I really wanted to like Table, A Farmhouse Bistro, and I really do want it to succeed, but it had better get its act together, and fast.
Table is the latest restaurant to occupy the downtown Blue Hill spot made famous eons ago by Firepond; most recently it was Wescott Forge. Table, A Farmhouse Bistro, is owned by Rich Hanson, of Cleonice, in Ellsworth, fame. The man knows how to run a successful restaurant (I love Cleonice, and I liked what he did at the short-lived Rusticator), but it doesn’t show here.
Upon entering we were told we could dine upstairs off a lighter fare menu or downstairs off the full menu, but we couldn’t mix menus. We dithered, wanting choices off each, but settled on the lighter menu and were seated upstairs at a table with a badly wrinkled tablecloth. A bit later, another party seated next to us was allowed to
Our waitress was sweet, but had absolutely no training about the wine list. Okay, the place has only been open about a week, she’s trying; not going to blame her, just the lack of training.
We ordered the macaroni and cheese with side salad ($9), requesting the dressing on the side, and the Ploughman’s Lunch ($12; Maine Buggy Whip cheddar, Sunset Acres brie, a slice of pate, crusty bread, Rayes mustard, and homemade pickles). What we got was a the mac and cheese with a dressed salad and a Ploughman’s Lunch with pickled vegetables. Salad, no big deal, but the homemade pickles were the reason we’d ordered the ploughman’s. We flagged our waitress down and she went off in search of the promised pickles, then returned with more pickled vegetables. Strike two.
Now, we could have forgiven all this had the food wowed us. It didn’t. And a $9 mac and cheese should rich and flavorful, this wasn’t. When a waitress came near again, we asked about the pate, she checked her notes, country, she pronounced. The Sunset Acres cheese was very good, ditto the Raye’s mustard, the rest of the platter? Eh. The bread was more stale than crusty. Not than anyone cared: no one even asked us how our meals were. Strike three.
As I read this over, it sounds extremely harsh. It wasn’t that it was a bad meal, it was just not a great one. The biggest problem was that no one cared. No one asked us how we found the restaurant. No one asked if we were enjoying our meal. No one even said good-by or hope to see you again when we left.
I hope time cures these woes. I hope Table gets its act together. But summer in Maine is short enough; summer in Blue Hill even shorter, and the economy isn’t doing upscale restaurants any favors. Fingers crossed.