We were sad to see Amanda Lydon leave Ten Tables, but after our recent meal there with the new chef, David Punch, I am happy to report that it's as good as ever. The garlic soup and bluefish entrees left me speechless. I rarely say this, particularly that I am picky about fish, but this was the best bluefish dish I've ever had in a restaurant. Seared on the skin side to a crisp, while still keeping the succulently juicy flesh. Served with a roasted pepper sauce touched with smoky spanish paprika. I've been day dreaming about it for a week. The beet salad was wonderful and very spring like. The only dish I'd avoid is gnocchi. Good sauce with favas, radishes, and herbs, but the texture of gnocchi was too heavy. My theory about why the food at Ten Tables is so good is that the chef actually cooks. Most restaurants are too large for the chef to cook all the dishes and they rely heavily on line cooks, who are not always well trained.
This must have been the case at Eastern Standard when we stopped for lunch over the weekend because it was the worst meals I've had in a while. The charcuterie plate was underseasoned and greasy. Don't get me wrong -- I am pro fat, but it just shouldn't taste greasy. By the way, at $12 it was a smaller portion than $9 charcuterie plate at Ten Tables and the quality didn't even get near Ten Tables.
The fish in Fish and Chips was unseasoned, not crispy, and simply blah. Fries were not bad. Not as good as Sel de la Terre, but not bad.
The frizee salad with lardons and sweetbreads was just disasterous. Overly vinegary dressing, rock hard lardons, tiny little bits of sweetbreads with no flavor besides grease. Its only saving grace was a poached egg. But as I broke into the runny yolk and reached for a piece of bread, I realized that we never got any. Our waiter was nowhere to be found, so I had to ask a bus boy for some bread.
The wine list is wonderful and affordable and the terrace is lovely. So if you are willing to put up with bad service, you can stop by for a glass of wine on the terrace. But ES left such a bad taste in my mouth that I'll stick with a glass of wine on my porch.
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