So do you think Oprah’s going to plug her personal chef Art Smith’s new restaurant, TABLE fifty-two, on her show? Because you could imagine the hordes of loyal viewers descending on this homey fine dining spot on (in?) the Gold Coast, booking the place out for months, regardless of whether the food is any good.
Let’s hope the publicity stays local, because early reports (Kevin Pang in yesterday’s Stew) indicate that Oprah’s been eating like a champ.
KPang is enamored with the warm goat cheese biscuits baked in mini-cast iron skillets that were brought to his table (not on the menu!), and also thoroughly enjoyed his fried green tomato Napoleon with goat cheese, local greens, apple wood-smoked bacon and olive and sun-dried tomato tapenades ($10.50), Art’s buttermilk fried chicken ($18, but normally $12 and normally only on Sundays), a side of three-cheese macaroni ($9), and Art’s hummingbird cake (two slices of pineapple, coconut and banana cake with vanilla ice cream, according to Kevin, for $8.50).
Isn’t it sort of redundant, in your own restaurant, to use the possessive on your dishes? Obviously the chicken and cake are Art’s - they’re certainly not Oprah’s. But as one delves further into the menu, we start to see that a lot of different people have had a hand in the menu: Sophie has a grilled chicken, Addie Mae has yellow squash, Paula has cheese picks, and the entire Smith family lays claim to a twelve-layer chocolate cake. Mr. Pang asked Mr. Smith what his concept is for the restaurant’s Sunday Suppers, and Smith replied, “home.” Given the naming conventions of the dishes, we think we understand.
[Photo: some deviled eggs, apparently an amuse bouche, TABLE fifty-two]