With any number of superb “destination” restaurants in this beautiful city we call home, a short while back the SarasotaFoodies opted to have dinner at The Table Creekside with a new friend that recently closed a sale with us, along with his daughter and in-laws visiting from China.
As this was a repeat visit for us, we’re pretty confident that our new friends, and soon to be Sarasota residents, would enjoy their experience here, and indeed, they were flawless in their service and fabulous cuisine.
Think of this blog as a two-fer blog in the case of The Table Creekside, one of SRQ’s finest dining establishments. We dined here in the fall, and after getting caught up (thankfully) in a whirlwind of business, we completely forgot the descriptions of some of the amazing food we enjoyed that evening, so we printed out the pictures, and headed back for Happy Hour last week, hoping that someone could help us out with the descriptions. Last thing I want to do is misname a dish!
So here’s the story of our evening with our friends, followed by our Happy Hour experience.
As any guest of Chefs Pedro Flores and Rafael Manzano have come to learn, great tasting food can also be beautiful. Chef Flores can take even the time honored Caesar Salad and draw oohs and aahs for the presentation! Several of us enjoyed a Caesar, while others opted for the Key West soup with coconut, saffron, edamame peas, shrimp and mussels. The bite-sized buns served hot and fresh from the oven were absolutely perfect for mopping up every last morsel of the “coco-nutty” saffron sauce. As far as appetizers go, these were a perfect preview of what was yet to come.
I hope you’ll enjoy the extra photos in this blog, because each entree was an intricate masterpiece that magically combine flavors and textures that leave us foodies awestruck. Even our guests, who do not have a food blog, were taking photos. Consider the Chilean Sea Bass with Alaskan King Crab legs, accompanied with a Manchego quiche, seared Diver Sea Scallops, sauteed sugar snap peas, heirloom tomatoes and a rutabaga mash in a Stone Crab reduction sauce. See what I mean? (Try not to drool onto your computer keypad.) This dish was too pretty to eat! (almost!)
Having enjoyed seafood as my starter, my choice for an entree was the Table Creekside’s Braised Short Ribs. Oh my! Served with Caribbean gnocchi, (love gnocchi) roasted root vegetables (love root veggies) and mushrooms in a vidalia manchego froth, (what’s not to love) I was in heaven! The rib meat just fell off the bone and I wanted to weep over the crispy fried onion strings topping the plate. How can you describe perfection? How about a spotless plate when I was done?
Back on the seafood side of the table, our friend ordered the Lobster Carbonara. Without revealing the chef’s entire ingredient composition, you have to know this delicious combination of lobster resting atop of home-made pasta, just dripping in a Parmigiano-Reggiano based sauce highlighted with pancetta was eyes-rolling-back-in-your-head delicious! Believe me! I saw it happen!
Finishing out the entrees that night, Jill dived into the Colorado Filet Mignon. Such a carnivore, that girl! Served alongside a potato cassoulet, mushroom confit and seasonal vegetable, her filet was charred perfectly, while still remaining medium rare. Topped with the crunchy onion strings I loved, she even shared a few, not knowing I’d already devoured mine in record time.
Now normally desert is a tough one, since it is so uber-indulgent after meals like these, but on this occasion we had reinforcements so we ordered the Chocolate Bread Pudding, ice cream and an amazingly refreshing Watermelon Granita to share. Do NOT skip desert here, if that’s your thing!
On our more recent visit to The Table Creekside for the aforementioned Happy Hour, we arrived to a packed lounge and were offered seating at the next closest table to imbibe and enjoy appetizers from the $5 per item menu. This has got to be simply one of the best deals around.
I ordered the Sangria du jour, which on this day was Blackberry based. Jill opted for a Mojito. Presented with their usual flair, we sampled the Chilean Sea Bass Fritters, the Crispy Shrimp Carnival and the Beef Tenderloin Skewer. A perfect combination, if I do say so myself. Each of these plates was only $5 if you get there before 6:30. Lucky us!
Now, perhaps it was the fact that we came in with 8 1/2″ x 11″ prints of the dishes we had previously, but the chef was curious for our reaction to that evening’s featured appetizer. While not on the happy hour program, I’m never going to say no to something which is described to me thusly – “HudsonValley foie gras and bacon pate, with a merlot and thyme wine sauce gelee, served with micro greens served over a Granny Smith apple and Meyer lemon mignonette”. I have three words to say for this dish: Un-Be-Lievable!
Situated on Phillipi Creek, just off Tamiami Trail, The Table Creekside offers a beautiful “Miami inspired” bar, lounge, inside seating and an outside deck. The service is every bit as great as the food. Dining at The Table Creekside is one of those meals that you’ll find yourself talking about, all the way home. Featuring a menu that changes with the seasons, so your food is always over-the-top delicious, you’ll want to pull a chair up to The Table, time and time again.