Table Fifty-Two

I've been wanting to try out Table Fifty-Two for almost two years now, but never actually made it to the restaurant until this past week. I came here with a friend / ex-colleague to catch up before leaving Chicago for good in August.

Goat cheese biscuit.

The goat cheese biscuit was served as an amuse-bouche and bread at the same time. It had just the right amount of cheese and biscuit - just enough so that the cheese isn't overpowering but enough so that you can still taste it at the same time.

Beet and Watermelon Salad - french feta, roasted peanuts, citrus.  $12

The salad was decent. I wasn't too crazy about the beets because they were extremely firm. I'm used to having soft, easy to slice, beets in my salads. This was definitely different from what I'm used to and prefer. However, the watermelons were pretty good - sweet and juicy. I do appreciate the scooped out shape of the watermelon instead of the normal watermelon squares restaurants. I think the circle shape gives it a nice finish, and you can just pop one right into your mouth to enjoy.

Anson Mills Oat Stuffed Cubanella Pepper - cremini mushroom, watercress, romesco.  $21

I was very impressed with this stuffed pepper, more so on the creativity that the chef could whip up something quick without any allium. The dish was flavorful, especially the tomato sauce, but not overpowering. There were tons of stuff in there - oats, quinoa, almonds, peanuts, mushrooms, you name it. The only thing that caught me and Brad off guard was that I couldn't cut the pepper open easily with the knife. We were both surprised that I had to put so much effort into cutting up a pepper. Not sure if the pepper was rough, or the knife was dull. The pepper was much easier to cut after using the steak knife we requested from our server.

Three-Cheese Mac.  $12

I've never seen a mac and cheese served freshly baked from a skillet at a restaurant.  Although the the mac looks kind of big in this picture, the skillet was actually pretty small. Even though it is a small dish, the mac and cheese is so rich that it was more than enough. I have to say, this is one of the better mac and cheese I've ever had. My mouth is actually salivating while I'm looking at the picture and writing this at the same time. I haven't had lunch yet and this picture is making hungrier and hungrier by the second! It was really delicious. If you like cheese, pasta, and mac and cheese, I would highly recommend getting this side dish from here. The noodles are different from the typically mac and cheese noodle you'd normally get at restaurants. It's just unique from other restaurants, so it is a must try in my book.

Art's Hummingbird Cake - banana toffee, pineapple, coconut-grains of paradise crumble.  $12

This cake is bigger than it looks. Super duper tall. The cream filling tasted like cream cheese with banana toffee on top. This cake was probably too rich for us. Not the chocolate kind of rich, but the "cake" kind of rich. We ended up only eating 1/5 of this and then I took the rest home. The ice cream was really good, vanilla bean, I love vanilla bean ice cream. The cake was just okay... so this dessert would not make it to my "order again next time dessert."

For wine, I got their Carl Loewen, Leiwener Laurentiuslay Riesling Spatlese from Mosel, Germany. I love Rieslings from Mosel, Germany, this one included. It has a hint of sweetness to it but not overpoweringly sweet. Just the right amount of a hot summer day.

My friend got a bit ill from eating their pork chop here. The meat was on the pinker side, probably under cooked... Not good for a restaurant like this... Overall, the experience was good - nothing went wrong and the staff was attentive, but not a restaurant that I would come back to again since I didn't leave feeling wowed, wanting more, or wanting to come back again.

 

Food: 8/10
Service: 9/10
Ambiance: 9/10
Overall: 8/10
Highlight: Three-Cheese Mac
Value: For the taste of its food, this restaurant is on the pricier side. Not really worth the price.

 

Table Fifty-Two
52 W. Elm Street
Chicago, IL 60610
312-573-4000