Boston >Food & Dining > Ten Tables
597 Centre St, Jamaica Plain, MA | Directions 0213042.314915 -71.114240
Mon-Thu 5:30pm-10pm; Fri-Sat 5:30pm-10:30pm; Sun 5pm-9pm
Neighborhoods: Jamaica Hills / Pond, Jamaica Plain
intimate delicious dinning – The staff is friendly and dedicated to making everyones experience fabulous. I'm a meat eater, and they do meat right...but, i reallllyyyy love their salads, especially the arugula salad. I've had many wonderful dishes here and I loved them all. Dessert is also amazing here, not overly sweet.
Overhyped – I've been wanting to go to ten tables for quite some time as I had read good things about it and heard good things from friends. First, I do like the atmosphere there. The decor was nice and our service was friendly and mostly efficient. The food on the other hand was absolutely nothing special at all. Not even close to being special. My husband and I decided to go with the chef's menu, because we have had good experiences with those types of things at other places (Craigie on Main). You would think that the chef would want to showcase what he does well, but apparently not. Our steaks were overcooked and tough - something we could have done better at home. I guess I expect more from professionals. The real travesty however was my dessert. I had a piece of pound cake with a smear of honey and a few stewed cherries. The pound cake could have come from the grocery store. No, really - no exaggeration at all. I ate the cherries and left most of the rest. Our meal was not worth the $60/person we spent. For an mostly equivalent price you can do the chef's whim at Craigie on Main, which is at least an order of magnitude better.
Boston's Best Neighborhood Restaurant – I have tried to get a reservation at Ten Tables on several occasions, and was unsuccessful. One needs to look no further than the quality of the food and the name of the restaurant to explain why: seating is limited. When I finally did get a reservation I was not disappointed, as Ten Tables provided excellent ambiance, service and, most importantly, food. I dined on a Thursday night, and found the warm interior more than inviting. The small size of the space means that the kitchen is in full view, which could be a distraction in any other restaurant this size. At Ten Tables, however, it makes perfect sense, as two chefs provided wonderful ambiance while I enjoyed my meal. The service was very friendly and attentive, and I had the distinct impression that they were legitimately excited to be serving me each dish. My waiter seemed almost hurt when I did not eat every bite of a delicious, but rich pate. America needs more restaurants like this.
The food itself is delightful. It is not the most extravagant cuisine in the world, wrapped up in fancy presentation or delicate flavors. What Ten Tables excels at, rather, is providing fresh, familiar, almost Old World flavors in a new way. Think of it as upscale comfort food. The pate was delicious, as was the handmade sausage appetizer, served with cabbage, bacon and pear. The aroma alone is reason to order it. For entrees, the ricotta cavatelli and lamb ragout was full of flavor, but needed a little more moisture to balance the dish. The pork chop was perfectly cooked, served with a tasty sage butter. The side of potato gratin, however, was the best thing I ate all night. For dessert, the chocolate terrine and the profiteroles with banana ice cream were both delicious. Most entrees fall between $20-25, making it one of the best deals in the city for food of this caliber. For a delicious neighborhood setting with excellent service, Ten Tables is the best choice.
JP Comfort and Fine Living – I have only eaten at Ten Tables once, but before eating, I heard nothing but great things! When I called for reservations, the guy at the other end of the line was really accommodating to my idiosyncratic changes. Very patient, nice, and professional! (If I had taken his name, I would have purchased a thank you card for him!)
When we arrived, we had to wait a little longer after our reservation time - about 10 minutes - during which we perused the lovely flower shop next door (which does the flower work for Ten Tables). Because it was a Wednesday, there was a prix fixe menu that included an appetizer, a main, and a dessert for $29, which allowed my date and me to purchase a bottle of wine. For the appetizer, I had a chilled soup with a pistachio pistou, and for the main I had some freshly made bucatini with calamari and vegetables. The soup was such a pleasant surprise, and perfect on a summer?s day. The pasta?s freshness was clear and perfect for the array of calamari and veggies. It was so apparent from the taste of the food that the chefs really care about each dish they put out! The only disappointing meal was the dessert. The profiteroles were edible and pleasant, but not as surprising as the previous courses, and the mint ice cream had too much fresh mint!! The waiter was nice and informative, and the price was pure perfection! I can?t wait to try the vegetarian tasting menu!
Bad Night Out – I have to agree with another reviewer - don't go here on a hot day . However, that would prove to be only the beginning of a bad night out for my wife and me.
We were the first to arrive at 5:30 and were seated in a little corner away from any chance of a breeze from the open doorway. We asked to be moved and the waiter complied with our wish, then moved us again after we were about ready to order. There was an occasional breeze, but because of the heat from the oven and range in the cooking area it wasn't very refreshing.
My seat was facing the cooking area and during the course of the evening - while waiting for our meals - I observed one of the two chefs using a spoon to taste the food he was preparing and then using the same spoon to further stir the food. I once saw a Southern Chef on TV doing the same thing and found it no less disgusting in person last night.
I summonded the waiter and told him about the chef. He called the two chefs together and had a word with them and then the manager (I assume) came to our table and inquired about the incident. I didn't want to make a scene in front of the other diners so I asked him if he would mind stepping outside to discuss the matter. He was courteous and understanding and went back in and arranged for that part of my dinner to be reprepared.
I delighted to say my wife enjoyed her fish dinner, but my bad encountered hadn't ended yet. I ordered Adobo rubbed steak and it came to the table over-cooked and tough.
Interestingly enough, we also discovered the menu we read online that afternoon had been changed at 5:00, which to me is not logical. Why would they post a menu all day long only to change it while a person is in transit? So, the meal I had planned and looked forward to ordering wasn't available after all.
We paid around $130 dollars for our night out and it felt as if we had been through a battle zone.
Unfortunely we didn't enjoy our evening.
Avoid during Summer – Took my wife to Ten Tables last night (6/10/08) for our 2nd anniversary. Food and Service were terrific, but the heat level was absolutely stifling. Waitstaff did the best they could keeping water glasses filled, but had to leave prix-fix 4-course dinner early because heat was simply overwhelming. My recommendation: Go during Spring, Fall or Winter when you will be able to enjoy your meal without having to wipe your brow.
Seasonal modern American cuisine artfully presented to the eclectic Jamaica Plain masses. – Young area professionals crowd this charming, single-room establishment with an open kitchen and--surprise--only ten tables. A diverse soundtrack (which features Southern blues some nights), exposed brick walls and sociable waiters keep the mood casual. The kitchen's continually changing menu emphasizes local ingredients. A representative starter is the artfully presented plate of maple-roasted squash and sage with toasted walnuts and smoky brown butter. Main courses feature simple groupings of flavors. Hearty rib eye streak is sauteed with shallots and mushrooms and complimented nicely by a small side dish of potato gratin (made with creamy Great Hill Blue Cheese). The menu also consistently features a couple of strong vegetarian options. Among the light desserts is a subtle lemon pound cake given extra kick by a cranberry relish.
* "...Great flavors, excellent service - an overall great experience. Perfect for romantic dinner or small group of friends..." (spin84, Citysearch user)
* "...The ambiance was, as many have noted, tasteful and inviting. And the food was excellent..." (rosspush, Citysearch user)
* "...Just make sure you don't get the worst table in the house, and don't waste your time with the "tasting menu" unless you are sure you want small plates of menu items." (nooshboston, Citysearch user)
* "...The space itself is lovely, but the food quality is sporadic. It's a mixed bag..." (lafox, Citysearch user)
Hidden gem in JP – Creative yet unpretentious food, served in a cozy (literally, 10 tables) atmosphere with open kitchen. Great flavors, excellent service - an overall great experience.
Perfect for romantic dinner or small group of friends - definitely not for the kids. Prices are very reasonable for the quality of food/service - I paid <$100 including tip + bottle of wine + dessert.
Highly recommend reservations a week or two in advance, especially for weekend nights.
Lives up to its reputation ... mostly – I had been wanting to try TenTables for a long time and recently got a chance to. Our night got off to a bad start perhaps when we saw which of the ten tables was to be ours - there is a table right by / in the doorway that we drew the bad luck to get. It was a cold night so while the wait staff was kind to police the door to make sure no one kept it open too long, it wasn't the cosy feel we were expecting. I felt that they really should change their name to Nine Tables and get rid of that one - or else warn you when you make a reservation that you're getting it.
The other fault I'll mention is the "tasting menu". I love tasting menus as a way to sample a chef's talents and to get a number of different dishes, and was excited to try theirs. When I asked the waitress about the contents of the tasting menu, she built my excitement by saying how it was "chef's whim" and could be anything (although they'll cater to allergies of course). Three of us got the vegetarian tasting menu and apparently the "chef's whim" was to give us small portions of menu items - for all courses. I was sorely disappointed and while the items were good that doesn't in my mind count as a tasting menu (or at least fess up to it in the description given by the wait staff).
These were the downers, but they weren't enough to completely overshadow the upside- which is that the menu is fresh, local, organic, and delicious. Just make sure you don't get the worst table in the house, and don't waste your time with the "tasting menu" unless you are sure you want small plates of menu items.
Pleasantly Surprised – We had been wanting to try Ten Tables for a while based on a friend's recommendation from two years ago, but we were a little nervous seeing some of the reviews from the spring and summer. We tried it anyway and were pleasantly surprised. Perhaps they had a problem wait staff that is no longer there, because everyone we encountered was professional and cheerful. The bathroom was clean, albeit warm and difficult to get to. The ambiance was, as many have noted, tasteful and inviting. And the food was excellent. The potato leek soup with blue cheese and bacon was smooth, rich and well-balanced. The steak with verde salsa and roasted marrow was also well executed. We thought the portions were fine and was an overall good value. However, the place is small and I can see how any hiccups could leave a party with nowhere to wait. Nonetheless, our experience was positive and I hope yours is too.
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