While Tablespoon Café advertises itself as serving New American cuisine, lovers of French food will find some classic dishes on the menu, such as escargots in parsley garlic-butter over puff pastry; seared foie gras; a fish and shellfish stew with a saffron fumet broth; bistro steak and frites; profiteroles: and apple tarte tatin.
We opted to start with an arugula salad that was elevated to a new level with the addition of crunchy caramelized brie and a balsamic vinaigrette. While the salad was served on a cold plate the soup of the day, a lobster bisque, was served in a hot bowl; nice touches. The soup was fabulous with chunks of lobster sitting on a raft of bread surrounded by a rich creamy bisque. A Magret duck breast was tender and served medium rare with a luscious truffle-potato puree and asparagus. Cod with a saffron, white wine sauce was complemented by steamed spinach and white rice. I was sorry I offered to share dessert with Lowell, as the profiteroles filled with creamy vanilla ice cream topped with dark-chocolate sauce were delicious.
Does the name Walaa El-Sawi sound familiar to you? He was the opening chef, along with his brother Sami, of Le Rendez-vous, Kenilworth in October, 1996. We were frequent customers and fans of the restaurant, which was eventually sold to their sous-chef. Walaa eventually opened other restaurants including La Petite France in Red Bank and is now the chef/owner of Tablespoon Café.
Open Tuesday through Sunday from 5 PM.
21 N Union Avenue
Photos courtesy of Lowell Saferstein
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