Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Table 17 - Table d'Hote

This is my third Table 17 post. My first post was several months ago when I went for their regular dinner menu; my second post was around several weeks ago when I went for their Sunday brunch; and this post is about my dinner with four friends this past Sunday where we tried Table 17's Table d'Hote menu.

Table 17 offers a Table d'Hote menu every Sunday and Monday which features three courses for $32. Pretty awesome, right? Well there's more - what's even better is that there's also no corkage fee for Table d'Hote!

If you want to see more pictures of the decor at Table 17's please click here. I only took this one picture on Sunday because for the previous two visits I always sat at those two-person tables against the wall; I had a different view this time =)

My friend ordered a Caesar and I ordered the Pomegranate Sour (Stoli vodka, grapefruit juice, pomegranate juice, fresh citrus juices). I love Caesars but I wanted to try something new (also because I tried their Caesar last time at brunch already). The Pomegranate Sour tasted alright, no complaints, but for $12, I expected some kinda garnish...a lemon wedge, a lemon curl, a tacky umbrella even... just something so the drink would look more appealing than just three pomegranate seeds at the bottom.

*Sigh* we did not take advantage of the BYOW / no corkage fee deal as we did not get to LCBO in time to buy wine =( O well, next time.

Moving on to the food~ Before our first course came, we all shared a plate of Hot Balls, pictured at the top of the post. Three out of the five of us never had them before but because of Twitter, they have heard so much about them so it was a "must-order" anyway. As I expected, everybody loved them. Those Hot Balls with the accompanied sauces are simply irresistable. You can read more about Table 17's Hot Balls here


Shaved Ontario Asparagus - Pea shoots, heirloom radish, ricotta salata, mint & hazelnut vinaigrette.

My friend, Cindy, loved the pairing of asparagus and pea shoots. She thought it was a great salad over all - everything was very fresh and the hazelnut vinaigrette was very flavourful (maybe a tad bit too flavorful as she sometimes found bites that were too salty). Cindy liked the salad as it was different, delicious, and very well portioned.  It was her favourite course of the night.

Bistro Salad - Picked shallots, bacon vinaigrette & poached egg 

My two guy friends chose this particular salad purely because it had an egg in it and had the word "bacon" in its description =P Sandon, who is not a big fan of salads, said this Bistro Salad is probably the best salad he has ever had. He liked how the bacon vinegrette was not too sour and complemented perfectly with the mild bitterness of the spring mix (which was very fresh and crunchy). He also really liked the poached egg; it was a nice addition to the salad as it didn't overpower the salad but at the same time, gave a him a feeling like he was eating breakfast. All this coming from a guy that does not usually like salads speaks volumes.

Arugula Salad - Pickled shallots, toasted pistachios, pecorino, champagne vinaigrette.

I love arugula so it was a no brainer that I would order this.  Not the best looking salad out of the three but it tasted great nonetheless. A lot of fresh and crisp arugula with a decent amount of pistachio sprinkled through out. The pickled shallots really came through as well. Although there was a lot of pecorino cheese it certainly does not overpower the salad as pecorino is pretty mild.

The other appetizer option was a "Celery Root and Pear Soup - Rosenberg cheese & toasted walnuts".


Pickerel - Panroasted & served over fingerling potatoes & spring vegetable broth.

Two out of my three friends who ordered this found that the broth got in their way of enjoying the pickerel, especially since the skin was cooked crispy and nicely seasoned. They found that the broth made the fish soggy so what they did was they moved the fish to another plate, finished the broth first like a soup, and then ate the fish. I guess if you like dishes with broth you would like this dish but for my friends, they both said they would rather have the dish served without the broth and with just vegetables.  Anyway, they all thought the fish was delicious; it was cooked just right, tender, and again, the skin was crispy and flavourful. It was Cindy's second time ordering fish as a main at Table 17 and she was impressed both times.

Steak Frites - 8 oz. Canadian thick cut top sirloin.

Sandon ordered this rare and it came out just that. The steak was soft, tender, and moist. We all took turns taking his fries =)

Tagliolini Al Limone - Pasta with lemon, capers, ricotta salata, and fresh sorrel.

With steak frites and fish on the menu, I was actually surprised at myself for ordering this. Me, a meat lover who hardly ever orders vegetarian, or even pasta, ordered the vegetarian pasta that night. Maybe I was craving sour stuff; first the Pomegranate Sour and then this lemon pasta, or maybe I wanted a different main course than everybody else for the sake of my post, I'm not sure. Whatever the case may be, I really enjoyed this pasta. I have to say though, if you're not into lemon-y dishes, you may not like this because believe me, with the lemon-y sauce, the sliced lemons and capers, this pasta was indeed on the sour side. The pasta was cooked al dente and had a good bite to it. I found this pasta very unique, refreshing to the palette, and light, but if you're looking for a saucy pasta, then this is not for you.

The other main course option was "Steelhead Trout - Served with corn & tomatillo salsa, avocado puree, and roasted spring onions"


Maple Panna Cotta - Candied bacon

Cindy had this dessert and thought it was on the heavier side as it was very thick and dense but also creamy and smooth.  She found the panna cotta to be too sweet on its own but paired with the candied bacon it was just right; the smoky, savory flavour of the bacon cuts the sweetness of the panna cotta and complemented it very well.  Cindy doesn't have much of a sweet tooth so once she ran out of bacon she couldn't finish the panna cotta (I finished it for her haha). But otherwise, she said it was a very tasty end to the meal.

Cookies and Cream - Double chocolate chip cookies with vanilla whipped cream.

Not much presentation here but we all agreed after taking a bite that it was a good cookie, not amazing, but it was thick, moist, and not overly sweet. 

Vanilla Poached Ontario Rhubarb - Ginger sponge cake, white chocolate and mascarpone cream.

This dessert was all about the rhubarb; it was phenomenal! The 5 to 6 stalks of rhubarb had a strong tart taste but that was nicely balanced with the mild vanilla. It was so tasty. I normally do not eat cream but again, the tartness of the rhubarb and the whipped cream was an amazing combination.The ginger sponge cake was average - I could taste the ginger but I thought the sponge cake was a tad dry. I did not taste any white chocolate either.

The food from the Table d'hote menu last Sunday was fantastic, everybody walked out of the restaurant full and happy.

One thing that we all did not like that night was our server. I had no problems with the server the previous two times I was at Table 17 but this time I was disappointed. Our server was forgetful, inattentive, and had a bad attitude (I have several examples to back these up but I'd rather not get go into it here). She also did not know the menu well; I asked her what sorrel was when I was ordering and she said sorrels are mushrooms (a big reason why I ordered it) - it turned out sorrel is actually an herb. 

Besides the problem with our waitress, our dishes came out very slow. Our appetizers did not come out until 25-30 minutes after we ordered, and after finishing the appetizers we waited around 35-40 minutes for our mains. Our dessert came within a reasonable time after our mains, around 10 minutes or so. From the time we sat down and ordered to when we left, the whole dinner took approximately 3.5 hours. 

I'm hoping that Table 17 will improve on both fronts the next time I go back for brunch / dinner as I do really enjoy their food.

Note: Table 17's regular menu is not available on Sunday and Monday during Table d'Hote.

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