Table Six Kitchen + Bar

Like many people, I’m addicted to my smartphone. For instance, before a recent visit to Table Six Kitchen + Bar in Jackson Township, I opened a weather app to determine what coat to bring, then a maps app for directions, then sent texts among my dinner companions.

In the restaurant, my phone helped pass the few minutes between being greeted and being seated, then the moments before a waiter approached the table.

Except that’s not really how Table Six wants its patrons to spend their evening.

tablesix_bar“We want to bring table talk back, and table sharing back,” our waiter, Steven, said after I had put the phone down and accepted a menu. “We want people to ignore their phones for an evening.”

The practice is intended to encourage sharing — it’s difficult not to offer friends a taste if you’ve received your food before theirs arrives — but it also fills the dead air between courses, time that you’re often tempted to kill by checking your email or texting a friend.

It’s an interesting twist at this latest addition to the local numerically named family of restaurants run by Amy and Greg Goehring. Table Six seeks an atmospheric balance between its sister restaurants, borrowing both the urbane sleekness of 91 and the pubby warmth of 3 Brothers Corner Tavern.

tablesix_pretzelsA cool turquoise-and-green color scheme, leopard-print carpet and Great Gatsby-inspired wall art is softened by homier touches such as an open kitchen and the casual stainless-steel canisters of silverware that replace napkined place settings.

The menu, too, attempts to borrow the best of both worlds. Fans of 3 Brothers will recognize its fried pickles on the menu, sharing space with truffle fries and a highlow dish of buffalo-wing confit with aerated blue cheese.

A pretzel board arrived boasting soft, chewy, perfectly salted pretzels on a “locally made breadboard”; they were good enough to eat plain, without the decent but forgettable cheddar fondue and a sharp, sweet honey mustard.

Like any new eatery worth its liquor license, Table Six has a great beer list of local and craft offerings, and a good wine list of mostly California varietals.

tablesix_manhattanThe cocktail menu ($7-$12) is worth a second glance, paying homage to vintage mixes such as a Manhattan (made here with white cranberry juice), a pleasantly bitter Negroni and a Gibson garnished with housemade cocktail onions.

The high-low balance gives way somewhat in the entrees, which seem to represent instead a restaurant seeking to please everyone.

Diner classics (ketchup-glazed turkey meatloaf) rub elbows with Southern fare (chicken-fried steak), Asian fusion (teriyaki salmon, cleverly served with a Chinese takeout container) and European staples (fish and chips, a Monte Cristo on brioche).

tablesix_mediterranianIt’s a bit schizophrenic, but the kitchen does a lot well. A Mediterranean platter ($10) arrived with moist, well-seasoned lamb burgers and powerfully oniony tzatziki. The dish called the Decadent Mac and Cheese ($20) neatly avoids the easy trap of becoming heavy and greasy, instead proving itself a buttery, addictive combination of penne, tender lobster and airy fried onion straws.

The staggered serving is a bit surprising, though the staff is resolute about explaining the process in advance. It can feel like a serious faux pas to dig in while your companions watch over their empty table setting. Sharing was inevitable — something that may not sit well with more jealous diners.

But the meal did feel communal, and almost collaborative, as dishes became less individual. Even dessert arrived in staggered fashion: first a crisp Nutella panini ($7) with whipped marshmallows, then an almond-milk rice pudding with tart cherries ($7), served warm at our server’s suggestion. While the oaty pudding evoked breakfast more than it did dessert, both were well-proportioned — a finishing touch rather than a full additional course — and good.

Good enough, in fact, that in between trading dishes and dipping spoons, I never even considered
checking my phone.


ADDRESS: 6113 Whipple Ave.NW, Jackson Township
PHONE: 330-305-1666

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