Wednesday, September 11

The "Under the Table" Experience

Under The Table, a new pop up restaurant located in Evanston, is serving up more than five course brunches and dinners; they're serving up an experience.  The intimate 18-seat dining room is situated inside an unmarked storefront on Chicago avenue and is run by a team of subarbanites, Chikoo Patel, Max Mora, Marcus Townsend and Jake Novar. Service is currently limited to weekends only, with brunch and dinner seatings offered via an online ticketing system. A few weekends ago, I checked out Under the Table during brunch on a Sunday with my friend Sharon. Just when we thought we were in the wrong place, we were greeted with a live guitarist. He assured us he wasn't just a bum.


Entrance with a live guitarist
Dining room
Dining room
Each menu's course is served to all diners simultaneously while the chef who prepared the dish explained its preparation. The intimate seating allowed for discussion of the dishes, and the interesting way in which they are plated. Being so close to other diners also allowed me to realize that everyone's dish was a different portion size.  I would have liked if things were made a little more uniformly.


Chef Jake
Chef Marcus
Brunch courses included a take on shrimp and grits with blue cheese, as well as a perfectly crispy fried frog leg with yogurt and brioche. I loved the cheesiness of the grits, but felt it was overly salty (this seemed to be the general consensus).  The frog leg was slightly greasy but pulled apart nicely and was our favorite of the courses.

Buttermilk/coffee/blackberry/bourbon
Frog/yogurt/caraway/brioche
Jalapeno/cilantro/pork/egg yolk


Grits/shrimp/chive/butter


Both brunch and dinner menus end on the same sweet note with a mango upside down cake topped with eggnog poured over it table side. The cake had a nice crunch with the addition of meringue but I seemed to have been given the smallest slice of cake, compared to my table mates. If you know me, you know that dessert is the part of a meal I look forward to most.

Mango/mint/black cardamom/date
Beverage options at brunch included French press coffee and mimosas, as well as a selection of wine and beer. At the dinner seating, guests have the option of adding a wine pairing or sampling one of four craft cocktails. All drinks are an additional cost.


Mimosas and French press coffee
Weekend brunch and dinner seatings will continue through September,  so be sure to check it out soon if you're looking for an out-of-the-ordinary dining experience. Our brunch was complementary so I will not be providing a ghost rating.


Under the Table
http://www.eatingunderthetable.com
1307 Chicago Avenue
Evanston, IL 60201
224.628.8696
Under The Table on Urbanspoon

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