Table 28 recently celebrated its second birthday…and in reality, not much has changed. It still resides in the basement level of The Burgundy Hotel (formerly Best Western) in west Little Rock, which itself is somewhat “off the beaten path” … making it a bit difficult to find for first-timers. Its kitchen is still helmed by Chef Scott Rains, a seriously talented man churning out inventive and carefully planned food on a nightly basis. In essence, Table 28 is what it has always been…underrated. But after two years, dining here is just as enjoyable as it was at first opening. Incredibly friendly staff, quiet and comfortable, and the perfect somewhere between fine dining and casual eating. Chef Rains is more comfortable in his kitchen now, but he’s no less passionate…and his food deserves more attention than it probably receives.
With the onset of fall, Table 28 is releasing its new seasonal menu today. I was fortunate enough to sample a few of the new items off this menu, and there’s definitely some things to get excited about here. If you haven’t been out to Table 28 in a while, now would be a good time to get in and eat.
As always, one of the most delightful ways to dine at Table 28 is by selecting a number of their “Small Plates” to share. It’s the perfect way to sample several of Rains’ inventive dishes for a reasonable price. You’ll want to start with the new “Pumpkin Soup”…a creamy, but not too rich, golden brown concoction with a dollop of creme fraiche and crunchy/sweet candied pepitas. You won’t regret ordering this, I promise. And while it’s not new for fall, if you’ve haven’t yet sampled the mac & cheese with poblano peppers and crispy chicken skin…you might want to get on that.
Form the “Greens” section, a couple new salads have found their way to the table. We sampled their wonderful “Caesar Kale” with manchego cheese, soft egg, and some very tasty housemade warm bacon croutons. The “Greens Autumn” salad with pear, bleu cheese, and walnut is a more traditional option but still worth your stomach space.
You might not immediately equate Table 28 with “po’ boys” but there’s an addition to this menu you won’t want to miss. Their shrimp po’ boy is stuffed with succulent, battered and fried gulf shrimp, topped with kale salad, pickled peppers, and creamy spiced mayo. Again, maybe not what you’d expect to be eating at a restaurant of this caliber, but fall also brings with it a nice burger addition…the “Two Hands” Burger comes with cheddar, bib lettuce, crispy fried onion strings, and smoked thousand island dressing. Finally, a butternut squash and potato gratin rounds out the new fall savory items.
Lastly, they’ve tweaked one of their popular desserts just a bit for the new season. Their classic sticky toffee pudding is now flavored with pumpkin and served alongside housemade ice cream and crunchy pumpkin seed brittle. I loved their original version…but this may be my favorite dessert Rains has ever produced.
Get on over to Table 28 and see what the season brings. There’s a number of good reasons to believe you’ll “fall” in love with Chef Rains food all over again.
(Check out the full menu below, with the new fall items highlighted)