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Restaurants & Bars 5

Tablespoon Chow Report-longish

Chris Rising | May 12, 200510:50 PM

New to the Nob Hill neighborhood, I've had the opportunity to eat at Tablespoon (Polk St.) a few times in the last month. I usually dine alone at the bar, and this is a great spot for that. The bartenders really friendly and I let him do all the wine pairings, which means I get a couple of generous tastings with every course before I make a selection. Now on to some of the memorable dishes in order of my preference.

Shrimp Ceviche. Excellent. Not a citrus treatment as you might expect. Tasty thinly sliced large shrimp resting in a pool of cool avocado soup/puree. Dressed with cilantro. One of the better dishes I've had since arriving in this fair city in February.

Artichoke Soup with Meatball Croutons. Delicious spring soup with a velvety consistency. An excellent representation of the fresh vegetable. At first I thought the tiny meatballs where a bit too cute and possibly more than the soup required, but they added an excellent savory succulent note.

Beef Cheek Ravioli. I ordered the half order, (part of a 3 appetizer meal) and was glad because the serving was generous. On the other hand, it was so good that I would have happily eaten all they put in front of me. Lots of braised meat in the pasta and in the generous ragu. I guess I was expecting a simplier sauce on a beef filled ravioli but there was actually more meat in the sauce. Hearty and delicious.

Roasted Asparagus Side. Special because the asparagus is dressed with black olives, pine nuts and diced tomatos. Really yummy.

Steamed Halibut with Fava and Green Peas. Now I am loving SF because there are maybe two restaurants in Dallas, where I moved from, that would serve these vegetables cooked ever so lightly so they tasted fresh and green and actually crunched. Steaming is not my favorite preparation, I like some crust from roasting or saute, but it was a excellent pairing with the veggies.

Scallop something or other. Non-memorable.

Great sourdough bread and good sea salt served in a dish.

Finally, against advice, I tried dessert. Homemade cookies and ice cream, hot from the oven, how could that not be delicious. Well two were burnt, and four had raw cookie dough centers.

I hate to end on a bad note, because I would eat there weekly. I'd especially recommend it now because of the excellent treatments of the spring produce.

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