Chez Madeleine

Saturday, September 09, 2006

can you spell "slow service"?


Last night was my first Friday night (date night) without a date in a while, so I made plans with Kathleen to do something "cultural"....we bought tickets to see Spelling Bee at the Alliance- a tony award winner from Broadway. Since the Woodruff Arts Center recently renovated, they added a pre-theater/symphony/museum restaurant-Table 1280. How convenient, we said! We'll eat at table and then just jaunt over to the show.


Our resos were early and table is like a while palate of a restaurant. There is almost no decoration except for some fruit in tall, siloed vases, and a weird light installation on the wall. there is also a cool wine display when you come in. Here, they let the food shine as the art on your plate.

When Kathleen's friends, Jane & Leigh, arrived she had to warn them about my distinct obsession with taking photos of my food for my blog. They didn't seem to mind that I wouldn't let them eat until I had captured the perfect shot.

I'll say this of Table 1280. Their sole purpose is to serve the crowds that flood the Woodruff Arts Center nightly--feed these people and get them to their show/exhibit/concert/dance/etc/etc. But they don't do a very good job at it. Our waiter was mr. attentive at the beginning, but then dropped the ball even after we had ordered our "pre-theater" prix fixe meal. As a result, we got our food about 20 minutes before curtain. I discovered how uncomfortable it is to scarf down great food.

And the food was great--it was one of those menus where everything looks appealing. We tried to order different things so we could taste as much as possible of each others.

I started with the chilled corn soup with chantilly & feta. It had tiny cubes of feta submerged in the soup-they were like little tangy surprises. The chantilly on top was light as air and floated like an island on my soup as I devoured it.


Jane had the fig salad with buffalo mozzarella and basil. the figs were perfectly sumptuous and combined so beautifully with the spongy mozzarella.


Leigh had a panzanella salad-chunks of bread and tomato. She was a bit worried about the sardine on top, but she seemed to enjoy it.


Kathleen ordered the dish with the most fun name--peekey toe crab with avocado and something else that i can't remember. It was tangy and delightfully fresh, but kathleen had to avoid a few shells.


For dinner, Jane and I both scarfed down the fettucini with mans farm rabbit, with olives and pine nuts. The rabbit was tender like smoked pork, and light. I didn't feel like the pine nuts really added anything to the dish, but I ate every single one by pressing them into the tines of my fork.


Kathleen ordered the duck breast with rubharb chutney and clementines. The duck was tender and perfectly cooked.


Leigh ordered the King salmon with cucumber, balsamic and pink peppercorns.


Unfortunately, table 1280's food just wasn't worth it once we had to scarf it down. If they can hone in on their pre-theater niche, they'll make us much happier to return for future events. We had to skip dessert, but table brings you truffles with the check. We grabbed one on the run and rushed to catch the curtain....



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