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Order the butternut squash soup at TABLE: inside a wide-rimmed bowl, generous dollops of crème fraiche are strewn with amaretti crumbs and a few sage leaves; over your shoulder comes a stream of tangerine soup into the bowl, melting its contents so that an effortless swoop of your spoon yields an ethereally light mouthful, rich and sweet and earthy all at once.

For a taste of Houston’s Fall at its best, Table’s Fall menu is rife with seasonal flavor, variety and expert execution. Wintry greens star in the pert curls of the kale salad—contrasted by a thick sweep of ricotta, whipped until ethereally smooth, its mild sweetness begging to be swept up by a triangle of grilled ciabatta. A tiny, tender stalk of bok choy accompanies the rosy-centered duck breast, tender and toothsome, which rises up from a pool of smoked tea broth that displays such brilliant umami that it warrants scraping the bowl with your spoon.

Every plate is beautifully arranged and smoothly executed, bespeaking executive chef Manuel Pucha’s artistic background and attention to detail. Green apple dots a modest pile of farro that beds succulent squares of fat-marbled pork belly that could rival the best in Houston. The pork belly starter, along with the butternut squash soup and baked oysters—delicate under a shower of grana padano and a light guajillo chili sauce—are must-orders, though they compete with the siren calls of the ponzu crab or tuna carpaccio.

The only stumble was a mushroom pappardelle, which sounded promising with an array of four different types of mushrooms in a porcini cream, but the unappetizing plating yielded strangely lifeless pasta with tiny cubes of butternut squash and thin sheets of ricotta. But even stumbles like this could almost be overcome by the impeccable service—warm, attentive and knowledgeable.

Table prides itself on its inventive cocktails, and amidst the backdrop of the cozy, earth-toned dining room, you would be well-served to try their specialty jalapeno martini: a strawberry basil martini spiked with jalapeno underscores sweetness with a welcome element of heat. Their interactive wine list, displayed tableside via iPads, makes it easy to choose from their vast selection of wine, beer and cocktails.

The desserts, by pastry chef Jami Kling, are not exempt from seasonal twists: a green apple sorbet laid atop a foundation of caramel dust steals the show from the caramel apple bread pudding and the caramel notes of a butterscotch panna cotta is brilliantly echoed by a smattering of graham cracker crumbs.

They’re not cheap, these small, beautifully intentional plates, with appetizers spanning the teens and entrees ranging the teens to $40. But for interesting, seasonal food with an eye toward precision and complexity of flavor, your money would be well spent at Table.

Table on Post Oak
1800 Post Oak Blvd Ste 6110
Houston TX 77056

Erika Kwee

November 30, 2014

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