Greetings from the Oak Table, the restaurant on the floor of 1221 Main which affords you excellent views of Gervais Street and the State House (and people in suits that walk by in odd numbered groups)!
I visited Thursday at lunch with my friend Nyssa to enjoy some of the Tasty Tomato specials that they have in honor of the Tasty Tomato Festival this weekend at City Roots. It was around 1 p.m. and there was no problem getting a seat, so we chose the side bar that faces the State House for some people watching.
As tempting as a cocktail sounded we both held off and went straight for the food. She chose the shrimp burger and truffle fries. The truffle fries came with a smoked ketchup and were AMAZING. I want to know how they smoke the ketchup. I need to know. She said that her selection was really good.
I ordered the serrano gazpacho soup which was a special for the day, and a tomato feta salad featuring heirloom tomatoes. The soup was a chilled puree of serranos and I think tomatoes too. It had a nice little wave of heat to it, but wasn’t too spicy at all, despite the thought that because its serrano peppers that it would be. Someone (a chef, I think) came out and asked if it was too spicy. I said that it was excellent and the perfect amount of heat.
The salad was next and was a pretty decent salad. It is composed of lettuce, red onions, chunks of heirloom tomatoes, feta mousse, and an olive tapenade. A self-professed hater of olives, I gave them a fair shot and tried a bite, but the brineyness of olives just doesn’t do it for me. So I shoved those aside and thoroughly enjoyed the rest of it. The feta mousse is a bit too thick to dress the salad with so I made sure to pick up a bit with every bite because not a drop of it should be wasted.
Next up I really wanted to try their dessert, another homage to the Tasty Tomato. Yes, a tomato dessert. It was a tomato sorbet, and I knew going in that it was going to be awful or awesome. What do you think it was?
Yep- it was awful. It wasn’t very sweet and tasted like cold, raw tomatoes. Sorry Oak Table, I know ya’ll were working a theme here and I wouldn’t judge any other desserts by this one. In fact, our server let us know that one of our desserts was comped and split the other between us, probably because they knew that it would be wrong to charge someone for it. Or at least, that’s what I like to think.
To cleanse your mental palate and to show the other dessert, let’s move on to another summer treat that they spun into a frozen format perfectly, their vanilla and watermelon ice cream, which Nyssa chose to get. Now this one was a winner. She so nicely let me try a bite and I was jealous that I didn’t order a round of it as well. The creamy vanilla pairs with the sweet iciness of the watermelon for a whole mouth treat that is made even better by the adorable wooden bowl it comes in.
This was my first time at the Oak Table and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The staff were very attentive and knowledgeable; and the decor and the views are truly special. While it is a bit on the pricier side, going for lunch is a way to get some of their great offerings without giving them too much of your daily bread. It’s within walking distance of my office so I know I’ll be back during the day again soon, but this time not for vegetable desserts, though definitely for the pimento cheese fries!
To see a list of local eateries with Tasty Tomato Festival specials check out the festival website, and see you at City Roots on Saturday afternoon!