Sunday, January 13, 2013

The Table

Midland, Michigan is home to the corporate headquarters of Dow Chemical Company.  One of the largest chemical companies in the world.  With Dow being the biggest employer and Midland being a fairly small town, the importance of chemistry can be seen in many places.  As an example, the hotel in downtown Midland is named the H (as in Hydrogen).  At the H, there is a restaurant called Cafe Zinc, a cocktail lounge called Bar Oxygen, and the fine dining restaurant, The Table.  As I was in Midland recently, I decided to visit The Table and try it out.  The dining room has a.very open floor plan with parquet floors and chandelier lighting.  The walls used a frame design that reminded me of an old French mansion.  There were also free floating dividers on each side of the room.  We were seated in the center of the room on a table with white tablecloths.  Our waiter was excellent.  He gave us a few minutes after we were settled before coming for drink orders and telling us the dinner specials.  He returned for our orders when he brought our drinks and was very good at answering questions.  While we were waiting for our appetizers, we were brought an antipasto plate which contained several items that were very fresh and flavorful.  The plate included prosciutto, asparagus, mozzarella, and coppa and it was all very good.  For my appetizer, I got a Foie Gras Brulee.  It was served with toasted baguette slices and fresh strawberries.  I like foie gras but I had never thought of having it bruleed.  To brulee something is to roast it with a flame on top, largely with a flame thrower, to caramelize and crystalize the top.  The crust on top was light.  There isn't nearly as much sugar in foie gras as there is in the custard that is used to make creme brulee but it was caramelized and slightly scorched.  It was creamy, rich, sweet, and doesn't nearly have the irony taste that can be found in beef liver.  In short, it was very good.

For my entree, I went with the Branzino, or European Seabass.  It was served with Jamon Iberico, Figs, Mushrooms, and Sweet Potato Puree.  The fish looked to be pan fried and was very tender.  The fish had a light flavor.  It was slightly sweet and not at all fishy.  It had been boned although I did find a few pin bones while I was eating it.  All of the sides/garnishes that were served with the fish were sweet and went well with the fish although I don't know if I would say that they went well together (especially the figs and the mushrooms).  While there were a few things that could have been better about this dish, overall it was very good.

For my dessert, I had an item whose name escapes me.  I will say though that it was very good.  Part of the name was Canela which means cinnamon.  They were mini pound cakes (with cinnamon) sitting in a chocolate sauce, topped with powdered sugar and served with a homemade whipped cream on the side.

I did enjoy my dinner here.  The space was beautiful, the service was excellent and the food was mostly excellent.  I will say however, that while it was good, it was also very expensive, and while I am glad to have gone there, I am not sure that the value received was completely worth the price.


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