At The Table
By: Zachary Blumberg
Take a scenic trip to Wayne, PA, and you may very well find yourself “At The Table”. This distinct restaurant with an equally distinct name is the work of chef couple Alex Hardy and Tara Buzan-Hardy. The couple’s collective culinary knowledge is beautifully showcased at this modern restaurant with a newly acquired liquor license that offers both a 6-course tasting menu and à la carte options.
A recurring theme of both menus is seafood, making At The Table a seafood-lover’s dream. À la carte appetizers include grilled Spanish octopus, complete with chorizo, confit potato “coins”, hummus, roasted red pepper aioli, and pimentón (AKA smoked paprika). And then there is the restaurant’s raw bar, featuring “colossal” shrimp cocktail and a wide selection of east and west coast oysters. These oysters include (but are not limited to), Pink Moons, Kuushi, and Kumamoto, among others. The highlight of the raw bar is arguably the elegant seafood tower that combines U10 cocktail shrimp, crab Louis, a dozen assorted oysters, Hokkaido scallop crudo, pastrami-spiced ahi tuna, and various sauce accoutrements. (“U10” refers to the size/weight, and in this case, less than 10 shrimp per pound). If pastrami-spiced tuna enhanced with sweet mango and an Aji Amarillo aioli doesn’t whet your appetite, guests at At The Table can add a “bump” (or small spoonful) of caviar to any raw bar selection for an additional, small fee.
Listed as an entrée on the à la carte side of the menu is Big Glory Bay salmon with potato fondant, American lobster, maitake mushrooms, grilled lemon, and fried Swiss chard. For pasta fans, there is a squid ink bucatini with crab lump, chili butter, local mushrooms, and parmesan in a lemon alfredo cream sauce. Another highlight of the à la carte menu are U10 Hokkaido scallops with leek crema, Romanesco, crispy guanciale, and fried tarragon.
At The Table’s 6-course tasting menu is available for parties of six or more and reservations are strongly encouraged. For a first course, Hokkaido scallop crudo is plated with pickled radish, yuzu ginger, crisp nori, peach purée, and leche de tigre (a citrus marinade originating in Peru used to cure seafood). The second course features langoustine with east coast uni, egg yolk confit, caviar, and chives atop a raft of pullman bread toast. The tasting menu also includes tilefish with parsnip noodles, horseradish, and crème fraiche gel, cooked in smoked butter and garnished with pickled poppy seeds. Course four is an Applewood-smoked brook trout with apple cider nage, apple cider purée, roasted celery root, celery root punch, and celery root chips. The menu is capped off with duck breast and, last but not least, chocolate espresso pot de crème.
At The Table is a special place filled with creative dishes and an ambiance “evoking oceanic vibes”. Pull up a seat “At The Table”, and see for yourself.