable accompaniment means it’s okay to have steak for lunch!
Keeping with the seafood, the Bronzino (almost always offered) is another favorite. Whole, head on Bronzino is grilled with a mix of thinly sliced peppers. A tad tricky if you are not familiar with eating whole fish, as it contains many smaller bones. However once you get past that the meat is mild and flaky without having a fishy taste at all.
If whole fish aren’t your thing, go with the jumbo gilled prawns. Garlic, butter, simply grilled with fresh pepper, and a simple bean salad. Easy to scoop out with a fork and chow down. Think shrimp and lobster had a grilled baby, and that’s these.
Let’s not forget the sweets. Keeping things light, these beignets with ricotta and orange blossom honey are light, airy, and delicate. A perfect way to end the meal and great for sharing.
We’re calling Table one of our favorite, cozy, and delicious spots for lunch/dinner this fall. Trust us, take a downtowner for lunch, and blow them away.