Went to tabla last night (NE 28th about a block or so south of Glisan, a few blocks north of E Burnside) to check out the $20 deal. What a great deal.
They don't have a special menu, they allow you to choose 3 plates from their overall menu. Gotta love that. There are 3 columns on the menu: starters, pastas, and main dishes - and the only rule is that you can only order one plate from the main dish side of the menu. Otherwise you can mix and match...
We had the blini (bay scented fuffy blini covered with lovely mushrooms and creme fraiche - fabulous) and a spinach salad (with dried cherries, bacon, croutons and a great balsamic dressing - very nice) to start.
Then we had two pastas - a small bowl of spaghetti Bolognese, which was full of meat chunks and flavor, though I like a thinner spaghetti pasta; and a swiss chard and ricotta ravioli topped with a poached egg and poppy seeds. The ravioli was the size of the salad plate with the filling in the middle and the poached egg on top of the chard, but under the layer of pasta...so when you cut into it, the egg yolk made a great sauce to mop up with the delicate homemade pasta. It was rich and delicious.
For main courses we chose the braised short ribs and the duck confit. Both were melt in the mouth good. The meat on the ribs just slid off the bone and it was a generous portion of two very large ribs. The duck was a leg/thigh portion with very crisp and delicious skin and a neat wine-soaked orange slice that cut through the richness. I liked the chivey mashed potatoes that came with the duck better than the potato galette-like thing that came with the ribs, though...
Though not included in the $20 deal, we had dessert. A very tasty banana bread pudding with vanilla ice cream and a dried cherry cheesecake (made in a small ramekin and unmolded, crustless). Coffee could have been better, but the desserts were tasty.
We were there from around 6:30 until around 8:30 and were one of maybe 2-3 tables the whole time. It is clear they are doing this to bring more traffic in on Tuesday nights. Why shouldn't we all benefit?
Oh, and a serviceable wine list with any 3 by the glass for a $15 flight (half glasses), and some nice looking drinks coming from the full service bar should help you spend more than $20 too!