Tucked away into a picturesque courtyard on the Main Line, At The Table BYOB is the kind of place wher suburbanites like to bring their friends — and yet also keep a secret, lest the cozy, 26-seat space get too popular for comfort.
It’s easy to see why. The neighborhood is walkable and the restaurant has casual but elegant charm. The menu, conceived by chefs Tara Buzan and Alex Hardy, is concise and focused with a handful of small bites, appetizers, entrées and desserts available à la carte. A six-course tasting menu ($75) also is available to all guests in a given party. (Before you order, know that the restaurant is cash only.)
We opted for the tasting menu, which offers two or three options for the first four courses, then finishes with a cheese course and dessert.
The first course was raw. We chose the scallops, sliced thin and resting on roasted corn, pickled jalapeño avocado and dressed with a citrus vinaigrette. The resulting texture was silky and luscious with pleasing acidic notes.
For the second course, we had the option of the crab croquette or the prize-winning foie gras. Nothing against a prize-winner, but the crab croquette piqued our interest more. The croquette was crispy and light, on a garnish of mango chutney, horseradish and mustard seeds that gave the dish a nice finish of spice and fruit.
The third course was grilled Spanish octopus, a colorful and visually arresting dish. The smokiness overtook the octopus, which was a bit tough and chewy. But the other elements of the dish were outstanding, including succulent chorizo surrounded by a smoky tomato purée and avocado mousse.
Avocado made its third and final appearance of the evening in the main entrée, red snapper — a perfectly cooked piece of fish that was crispy on both sides and flaky inside. Grilled pineapple, avocado salsa and chili oil gave the dish nice color, spice and sweetness.
The cheese course that followed delivered a tasty trio of cheeses and lovely toast and fruit pieces.
Things ended spectacularly with the chocolate
caramel tart. The ratio of fudgy, smooth chocolate to soft, pillowy caramel was perfect — more caramel than chocolate, with the sea-salt caramel brittle that
dusted the plate delivering a balance of saltiness
If a trip to the suburbs is an option, grab a bottle out of your cellar and pull up a chair or two … (wait for it) … At The Table.
If you go
At The Table BYOB
At The Table BYOB
11 Louella Court,
Tues.-Sun.: 5-10 p.m.