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Given the restaurant's modest size, the selection of entrees, dubbed "head of the table," is surprisingly large. Lamb, pork, fish, seafood, pasta, not to mention that crispy chicken — you could come here frequently and still find something different to catch your eye. One night it might be the grilled New York strip, with a smoked garlic rub and a slick of zinfandel demi-glace so deeply flavored, you instinctively sense the hours behind it. (Stuff that good doesn't come quickly, or out of a can.) Rainbow trout is served skin-on, with the top half of the fillet propped up, tent style, over the well-seasoned bottom half, making the crispy top skin easy to get at for those who want to eat it, and easy to flake off for those who don't. Whichever you prefer, make sure to scoop up the roasted cauliflower, turnips, potatoes and capers with each bite of fish. Order the grilled pork chop with blue cheese and sautéed peaches if you're holding on to summer, the mushroomy pepper pappardelle if you're ready to embrace the fall.

After such fine savories, desserts can seem a little clunky. With a thick layer of brownie and a drenching of warm Callebaut chocolate sauce, the double-chocolate s'mores deliver almost too much of a good thing. Buttermilk-lemon cake proves nearly as sweet, without the tartness you'd expect from the lemon or the rhubarb in the filling. Clunky, too, is the service. One night the server acted like a kid on her first night of public-speaking class, fumbling through the specials and hardly making eye contact. Another night, when asked to describe an appetizer, the best our server could do was mumble something about a "richly thick sauce."

Amy Vitale and Dustin Barrett are partners in life and at Tables, their Park Hill restaurant.
Mark Manger
Amy Vitale and Dustin Barrett are partners in life and at Tables, their Park Hill restaurant.

Location Info

Map

Tables

2267 Kearney St.
Denver, CO 80207

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: East Denver

Details

See also: Slide show: Behind the Scenes at Tables

Tables
Beet/goat cheese flatbread $12
Caesar salad $8
Tuna tartare $15
Soup (tomato) $6
Pork terrine $11
Crispy chicken breast $19
Grilled NY strip $27
Pan-seared trout $21
S'mores $7
Buttermilk lemon cake $7
2267 Kearney Street
303-388-0299
Hours: 5-9:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday

Tables makes no bones about the fact that this is a family operation. Barrett, clothed in chef's whites, likes to make the rounds when dinner service slows, and wedding pictures grace the walls. If that comes at the price of polish, so be it. This is a restaurant that's comfortable in its own skin, and I'll take that over high-gloss corporate directives any day. Especially when the food's this good.

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6 comments
beerdrinker
beerdrinker

This review is both correct and well-written. Thank you for being our new critic, because you are actually a good critic.

GentlyStirred
GentlyStirred

Aside from all of my griping on the other story about them, this is a well done review.

Denver Dave
Denver Dave topcommenter

I cannot believe that this review was written by the same person who wrote a totally lackluster review of the Kitchen Denver a matter of weeks ago.  This is what we're looking for in a restaurant critic.  Very well done Gretchen - very well done indeed

ybarcewski
ybarcewski

The sign of a good writing, which this is - it flows and balanced with attention to both decor, service and food in appropriate amounts while somehow still seeming to make it all about the food.  Great review that will keep me coming back for more!

billd3122
billd3122

@AmyV1111 great review and I promise to come see it for myself next time I am in Denver. You should be very proud Well done

notadenvernative
notadenvernative

I've dined at Tables two dozen times over the past few years and the service has almost always been top notch. From my perspective, it appears our Westword reviewer had an off night.

 
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