The Early Word -- Beer Table Tuesdays
The luscious smoked chop at Beer Table (click to reheat)
Much has been made of the special theme nights, guest chefs, and even micro-restaurants that have been implanted in regular restaurants lately. For restaurant patrons, this is a good thing, and one wonders why no one thought of it previously.
So it was with great interest that we dropped in at Beer Table in the southern reaches of Park Slope to check out the table d'hote menu currently being mounted by Julie Farias, a chef who previously worked at Cafe Boulud, Five Ninth, and Ici, among other places. She invents one three course meal each Tuesday evening for $25, which turns out to be quite a bargain.
The first course -- Cambodian/Tex-Mex meat dip con crudite
The small barrom is composed of parallel raised tables flanked by barstools. Scuttling into our seats after a 45 minute wait, we felt like sardines. Still, it allowed us to evesdrop on some fascinating conversations. For an additional $15, you can have a beer pairing with the menu, but I leave it for you to decide if it's a good deal or not. Frankly, I'd have preferred one beer throughout.
The first course was a dip that, in its meaty texture, reminded me of certain dips formulated in Cambodia, though the flavor had a lot of Tex-Mex mixed in (Julie hails from San Antonio, Texas). The dip came with a nice collection of vegetables for dipping, though the dip tends to slide off the vegetables, and you'll find yourself spooning up the remainder.
The second course was a smoked pork chop accompanied by a slurry of eggplant, which made a nice non-starchy accompaniment. The eggplant was rendered unboring by a faint spiciness. The chop was a paragon of smoky succulence. There was a bit of a lag before the dessert of perfectly fried bananas arrived with a peanut dipping sauce.
The regular snack menu -- things like radishes with butter and sea salt, and blue cheese with honey and dried cherry compote -- is available throughout. When we poked our head in the kitchen, the chef mentioned that she might soon be doing enchilada Wednesdays, as well. We can't wait. Beer Table, 427 Seventh Avenue, Park Slope, Brooklyn, 718-965-1196
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