Much like chef Frederik de Pue, Table’s dishes are low-key and high quality. I recently visited the Shaw-area restaurant for a friend’s birthday dinner. The dishes we sampled were delicate in flavor and seemingly simple in preparation, yet there was no mistaking Chef de Pue’s skillful execution in each bite. Part of me really yearned for some bolder flavors. Perhaps I was just expecting the dishes to be more in line with de Pue’s classical French training.
I expected the escargot to be prepared the French way — loads of butter, garlic, and parsley to mask the snails’ natural earthiness. De Pue’s version is lemony and light. Other favorites include the cauliflower soup and clams and pork belly. Above all, the dorade en papillote was the most impressive. Lady Red, a friend of Forking DC, ordered it and I was most thankful. The dorade was delicious, tender, generous in portion, and prepared with Asian-style flavors. If you fear food with a face, I suggest either draping a napkin gently over the dorade’s head (may it rest in peace) or asking a friend or loved one to detach the head while you look away and think of a happier place. Either way, don’t forget to pop the fish cheek from its resting place. Everyone should enjoy this most delicate part of the fish.
The group had nothing but positive things to say about the desserts — hot ricotta fritters, apple crostata, and pear tart. What looks like chocolate soufflé is in fact decadent hot chocolate mousse.
The service was acceptable but needs improvement. Our waiter appeared to be a newcomer to the profession — resembling a deer in headlights for most of the evening. Moreover, the surly attitude from the front of the house staff disrupted the restaurant’s otherwise casual, friendly vibe.
Lastly, Table may be suffering through some time management issues as a result of instituting their new policy of taking reservations thanks to Washington Post critic Tom Sietsema’s one complaint about his recent visit.
In conclusion, Forking DC is prepared to give Table another shot only for the purpose of trying a few more dishes before making a final assessment.
903 N Street NW
Hours: TUE-WED 5-11pm
THU-SAT 5-12 midnight