The Table Restaurant Creekside

The Table Restaurant Creekside
The Table Restaurant Creekside

This past weekend was my 18th wedding anniversary, which included, among other things, “the mandatory, celebratory feast, at a nice restaurant.”  Although my wife and I both dearly love food truck tacos, unless I planned on making the food truck my home for the next year, I’d better do something erring more on the side of romance than comfort.

My wife Amy wanted to eat somewhere with a view…perhaps somewhere on the water.  I kind of cringed when she said this because there really aren’t a ton of restaurants on the water here in Sarasota (which is a shame), and most tend to be nothing more than really over-priced beach food. If that’s not bad enough, they are usually accompanied by some guy with a thinning ponytail playing an acoustic guitar to Jimmy Buffet covers.  Of course, this scene isn’t complete without  a 24 oz. styrofoam cup with “tips” inscribed in black Sharpie Marker.

The pressure was really on me, so I poured over the Internet, and was reminded of The Table Restaurant Creekside.  Ok, so it wasn’t exactly on The Gulf of Mexico, but it did sit snuggly on the mighty banks of Phillippi Creek, and it did have a beautiful water view.  The night we were there, God put on an awesome light show in the far distance as the pink and amber clouds were illuminated with bursts of lightning.

During the month of September, they are offering a special tasting menu for $29 per person, which we both decided to try.  This turned out to be a tremendous value, particularly since the word “Rockefeller” appears at no point in my name.

I know I am going to enjoy a meal, if I look at a menu, and I want to try everything.  I finally settled on the following:

Barcelona Octopus Paella ‐ Chorizo, gigante beans, Spanish sweet roasted peppers, seafood saffron broth

Short Ribs ‐  Oyster mushrooms, gnocchi, romesco reduction
Apple Tatin with Vanilla bean ice cream
I really appreciated the love that went into making my meal.  You don’t have to have a culinary degree to recognize when there is a team in the kitchen that displays a passion for their craft.
I love octopus, but not a lot of cooks know how to prepare it.  The octopus in my paella was super flavorful and very tender.  All of the other ingredients worked to make it the star of the dish.
If I go into a restaurant, and there are short ribs on the menu, I’m going to order them, even when it is 95 degrees outside, with 95% humidity.  Any braised preparation is a true comfort food for me, and to braise properly requires a lot of technique, patience, but most importantly love.
The short ribs were beautiful, but the real star of the entire meal was the gnocchi.  The gnocchi was made from scratch and was light as a feather.  Making gnocchi is not hard, but making really good gnocchi like these is an art-form.  I respect the chef for the time that was taken to make these.  Attention to detail is critical.
I’m not a huge dessert guy, but the apple Tatin was the perfect ending to an exquisite meal.  What really impressed me was not only was the Tatin made from scratch, but the ice cream was homemade as well.
I was truly impressed with my experience.  The restaurant has a very relaxed, quaint atmosphere.  The staff was very professional and knowledgeable about the menu.  There are so many items that I’m looking forward to trying on my next visit!
Braised Short Ribs
Braised Short Ribs
Octopus Paella
Octopus Paella

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