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Review: Table Fifty-Two - Good food, bum's rush service

The Table Fifty Two dining room models Southern hospitality, but the service doesn't
Barbara Payne

Good food. We enjoyed almost everything on the chef-week prix fixe menu. The po' boy was good, the fried chicken was very good, and the lettuce-wedge salad drizzled with - a throwback to the 60s - green goddess dressing was light and tasty. The dessert was a delicate and delicious maple-y take on a cream puff. The deviled eggs we ordered as extras were excellent - loved the chunk of pickle on each half. The only exception was the tough chunk of pork I got. After dipping a couple of bites into the three small dabs of not-very-barbeque-y sauces, I was done.

But the service was so brusque it bordered on rude. We kept trying to figure out what was wrong with us that they were pushing us to get out of there so fast. But I checked some other online reviews and saw that many people experienced the same bum's rush.

And when the server came to pick up our main course plates and my friend pointed out that I wasn't happy with the pork, the server said breezily as she carried the plate away, "You should've told me earlier so I could have brought you something else." Hmm. Why did you not show up even once to ask how our food was?

The server never offered us the opportunity to order extra wine beyond the small wine pairings we'd purchased with our dinner. And although my friend and I wanted to linger and continue our conversation over another glass of wine, we knew there'd be nothing relaxing about it in that environment.

So we walked around the corner to the bar at Chicago Q and were able at last to slow down. Based on this experience I'd say, if you're short on time but still want some nice food, check out Table Fifty-Two. But if you want a relaxed evening of fine dining, go somewhere else.

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