Dinnertable: Flip for Food

Crispy Uni Paella Ball at Dinnertable in New York City
Hello! Welcome back to Ngo Your Meal. Today, we're going to talk about an under-the-radar, Japanese-inspired restaurant called Dinnertable. You're in for a treat. If you're looking to impress your friends or a date, take them here. I've been wanting to go for 2 years and I finally went this past summer (2017). After my visit, I wish I had come sooner so I'm sharing it with you so you can go immediately!

I always recommend making reservations in advance to secure a table. However, Dinnertable does leave a good number of their tables open for walk-in. As a back-up plan, you can always just have a drink at the bar...

Entrance to Dinnertable in New York CityEntrance to Dinnertable in New York City

First of all, I think Dinnertable gets its "cool" factor from the way it's hidden away within the back of the Garrett East bar. Think of it as a reverse-Speakeasy. If you look at the pictures above, it looks like there's a bathroom behind those noren doorway curtains.

However, behind the curtains, there seems to be a miscellaneous, unnamed door with nothing but a dimmed spotlight illuminating what seems to be...

Doorbell at Dinnertable in New York City
... a doorbell?! Or, in this case, a door-flip. It says "FLIP FOR FOOD". Honestly, everyone needs a switch like this in their lives. If you flip the switch, someone will come to the door to help you get seated. 

When you get inside, you'll notice it's a small restaurant. There are only about 20 seats in this space. There are a few bar seats that overlook the open kitchen. I've never sat at the counter but it looks like a lot of fun. 

Dinnertable Dog with House Pickles at Dinnertable in New York CityThe options on the menu are meant to be shared family-style. All the dishes are a bit small so it's recommended to order a couple of dishes per person. When I came here with a party of 4, we ordered 9 dishes and 2 desserts. 

First, let's talk about the Dinnertable Dog (see above). This house-miso sausage was placed in a potato bun then topped with wasabi pea salt, two types of sauce, and a side of market pickles. If I remember correctly, the sauces reminded me of the two sauces used for an Okonomiyaki (Japanese savory pancake). These two sauces usually consist of a Japanese Mayo and an Okonomiyaki sauce that is typically made with ketchup, Worcestershire, sugar, and soy sauce. 

The Dinnertable Dog was pretty good but I wasn't blown away. I think this dish is better shared between two people. Would i order it again? Probably. I could imagine my drunk self enjoying this dish very much. 

Crispy Uni Paella Ball at Dinnertable in New York City

Next, we got two orders of the Crispy Uni Paella Ball. Each order only comes with one ball. When we went, it was made with two types of uni (sea urchin). On the inside, it had uni from Maine. It was topped with uni from Chile. 

The Maine uni was rich and creamy. The Chilean uni was a bit metallic in flavor. I'm not sure why but I didn't like that. The paella ball itself was nice and crispy. It sat in a small pool of what seemed to be a smoky tomato cream sauce. I would order this again and again! My friend Tiff said that they switch out the uni they use (perhaps depending on the season). 

Braised Short Rib at Dinnertable in New York City

Next, we had the Braised Short Rib. This was one of my favorites but my only regret was that I was too full by the time we got to this dish. The beef was so tender. It took little to no effort to tear this one apart. The meat was juicy and not dry at all.

The meat sat on a bed of Sweet Potato and Orange Purée. It was brushed with a generous amount of Dill Chimichurri. We were told that the Chimichurri was made with Wasabi but we couldn't really taste it. Regardless, I recommend ordering this!!!

Scallop Ceviche Tostada at Dinnertable in New York City
We also got the Scallop Ceviche Tostada. I wasn't in love with this one unfortunately. I thought it was kind of boring. On the menu, it sounded way better than it tasted. The scallops were accompanied by caviar, yuzu kosho, miso, and a bean purée.

I couldn't really taste the yuzu kosho or the miso. That being said, the scallops felt a little bit lame especially since the most apparent taste was the bean purée. Sorry! I wouldn't recommend this one. 

Smoked Mackerel Pâté at Dinnertable in New York City

For our next dish, we got the Smoked Mackerel Pâté (see above). OK, this one was pretty damn good. It doesn't look like much but it was packed with loads of umami flavor. The smokiness was really profound in this dish, which I can respect. A lot of the time, when something is "smoked", I don't really taste the difference. And, usually, I'm trying really hard to identify what part of that dish is "smoked" but sometimes it just doesn't come through. 

On the side, it came with some trout roe and sliced radishes. I think that I might have enjoyed it a bit better if the bread was replaced by some crispy crostini. But, I'd still order it again. 

Greens, Eggs, Duck at Dinnertable in New York City
The dish that you see above is called Greens, Eggs, Duck. You may be surprised to hear that this one has Asparagus, a Poached Egg, and Duck Confit. This one makes for a great appetizer because it's light, tasty, and kind of refreshing.

Duck confit is a French dish made with the leg of a duck. It is the specialty dish in Gascony, France. To prepare this dish, the duck leg is rubbed with herbs, salt, and garlic, covered and refrigerated for a day or more. By doing this, all the great flavors are absorbed into the duck. Interesting quote from Food Republic, "Harmful bacteria can't thrive in dense fat, so historically, confit didn't have to be chilled to stay fresh. That said, please refrigerate your duck confit because we no longer live in medieval France".

Then, the duck leg is washed, dried, and slow-cooked in it's own melted fat anywhere from 4 to 10 hours. It sounds fancy, but it's actually relatively easy to prepare. Cooking time is about 4 hours while preparation time is a day. This method does wonders to the duck leg, as the meat just slides off the bone. Anyone who wants to bribe me, I will take bribes in the form of duck confit.

Bluefin Tuna Zuke at Dinnertable in New York City
Above, you'll notice that we got the Bluefin Tuna Zuke. The tuna is made with the akami part of the fish. This part is the leanest meat of the fish and has a firm texture and minimal fat. At Dinnertable, they pickled the tuna and dressed it with Avocado, Yuzu, and Crispy Quinoa.

Again, this one is a great appetizer. It's tasty and light. I'd recommend this with any of their in-house cocktails or the sake options that they have available. 

Popcorn Ribs at Dinnertable in New York City

For the last entree I want to talk about, I wanted to show what the Popcorn Ribs look like. This is a larger dish. The ribs are glazed with a soy caramel and topped with crispy garlic popcorn. On the side, you'll notice that there is a cabbage tsukemono (pickled cabbage). 

This dish was alright. I don't think it's a must-order but I still enjoyed eating it. It looks quite messy though so if you don't want to get your hands dirty, I wouldn't recommend this dish. I can also see how some people might think the ribs are a bit salty. 

Smores Mochi at Dinnertable in New York City

It's dessert time!!! First, let's talk about the Smores Mochi. Okay... this one was pretty sad. I'm not lovin' it. This killed my vibe. First of all, it was really hard to eat because it was literally hard. The ice cream inside the mochi was as hard as a rock. You couldn't really bite into it. 

I'd say this was the low point of the night. Don't get this one. 

Matcha Sundae at Dinnertable in New York City

You should, however, order the Matcha Sundae. It's an enormous dessert capable of fulfilling anyone's sweet tooth cravings. At the base, you'll find a decent serving of Matcha Ice Cream. It's drizzled with a Miso Caramel Sauce, which had a good balance of both sweet and savory flavors. Finally, it was topped with some Fudge and a Homemade Kit Kat. 

It was VERY sweet. I don't know if everyone would enjoy it but I sure did. I'd recommend getting this one to share!

Steph at Dinnertable in New York City

To conclude, despite a few misses, I'd definitely go back to Dinnertable. I like the vibe and they're making a lot of creative dishes. 

Anyway, thanks for reading! Hope that helped. And, remember, if you don't make any reservations, feel free to just hangout at the bar until your seat is available. That's what we did! 

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206 Ave A
New York, NY 10009
East Village, Alphabet City
Crispy Uni Paella Ball - Uni, Risotto, Smoked Tomato Creme
Greens, Eggs, Duck - Asparagus, Poached Egg, Duck Confit
Bluefin Tuna Zuke - Pickled Tuna, Avocado, Yuzu, Crispy Quinoa 
Dinnertable Dog with House Pickles - House Miso Sausage, Potato Bun, Wasabi Pea Salt, Sauces, and Market Pickles 
Braised Short Rib - Sweet Potato and Orange Purée, Dill Chimichurri
Matcha Sundae - Matcha Ice Cream, Miso Caramel Sauce, Fudge, Homemade Kit Kat
Smoked Mackerel Pâté - Radish, Trout Roe

Miscellaneous Pictures of Attractive People:
Dining Area at Dinnertable in New York City
Doorbell at Dinnertable in New York City

Menus at Dinnertable in New York City

Octopus Poke at Dinnertable in New York City

Dinnertable Dog with House Pickles at Dinnertable in New York CityGreens, Eggs, Duck at Dinnertable in New York City

Popcorn Ribs at Dinnertable in New York CityScallop Ceviche Tostada at Dinnertable in New York City

Smoked Mackerel Pâté at Dinnertable in New York CityMatcha Sundae at Dinnertable in New York City


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