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Table, Donkey and Stick

Table, Donkey and Stick
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  • Post #31 - March 6th, 2014, 8:19 pm
    Post #31 - March 6th, 2014, 8:19 pm Post #31 - March 6th, 2014, 8:19 pm
    the Alpine-influenced, charcuterie-focused, 50-seat spot in Humboldt Park will go dark on March 23 and reopen April 3


    What's the over and under on this? :wink:
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #32 - March 6th, 2014, 8:22 pm
    Post #32 - March 6th, 2014, 8:22 pm Post #32 - March 6th, 2014, 8:22 pm
    Not sure what the "over" is v. the "under" but I wouldn't bet against it happening, if that's what you mean:
    Table Donkey Stick Remodel
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #33 - March 6th, 2014, 9:07 pm
    Post #33 - March 6th, 2014, 9:07 pm Post #33 - March 6th, 2014, 9:07 pm
    boudreaulicious wrote:Not sure what the "over" is v. the "under" but I wouldn't bet against it happening, if that's what you mean:
    Table Donkey Stick Remodel

    Nope, I can't imagine a restaurant spending this kind of money to remodel this extensively, only to then close. And for what it's worth, it sounds like the changes are going to mean a huge improvement for that space, particularly the addition of the bar. Very happy to hear this news and I can't wait to visit when they reopen.
    I find the pastrami to be the most sensual of all the salted, cured meats. (Seinfeld)

    Twitter: brbinchicago
  • Post #34 - March 6th, 2014, 10:20 pm
    Post #34 - March 6th, 2014, 10:20 pm Post #34 - March 6th, 2014, 10:20 pm
    boudreaulicious wrote:Not sure what the "over" is v. the "under" but I wouldn't bet against it happening, if that's what you mean:
    Table Donkey Stick Remodel


    I was talking about getting it all done in just over a week.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #35 - March 10th, 2014, 12:56 am
    Post #35 - March 10th, 2014, 12:56 am Post #35 - March 10th, 2014, 12:56 am
    LTHers,

    Our bar is mostly built, it's being done off-site. The 11 days we will be closed we are confident will be ample time to see to plumbing, electric, some tile work, demo of the dormer wall in the front, staff training, painting the bathrooms, sweeping the back patio for summer, resting the staff, and everything else that needs to be accomplished. We might finally see Wolf Of Wall Street. It's long and we haven't had time what with planning for this.

    Crains reported the story with a headline that started "Table Donkey and Stick closing...." and an opening to the body of the piece that read "Table, Donkey & Stick has been open only 14 months, but it's already closing..." The impression I'd get from that is that we're closing. Like, closing-closing.

    Not so. The story isn't that we're closing, but that we are going to be offering more. Nothing will change on Scott's dinner menu. Nothing will change on the wine list. The beer list will be the same. We will have a small cocktail bar with a spirits selection that will grow exponentially from the very small selection we are limited to now due to space--for those who never peeked behind the server station at our space now or when it was Bonsoiree, the average home has about as much beverage storage as we have at TDS. The front room, long cramped by that u-shaped dormer wall, will feel bright and open. We will have 10 seats at the bar and a two-seat chef's charcuterie bar at the end. The bar is a necessity to help us continue to grow after what has been a pretty darn good and fun first 15 months. That's the story, not the closing, which was either poorly reported by Crain's or poorly related to Crain's by our peeps. Whatever the cause of the misleading headline and opening sentence, "closing" is not a terribly big part of what's going on at TDS.

    Come in and say hi.

    John
  • Post #36 - March 10th, 2014, 5:06 pm
    Post #36 - March 10th, 2014, 5:06 pm Post #36 - March 10th, 2014, 5:06 pm
    I think the bar is a great idea. I've paired meals here with a trip to Scofflaw, but with a cocktail bar already in house, I might stick around for longer, especially given the noise problem at Scofflaw. The crowds at nearby Scofflaw and Parson's indicate this is an area where people like to drink.
  • Post #37 - March 18th, 2014, 4:07 pm
    Post #37 - March 18th, 2014, 4:07 pm Post #37 - March 18th, 2014, 4:07 pm
    Are there any more recent reviews of Table Donkey and Stick floating around? I'm tossing up between TDS and Yusho for dinner Saturday evening...given Yusho's recent mediocre reviews I'm leaning towards TDS, but there are surprisingly few reviews on here!
  • Post #38 - March 18th, 2014, 4:15 pm
    Post #38 - March 18th, 2014, 4:15 pm Post #38 - March 18th, 2014, 4:15 pm
    Yusho just brought in Harold Jurado, who had his own place, Chizakaya, a few years back that I loved and who has cooked in some pretty good places (Nico) since then. I am very hopeful that he'll be able to do some great things at Yusho. TDS is closing on Sunday for a few weeks to remodel--if it was me, I'd probably wait until after since I think the planned improvements will make for a better dining experience.
    Last edited by boudreaulicious on March 18th, 2014, 5:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #39 - March 18th, 2014, 4:23 pm
    Post #39 - March 18th, 2014, 4:23 pm Post #39 - March 18th, 2014, 4:23 pm
    boudreaulicious wrote:TDS is closing on Sunday for a few weeks to remodel....



    We will be closed 10 days. We will have dinner service 3/22, be closed 3/23-4/1, and re-open on Wednesday, 4/2.
  • Post #40 - March 18th, 2014, 5:40 pm
    Post #40 - March 18th, 2014, 5:40 pm Post #40 - March 18th, 2014, 5:40 pm
    becwells wrote:Are there any more recent reviews of Table Donkey and Stick floating around? I'm tossing up between TDS and Yusho for dinner Saturday evening...given Yusho's recent mediocre reviews I'm leaning towards TDS, but there are surprisingly few reviews on here!


    I will go against the grain and say that I did not care for the restaurant.

    I went with a group of 6. The restaurant lacked any charm. The front room was especially dull and the back room felt very cramped. Our server was awful and mostly appeared to be in a catatonic state. We were a bigger group and we were ordering a good deal of food and wine, but when we asked for suggestions our server simply said "everything is good". Yeah, I get it, you're not going to say that something is terrible, but you can pick out a couple highlights. He also disappeared for long stretches of time which, in retrospect, was probably a good thing.

    As for the food...meh. I feel confident saying that as we tried 75%+ of the menu (we only skipped the cheese). The wanderteller was "ok" nothing stood out. The burger stood out because it was dry as could be and lacked flavor -- definitely skip it. The pretzel is another easy skip -- pretty boring. The highlight for me was the braised goat loin; fairly tender with a good flavor although the portion was a little skimpy for the money (goat is cheap). We had several other dishes too including a decent, but unspectacular pork belly. On the whole the description of dishes (on the menu, not from the unhelpful waiter) sounded far better than they were executed.

    The desserts were pretty blah too. The beet ravioli sounded far better than it tasted -- beet ravioli in a beet reduction sauce how very,,,boring. We had a blueberry desert that tasted stale -- it was difficult to actually cut it with a fork. Come to think of it, the deserts were downright poor.

    I feel bad about knocking a place, but my experience was definitely subpar. And we were having a great time as we imbibed a bit beforehand and continued to do so during our visit. I will not be coming back.
  • Post #41 - April 13th, 2014, 3:38 pm
    Post #41 - April 13th, 2014, 3:38 pm Post #41 - April 13th, 2014, 3:38 pm
    I happened to meander by TD&S on the first balmy Friday night of the year, when it seemed like the whole city was out and about, collectively celebrating. Their front door was open to the street, and new bar configuration looked so lively and inviting on that otherwise very dark and subdued stretch of Armitage, it stopped me in my tracks. I almost curbed my other plans and grabbed a drink. Great work, guys! I will definitely stop in soon!
    The meal isn't over when I'm full; the meal is over when I hate myself. - Louis C.K.
  • Post #42 - April 13th, 2014, 9:30 pm
    Post #42 - April 13th, 2014, 9:30 pm Post #42 - April 13th, 2014, 9:30 pm
    Teresa wrote:I happened to meander by TD&S on the first balmy Friday night of the year, when it seemed like the whole city was out and about, collectively celebrating. Their front door was open to the street, and new bar configuration looked so lively and inviting on that otherwise very dark and subdued stretch of Armitage, it stopped me in my tracks. I almost curbed my other plans and grabbed a drink. Great work, guys! I will definitely stop in soon!


    Thanks Teresa!

    The bar is constructed 100% of reclaimed wood from a barn in Lake County. We've had the wood stashed away for a year, knowing it would be our bar when the time came. We turned it over to the builders and we think they did a lovely job. It's turned the front room of the resto from a liability to an asset. The old, cramped, uncomfortable front room of Bonsoiree 1.0 and 2.0, and TDS 1.0 is, thankfully, RIP.

    At risk of being a little too self-promo-y, we've re-vamped hours and offerings a bit....

    Bar opens 4pm. Charcuterie, cheese, and the sandwiches/sides on the bar menu are available then. Bar menu is available only at the bar and is available through dinner service.
    5:30 we start taking resos for dinner, and offer the full menu.
    Full menu is available til 10 Sunday-Monday, Wednesday-Thursday, and 11pm Fri-Sat at the bar as well as the dining room.
    We go back to bar food only when the full menu ends, serving til 11:30.
    Bar is open til Midnight, we'll stay a bit longer if there's a crowd. We hope there's a crowd.

    Mothers Day brunch is on offer May 11. We plan to open for brunch the following weekend, with brunch every Saturday and Sunday.

    We're proud to serve the Logan Square/Humboldt Park neighborhood. Hope to see you soon.
  • Post #43 - July 6th, 2014, 7:43 pm
    Post #43 - July 6th, 2014, 7:43 pm Post #43 - July 6th, 2014, 7:43 pm
    We had brunch here today. Food and service were very, very good. I had the fried chicken and green tomato. Chicken was good and the tomato was sautéed, not fried. Very bright, assertive, and crisp. Will return again when I have a chance. Parking was easy and the patio was in back and very nice. You should go!
    Find good food and eat it.
    Sapatero
  • Post #44 - September 13th, 2015, 11:04 pm
    Post #44 - September 13th, 2015, 11:04 pm Post #44 - September 13th, 2015, 11:04 pm
    Such a great place. Had dinner here recently with a couple other LTHers and enjoyed it immensely. We ordered all 6 items from the Wanderteller section of the menu -- showcasing chef Scott Manley's house-made charcuterie -- and each was better than the last. Featured items were the Game Bird Terrine, Hot-Smoked Whitefish, Pork Rillettes, Duck Liver Mousse, Schweinekopf and Bresaola. The house threw out a 7th, the house-cured speck, which was also excellent. The garnishes, pickles and other accoutrements were steller and the breads -- rye baguette and sunflower oat toast -- baked by owner Matt Sussman, were excellent, too. We really enjoyed the small plates, too. Creamed Kale was excellent, as was the Swabian Pretzel which was served with a delectable cauliflower and comte fondue. In the entree section, the Roasted Duck Ballotine with charred broccoli and toasted farro was also a favorite.

    As is posted upthread, John Douglass's bar is also a real gem. The cocktails are thoughtfully conceived and very well-made. The back bar is extremely well curated. The bar program reflects quite a bit of knowledge and passion. It's a fun and cozy place to grab a drink or two.

    There are lots of great places on Armitage, especially between Damen and Kimball. If you're making a list, it really has to include TD&S.

    =R=
    There's a horse loose in a hospital -- JM

    I am not interested in how I would evaluate the Springbank in a blind tasting. Every spirit has its story, and I include it in my evaluation, just as I do with human beings. --Thad Vogler

    I'll be the tastiest pork cutlet bowl ever --Yuri Katsuki

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #45 - September 17th, 2015, 5:51 pm
    Post #45 - September 17th, 2015, 5:51 pm Post #45 - September 17th, 2015, 5:51 pm
    Ronnie has (unintentionally) prodded me into posting—quite belatedly—pictures from our wonderful meal. I don’t have much to add to what he wrote except to concur in his conclusion: a really wonderful array of things. Great hospitality, great service, terrific food--what else could we have asked for? If anything evoked a less-than-thrilled reaction, it would be the roasted summer squash entrée which, truth be told, I think we ordered because our server—who was terrific, let it be known—so vigorously championed it. It was fine, just not up to the extraordinary standard of everything else. Either that, or just not to our (collective) taste. Everything else was terrific, especially the wanderteller, aka house-made charcuterie. I’ve left off the detailed description in favor of just posting a picture of the menu for those interested in a particular dish. You can consult the menu for a fuller description and price, should you be so inclined.

    Image
    Menu

    Wanderteller:
    Image
    Pork rillettes, Hot-smoked whitefish, Schweinekopf

    Image
    Duck liver mousse, Game bird terrine, Bresaola

    Plus (house-comped):
    Speck (genmaicha, cherry bud capers, shiso) served with

    Image
    sunflower oat toast.

    All preceding wanderteller were served with:

    Image
    a rye baguette.


    From the appetizers, we graduated to “small plates”:

    Image
    Swabian pretzel

    Image
    Crispy tripe

    Image
    Creamed kale

    Image
    Salted halibut

    And from there we moved up to the big league entrees:

    Image
    Roasted summer squash

    Image
    Golden trout

    Image
    Roasted duck ballotine

    Our wine, after a longish but instructive chat with Matt Sussman (correct me if I’m wrong, Ron), owner and sommelier, was rare and unusual: Jolie-Laide Trousseau Gris from Russian River Valley. (Jolie laide literally means “beautiful ugly” in French. It is used to describe someone who is unconventionally beautiful or attractive despite what might ordinarily be considered flaws.)

    Image

    A lot of food, a lot of enjoyment. It is quite safe to say we were all very pleased and eager to return.
    Gypsy Boy

    "I am not a glutton--I am an explorer of food." (Erma Bombeck)
  • Post #46 - September 23rd, 2015, 3:27 pm
    Post #46 - September 23rd, 2015, 3:27 pm Post #46 - September 23rd, 2015, 3:27 pm
    Gypsy Boy wrote:Ronnie has (unintentionally) prodded me into posting—quite belatedly—pictures from our wonderful meal . . .

    I didn't mean to prod but the shots are wonderful, Dave. Thanks, for posting them.

    You're correct about the wine and owner Matt Sussman who, in addition to baking all TD&S's breads, is also the restaurant's sommelier. The Jolie-Laide was a fine selection. Mr. Sussman was also recently named as one of Zagat's 30 under 30 for Chicago 2015. Unbelievably, he's only 28 (or was in July when the list was posted). :shock:

    =R=
    There's a horse loose in a hospital -- JM

    I am not interested in how I would evaluate the Springbank in a blind tasting. Every spirit has its story, and I include it in my evaluation, just as I do with human beings. --Thad Vogler

    I'll be the tastiest pork cutlet bowl ever --Yuri Katsuki

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #47 - September 23rd, 2015, 4:03 pm
    Post #47 - September 23rd, 2015, 4:03 pm Post #47 - September 23rd, 2015, 4:03 pm
    Jolie-Laide Trousseau Gris


    Interested to hear what this wine was like?
    Life is a garden, Dude - DIG IT!
    -- anonymous Colorado snowboarder whizzing past me March 2010
  • Post #48 - September 24th, 2015, 12:05 pm
    Post #48 - September 24th, 2015, 12:05 pm Post #48 - September 24th, 2015, 12:05 pm
    At this remove, it's kinda hard to recall many specifics. Two things in particular stuck out in my mind: that it had the body to stand up to most everything we had. I was a little surprised at the low alcohol; initially, the balance seemed a little out of whack to me, but as the wine warmed slightly, things fell back into perspective. There was enough acid to hold up to things and there was--apologies in advance--this indefinable "funk" to the flavor that made it pretty unique in my experience. In fact, thinking back, I can recall only one other wine that I've had in recent years where it was so...offbeat and remarkable. In that instance, it was a wine I had at Next in their Paris, 1906 incarnation:

    Gypsy Boy wrote:I will single one out: it was the one I liked the least but it was perhaps the most unusual and extraordinary white I've ever had. Chosen to accompany the turtle soup, it was a Domaine de Montbourgeau Savagnin "Etoile" (Jura, 2005) that tasted, as explained during the pour, like a dry sherry. A fascinating choice inasmuch as a splash of sherry is added as a standard last note to turtle soup. Here, it was not sherry at all, but the savagnin grape, a distant relative of the traminer. It's from the Jura, in eastern France. Like sherry, it grows the equivalent of sherry's flor while aging in the barrel. Only in this case, it's called a voile, a veil. Unlike sherry, the wine is not fortified. But take a sip and it has the most uncanny resemblance to a fino. I didn't care for it but it was a truly extraordinary thing to taste.

    A completely--here I am absolutely and completely limited by an inadequate wine vocabulary--indefinable funk. Not front and center by any means and a definite presence and one I could imagine that some might find off-putting. (Hope that helps, even if only a bit. Maybe Ron can chime in....)
    Gypsy Boy

    "I am not a glutton--I am an explorer of food." (Erma Bombeck)
  • Post #49 - September 24th, 2015, 12:11 pm
    Post #49 - September 24th, 2015, 12:11 pm Post #49 - September 24th, 2015, 12:11 pm
    Gypsy Boy wrote:A completely--here I am absolutely and completely limited by an inadequate wine vocabulary--indefinable funk. Not front and center by any means and a definite presence and one I could imagine that some might find off-putting. (Hope that helps, even if only a bit. Maybe Ron can chime in....)

    I think your description is solid and I don't really have the wine vocabulary either. It was mildly barn-yardy, for lack of a better term. For me, that was a bit surprising in a domestic wine. It was slightly minerally with not too much fruit up front. I wish I could describe it better. :?

    =R=
    There's a horse loose in a hospital -- JM

    I am not interested in how I would evaluate the Springbank in a blind tasting. Every spirit has its story, and I include it in my evaluation, just as I do with human beings. --Thad Vogler

    I'll be the tastiest pork cutlet bowl ever --Yuri Katsuki

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #50 - October 28th, 2015, 10:34 am
    Post #50 - October 28th, 2015, 10:34 am Post #50 - October 28th, 2015, 10:34 am
    Had dinner last night for the first time to take advantage of the terroir Tuesday offering. Our group had the following to eat:

    Duck liver mousse - outstanding, I was told this has been on the menu since day one and is a staple, I can totally understand why.
    Two other cheeses which escape my mind a soft cow and a firm goat, both of which were very good.
    Polenta cake - outstanding, black eyed peas, smoked ham this was really good, served in a skillet
    Brussel sprouts - really good
    Carrot soup - really good flavors, however the soup was slightly to watery for my taste, I would have preferred a thicker soup but just nit picking at this point.
    Slow cooked duck leg - very good, my only criticism was that there was not enough leg and too much duck sausage, not that the sausage was bad I just would have preferred more of the duck leg.

    The wine of the night was brought by Jaffurs, which specializes in Syrah. They had a representative from Jaffurs who was very friendly and if you were drinking their wine walked around with some special pours. On the menu there were 4 wines, 2 whites a 2012 petite syrah and a 2012 syrah. The Syrah was really good, the petite I feel could have used a little more time in the bottle as the tannins were pretty aggressive. The special pours were a 2005 and 2003 Syrah, the 2003 of which was outstanding.

    All in all a fantastic meal and I will surely return on a Tuesday, great value.
  • Post #51 - April 4th, 2016, 8:24 am
    Post #51 - April 4th, 2016, 8:24 am Post #51 - April 4th, 2016, 8:24 am
    Mrs Willie & I had our anniversary dinner last night at Table Donkey & Stick.

    4 big hits & a miss.

    Out of the homemade salami and were serving schweinekopf instead, I would have been all over the substitution but Mrs Willie not so much.

    Instead ordered the foie torchon which was put over the top with addition of white truffle. This was insane, served with a great small loaf of rye bread (which neither of us really thought of as rye). A terrific starter.

    The often talked about Swabian Pretzel, again another hit.

    Roasted Mushroom Soup w/smoked scallop, candied ginger, coffee, hazelnut. Another hit.

    Fried Smoked Chicken - the why bother dish of the night for us. To start, wasn't executed well (most breading was off before it hit the table). The pureed sauerkraut, grilled cabbage, roasted radish, and maple vinaigrette with the dry smoked chicken w/some breading just didn't work for us.

    Veal Schnitzel w/pickled blueberry gribiche, sunchoke veloute, roasted sunchokes. The schnitzel was cooked perfectly, seriously perfectly, meat was still moist, tender, breading was crisp. Then the "topping" was spot on. Another hit.

    Had a very nice bottle of a French Pinot Noir with the meal.

    Suggestion: do NOT sit in the back corner by the outdoor coolers/freezers. The heating is wonky & that corner friggin bakes, way too hot.
    I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be.
  • Post #52 - May 11th, 2017, 8:06 am
    Post #52 - May 11th, 2017, 8:06 am Post #52 - May 11th, 2017, 8:06 am
    Our group had an excellent dinner at TDS last night. We ate through a nice chunk of the menu; highlights were the cheeses and the trout in riesling cream sauce. Especially given the horrendous weather, the latter was pretty much perfect.

    Wines were similar to my last visit, and while excellent, I had my fingers crossed for something new given their laudable creativity with wine.

    A great, relaxed meal, and one that really made an impression our dining companions, who hadn't dined here before. By the way, I think four is the perfect number for TDS, as it allows you to sample many dishes while not filling yourself up on the killer rye baguette.
  • Post #53 - February 7th, 2018, 4:30 pm
    Post #53 - February 7th, 2018, 4:30 pm Post #53 - February 7th, 2018, 4:30 pm
    Been a while since this thread has been active.

    Has anyone gone there recently? Thinking about having dinner there this weekend as a pre-Valentine's Day date.

    Seems like a lot of the cheese and charcuterie dishes are well-liked, but there doesn't seem to be a huge consensus on 'must-try' dishes or anything based on the replies before.
  • Post #54 - February 8th, 2018, 4:01 pm
    Post #54 - February 8th, 2018, 4:01 pm Post #54 - February 8th, 2018, 4:01 pm
    I went in the fall, but the menu, ex-charcuterie, has changed significantly, at least what is on the website. We had charcuterie, a steak dish and dumplings that I recall, plus some more veggie-focused things - carrot salad, etc. Everything was very, very good, such that I would not hesitate to go again. Our dining companions, who were initially a bit skeptical based on the name and the vaguely Swiss concept, very much agreed. The wine list was also very nice, with some rare orange wines and older wine, including Chateau Musar at a very good price.
  • Post #55 - February 12th, 2018, 2:00 pm
    Post #55 - February 12th, 2018, 2:00 pm Post #55 - February 12th, 2018, 2:00 pm
    tazerowe wrote:I went in the fall, but the menu, ex-charcuterie, has changed significantly, at least what is on the website. We had charcuterie, a steak dish and dumplings that I recall, plus some more veggie-focused things - carrot salad, etc. Everything was very, very good, such that I would not hesitate to go again. Our dining companions, who were initially a bit skeptical based on the name and the vaguely Swiss concept, very much agreed. The wine list was also very nice, with some rare orange wines and older wine, including Chateau Musar at a very good price.


    Thank you so much for the information!

    We went ahead and ordered the duck liver mousse and a very nice soft bleu cheese to start. We then ordered the sunchoke hash and roasted cauliflower panisse--the latter which may have been my favorite dish of the night. Finally, we finished with the duck ballotine and the salmon a la unilteral. While the duck was well-cooked and flavorful, there were some missteps with lots of small bone fragments still present; and the salmon dish was unmemorable.

    However, all said and done, I had an enjoyable dinner with some solid drinks (was particularly a fan of the Started from the Bottom, which combined rye, fernet, and cherry heering) and would come back again.

    I'll try and post some photos of my meal soon once I process my photos.

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