After two failed attempts at trying to go to Tabla, one due to a miscommunication between my lunch party and I, and the other due to so many restaurants being closed on a Monday (I was not aware that that was a thing, but I went to three different places and they all were closed), I finally got the chance to use my Groupon for half off lunch.
Eating Downtown is new to me, driving downtown is new to me. I don’t like one way streets, I don’t like looking for parking, and I don’t like not being able to turn right on red. If I believed in universal signals, I would have given up. Good thing, though, that I didn’t because my experience at Tabla was worth it.
Inside the restaurant was a mixed crowd. Younger groups of people speckled around seniors and business professionals. My hostess was trendy looking girl with a good attention span and polite demeanor. I had already looked at their menu online before heading out (because I like to leave nothing to chance) and knew I wanted to have their smoked duck breast. We also ordered the tempura calamari, albondigas, and smoked salmon bruchetta.
The calamari was sent to us first, the batter was not as crispy as I would have liked, and I felt the dish needed an acidic punch by way of either lemon juice or zest, but that may just be how I’m accustomed to eating calamari. The sweet and sour tomato sauce that it was tossed in was flavorful, but there was not an even coating so some bites lacked that extra kick.
As the lunch progressed I was continually surprised by the quality of food that was being served. If you’re familiar with tapas style dining then you know that ordering more than one dish and sharing them is the norm. One dish per person would be perfect size for an appetizer, but the fun is in tasting a little bit of everything. Next up was our Smoked Salmon bruchetta with balsamic glaze, goat cheese, and topped with fresh basil. The duck came following that, and was just as duck should be, tender and juicy, served atop creamy polenta with a delightful chutney. Finally Albondigas came and I when that was done I witnessed my friend drink the broth with a spoon. The least engaging part of the meal was the Calamari, which isn’t to say that it wasn’t good, just it wasn’t as good as everything else.
I would love to go back to Tabla again with a larger group of people for the opportunity to try even more things on their stellar menu. The price per entree/tapa is pretty steep, but in my opinion it’s definitely worth it.
115 Durango St
(CLOSED ON MONDAYS)