Went with 11 people to Le Tableau this past Monday for friends birthday. We picked Le Tableau - because they have consistently good food, and a $25 prix fixe for 3 courses on Monday nights (this helps keep bill from getting out of hand with large group!) After many bottles of wine (they have a great selection at good prices), much beer (also great selection, Stella's/Pilsner Urkel's for $5), everyone adding on coffee or tea, AND a nice gratuity - added up to exactly $50 a person.
Le Tableau is on 5th between A & B - French/Fusion (same owners as Lavagna)
There are about 6-7 selections for each course (plus a couple specials) - with our large party we tried just about everything (and we're a pass it around/share the love kinda group, of course in a well mannered way and if the atmosphere allows :-). The over-all group consensus was that everything was very good (not one dish was bad or mediocre) and a couple dishes were great (but nothing really spectacular). Everyone left very full, happy and satisfied. some details:
Service was excellent. almost of a GC class. Lot's of people to make sure everyone had full attention at all times (2 waiters plus a couple bus-people) At one point I lost track of my knife and the bus-guy did one of those spooky read-your-mind maneuvers and handed me one before I said a word. We can get a little rowdy (3-4 bottles of wine into the meal) and they never lost a beat and kept up marvelously. and I gotta give the waitress we had props - everyone completely forgot to order a candle on the birthday girl's desert. but our waitress had picked up on the whole deal, and took it upon herself to light a candle and bring it out before everyone else's desert arrived! again with the mind reading. great service rules!
Nice, somewhat elegant atmosphere; good music throughout night (classics/standards/some interesting world music mix)
And for the food... like I said, nothing was a "miss". Biggest hits were:
- Great bread - they brought plenty of baskets and kept it coming throughout (I like a little bread with my main dish and so often bread service seems to end after appetizer unless you request). The butter served with it is laden with nice brown cloves of roasted garlic (great start to our meal)...
- Appetizers: lobster/shrimp pot stickers (served in little metal pan with lid), great garlicky escargot, wild mushroom "cigars" served with a mini fondue pot with manchego fondue (this was a table favorite), baby greens with pear/Roquefort/hazelnut, a roasted red beet dish with Montrachet and Toasted Almonds, crab cakes were nice too.
- The main dishes favs: the hanger steak and the Moroccan style fish specials were delish (dang, can't remember the type of fish) also the lamb was excellent. I had pork chop with gorgonzola - good but not great, the mini chestnut puree soufflé that came with it was great, actually all the sides and sauces were very tasty.
- Desert highlights: very good crème Brule, fruit pudding was nice/interesting, chocolate fondant with vanilla ice cream was the fav.
Only criticism/bathrooms could be cleaner, and would love to see a few more truly spectaular dishes emerge.
Overall, our groups verdict was - VERY GOOD dinner/excellent for price range.
btw - I've eaten here and had the 4 course tasting menu (with a different wine with each course) for $44 - this is an even better deal!! (we had some non-drinkers, so went with prix fixe this time)