I'd heard great things about this place from reviews written in Atlanta Magazine and the AJC and through just plain old word of mouth. I'd been interested in giving it a try for quite some time, but since the restaurant specializes in southern cuisine, I had some concerns that the food would not be interesting enough to make me feel like I was having unique or special night out.
Let me just say, those concerns were completely unfounded!
I'm delighted that I gave this place a try and really enjoyed all that Hubbs and I ordered. Additionally, the hospitality was palpable. Restaurateur Ryan Pernice, raised in Roswell, brings the southern basics back in to focus. How many times have you been to a hot new restaurant in town only to have the wait staff treat you like you're darn lucky to be sitting in that seat? Nothing makes a night out (and Yelp.com reviews) go downhill faster - down right annoying. Well, you won't have to worry about that here at Table & Main. Their website reads:
"Table & Main is first and foremost a place for people to come and enjoy themselves. That’s all any restaurant really is. No one goes out to eat to have a bad time. You come with friends, you eat great food, you have a bottle or two of wine, and you unplug from “the world at large.” Even if for just those couple of hours between the appetizers and your after-dinner splash of bourbon, you surrender your troubles and enjoy the hospitality and attention of the restaurant. Your worries will still be there when you leave. But while you’re here? Take a load off."
Now isn't that the truth? It's refreshing to have a restaurant focus on the basic tenet of hospitality. The staff is friendly and really treat you like they should -- like a valued guest! . Executive chef Ted Lahey has been cooking great food for over 20 years and incorporates local ingredients sourced from nearby Georgia farms, artisan bakers and creameries. All of this intentionality comes out in the wonderful food.
On our night out, Hubbs and I started out by splitting the warm spinach salad. The salad is tossed in a slightly warm, bacon vinaigrette dressing that is to die for! Flavorful, but somehow not too bacon-y. The spinach was topped with roasted patty pan squash, onions and soft cow’s milk cheese -- delightful.
Next, we had soup. Hubbs had the Venison and Barley Stew, which was in a rich, tomato and vegetable broth. It was both hearty and flavorful for a cold night. I had the Charleston She-Crab Soup. This is possibly the best soup I've ever put in my mouth. It's received accolades from many local food writers and now I know why. It's packed with luscious and sweet lump crab meat in a cream base, with sherry, chili oil, onions. It's a wonderful blend of creamy bisque, sweet delicate crab, onion and a nice kick of chili that lingers on the tongue. If you went and just had the warm spinach salad + the crab soup, you'd walk away happy!
We carried on, however, into the Entrée section of the menu. Hubbs got the Cajun blackened redfish, red beans, and rice. It tasted very fresh and healthy. I went the complete opposite direction and ordered the fried chicken (I'm now on a diet thanks to this heavy, indulgent meal!). The fried chicken was crispy and delicious. Though, admittedly, I am not a fried chicken connoisseur. They will allow you to choose any side you want and our waitress recommended the yams topped with bourbon and sorghum. They were delightful - great choice! I had to box up half of my chicken to take home because the portions are generous.
Finally, we ended the evening of indulgence with Hubbs having the apple cobbler and I having the chocolate pudding. The apple cobbler was everything he loves in cobbler -- buttery bread + fresh fruit. My pudding was more like a heavy chocolate mouse than any pudding I'd ever tasted. It was a dollop of full-flavored chocolate -- so rich, but so good.
In sum, Table and Main gets it right. Real, local, fresh food + genuine hospitality. So, the next time that you're in the mood for a splurge and you want to enjoy good food with a loved one or friends, make a reservation to eat at Table and Main on Canton Street and enjoy. They won't let you down.