The Danny Meyer restaurants formerly known as Tabla (upstairs, haute New Indian) and Bread Bar (downstairs, casual New Indian) have been unified into one entity, which is now simply called “Tabla.” Hearing the news, Fork in the Road feared that executive chef Floyd Cardoz’s inspired cookery would be somehow curtailed. And what about the fate of the frankie/chaat cart that appears outside the restaurant in the summer?
A representative for the restaurant sent over the new menus, and Floyd Cardoz replied with a statement about the change.
Ever since Tabla opened 10 years ago, it has been an honor to share my passion for New Indian cuisine with my guests, and exciting to watch New Yorkers’ taste and passion for it increase. While we formerly offered two distinct dining experiences – refined American food with Indian spices in our dining room and more casual, homestyle Indian food meant to share in the Bread Bar – we found that our guests really wanted a combination of both – without having to choose one. We’re excited about our new “united” Tabla where we will offer one menu with dishes from both areas of the restaurant and hope our guests enjoy it too!
Basically, the new, unified menu contains most of the same dishes that the two menus listed separately before. There are the spiced crab cakes with Goan guacamole, the rice-flake-crusted fish, the array of tandoori flatbreads, and so on. It seems that the goal was to streamline, and to give diners more control over how much they’re eating and spending, whether sitting upstairs or downstairs.
The biggest change is that you can now order a la carte in the main upstairs dining room, where previously there was only a choice of prix fixe or the tasting menu. Although the prices have remained basically the same, this provides more affordable options. The list of a la cart selections has also lengthened somewhat as well, and now includes a slew of cold salads and fried snacks, soups, six vegetarian, five seafood, and six meat dishes. All of these can be shared, as Cardoz notes.
Also noteworthy: The tasting menu price was cut from $89 per person to $79 per person. The lunch prix fixe prices remain at $24 or $29. And yes, the frankie cart will return next summer.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 28, 2009