Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Green Table Defines Freshness

I met Gina tonight at The Green Table, in Chelsea Market, which is a seasonally driven restaurant, sourcing its ingredients from local farms and of course the Greenmarket.  I've always walked by, wistfully noticing how busy and bustling it was, which always made me want to try it, but I never actually managed to go in until now.  It also helped that I scored a 30% off Blackboard Eats coupon, which made quite a difference in our check.

Located midway into the busy Chelsea Market concourse, The Green Table has been a staple here for quite some time.  And while a lot of the shops and restaurants have changed hands over the last couple of years, The Green Table has remained a strong staple at this amazing food marketplace.

The overall atmosphere fits in with its "green" philosophy in that it feels organic, natural and rustic.  The tables inside are made of deep dark natural wood, set simply with a single candle and some fresh wild flowers.  I like that it's a bit dark and atmospheric, and if you do happen to sit inside, you'll feel quite detached from the hustle and bustle of the market. 

On the contrary, Gina and I sat outside at the big communal table, that's very much in the center of all the Chelsea Market action, but we didn't mind in the least and it actually added to our experience.  Part of me expected the service to suffer since we weren't in the actual restaurant, but this wasn't the case at all.  We received just the right amount of attention from our waitress and the servers.

As its name suggests, the menu at The Green Table changes with each season, and they're currently going off their Early Summer dinner menu.  Gina and I marveled at the fresh and appetizing choices that contained tons of interesting veggie options and even some ethnic dishes too.  We took the sharing route, which is usually what we like to do, and it worked out well.

Deviled Farm Eggs - Being that we're both suckers for deviled eggs, we were excited to see that this plate boasted 4 varieties.  We split each one in half and I don't even know which I liked best, as there was the classic Southern, a wasabi, bacon-relish, and pimento cheese.  Each one was tasty and decadent, and even though this dish isn't typically light, the egg filling felt fluffy and didn't weigh you down.  I think a lot of it had to do with the quality of the eggs, which no doubt came from farmhouse free-range chickens.  

Chicken Liver Pate - Another chickeney thing, we devoured it with gusto, but even though we tried to make a major dent in it, there was just too much pate.  I loved that it came with plenty of crispy toast, that we layered with the liver, and then further with spicy/sweet dijon mustard and strawberry marmalade.  You wouldn't normally think of chicken liver going with something sweet, but it made perfect sense, and even felt a little dessert like.  Another interesting element in the dish were the two chunky slabs of (again sweet) shallot brittle that were stuck into the pate.  Yet again a combination I wouldnt've thought of before, but it worked really well. 

Vegetarian Farm Plate - This was absolutely our favorite plate of the night, as it was The Green Table's take on a classic Korean dish called Bibimbap.  We went with the veggie option, as we were eager to try the thing that Green Table does well, which is of course fresh veggies.  For those of you not very familiar with Bibimbap, it's a mixed rice, veggie and often a protein bowl.  Usually also served with an egg on top, it serves as a binder for all the other ingredients and gives it a nice, silky quality.

Green Table's version definitely delivered and then some, boasting beautifully arranged veggies such as zucchini, mushrooms, peas and fresh greens.  We had our signature egg on top, which we broke right away and also a spicy vinaigrette that tied all the flavors together and really made the dish shine.  The spiciness was invigorating but not overpowering, which was great.  Even though the bowl was totally full, we worked almost all the way through it, as this dish is an overall must for veggies and carnivores alike.

Service and Cost:
As I mentioned, the service didn't suffer at all, given our unique seating.  Our waitress was laid back but also observant and so were all the servers.  We always got our glasses of water refilled and everyone was cordial and all around lovely.

Costs are moderate, especially given the top notch quality of ingredients.  The coupon we had obviously made this a very sweet deal, setting us back only $19 each, including tax and tip.

3 Locally Grown Mmmms

The Green Table - Chelsea Market, 75 9th Avenue, New York NY 10011
E/C/A Train to 14th Street

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