Neighborhood: Logan Square
Vegetarian Options Rating: ★★1/2
Pescatarian Options Rating: ★★★1/2
Food Quality: ★★★★★
Overall Rating: ★★★★
- Drink: Cabernet Franc
- Small Plates:
- Bread and cheese plate
- Potato latkes
- Soft Shell Crab
- Large Plate:
- Vegetarian Bread Dumplings
With a name like Table, Donkey, and Stick, you might wonder what in the world is going on in this small restaurant with an unassuming, yet endearing exterior. The interior is as rustic as the exterior. It is dimly lit with a welcoming bar where you can see some of the chefs in action through a narrow window.
As you walk through the interior of the restaurant, you are taken to a brighter backroom with expansive windows and an outdoor garden area. Since it’s a smaller restaurant, it is good to make reservations ahead of time, which is what we did since we went on a Friday night.
Our server had some pizzazz, basically the feel of a typical Logan Square server. Table, Donkey, and Stick has a decent cocktail and vast wine menu so whatever you’re feeling, you should be able to find. I had a glass of the Cabernet Franc. I think a complex red wine goes perfectly with the hearty kind of food served at Table, Donkey, and Stick.
They have a small plates concept so be prepared to spend a bit of money as it is on the pricier end of dining. We ordered a few small plates and then a large plate. We ordered the Spanish cheese, which was aromatic and pungent, like how cheese should be. The cheese plate came with their local honey and walnuts.
We also ordered their bread on the side because how can you have a cheese plate without bread? I was a bit salty about having to pay for extra bread on top of a cheese plate, but the bread was really delicious. It was basically a French baguette and was warm and crusty.
We also started with the Yukon Gold Potato Latkes, which were basically little potato latke tots. They were perfectly crispy, salty, and the roasted garlic aioli it came with added a savory softness to the dish. Sometimes aioli can be thick and intense, but this aioli had a perfect balance of thickness and oil and wasn’t overwhelming.
To continue our savory journey, we ordered the Soft Shell Crab served with an herbaceous pesto, a generous serving of dill, and grilled pearl onions. The soft shell crab made eating the crab extremely easy, no mess involved and the breading was really flavorful and paired seamlessly with the soft shell crab. Even though the sauces had distinct flavors, they all complemented one another in an authentic manner. It was incredibly flavorful.
For the large plate, we ordered the Struklji Bread Dumpling, which was their vegetarian large plate option, though they did have a pescatarian large plate option but since their menu is relatively small, you’re not bathing in a sea of options as a vegetarian. I can’t remember the last time I ate a bread dumpling since there’s usually meat in them, but I was extremely impressed with how innovative and mouthwateringly delicious this dish was.
The bread dumplings were served with a yeast butter, remarkable, crispy morel mushrooms, and a crunchy broccoli purée with peas. The flavors were complex and balanced while being the perfect portion since bread dumplings can be heavy.
Table, Donkey, and Stick takes an incredibly innovative approach to Old World European classics. I am excited to see the creative concoctions of new Executive Chef, Justin Moser. Table, Donkey, and Stick continues to add charm and uniqueness to a neighborhood saturated with restaurants.
- For more information, check out my recent article in LoganSquarist about new Executive Chef, Justin Moser.