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Table 16 - On a Mission to Save Fine Dining in Greensboro

by Liv | Published on July 15th, 2009, 11:30 am | Food

So I get an call (actually it was an email) about a week ago from Dr. Scott Brewster who says he's gathering "the best, of the best, of the best". Immediately my mind races, and I zone out because maybe the government requires someone like me to fly an f-22 in a zero g maneuver, land it on an asteroid and save the world from aliens. "No." He advises me that he was assembling the best minds in the fields of tweeting, blogging and marketing to take part in Greensboro's first tastecasting. This is where Liv is thinking "Dum Dum Want Gum Gum", but replies "Sorry, I don't follow... what does this have to do with Ben Affleck?" Then he explains "Free Food." I'm like, "Sure, I don't know you, never met you, and you want to take me out dinner with 9 of your closest friends and buy dinner.... SUUUUUURRRREEE!!!!" What could have been a bad excuse for pick-up line turned out to be a legit opportunity as I would later discover. Tastecasting is a phenomenon sweeping the nation where technical minded individuals within various social media platforms visit local restaurants and help that business market themselves for free in return for a free dinner. Sort of a win-win situation so to speak. So while I might not have been saving the earth from asteroids, we got to help a local business and save Greensboro's impotence in it's technical know how.


So the day arrived and we pulled up to Table 16 at it's Elm Street location in the fine-dining district. Parked the car, and walked into the small upstairs wine bar via the side entrance to wait for the rest of the team. We were a little nervous, but it quickly dissipated as we met, shook hands, hugged and introduced ourselves. The team was a collective of various people from ex-journalist turned blogger, marketing directors, entrepreneurs, graphic designers, Multimedia Designers, PR Experts, Business People and me the professional blogger. We were met by the staff of Table 16 and immediately shown our table (which I can only guess was table 16?) for our evening of food and wine.


It's hard to describe my first impressions of this place. If I were judging this place on its looks or its daytime facade then you might call it contemporary kitsch. It's a nice corner location, with hard to notice street-front which I've driven by a thousand times and never knew it was there. The insides seem to hark from an 80's prom dress with it's track lighting and ceiling fans. Don't worry though, none of this really matters. In fact most people don't notice stuff like that. I do. Even if you do, it's important to remember that all of this indirect ambiance is merely a clean plate for the real eye-catcher: the food. Perhaps that's what they had in mind at Table 16? Rather than detract from the star of the show they chose the real artistry to be the food they serve. There's also something quite magical that happens here once the sun sets. The candles are lit, and the large front windows are a journey into Greensboro's unique nightlife. The building is but a conveyance on the journey to your food.


We were treated well, an 8 course meal of various meats, cheeses, fruits, and pairings of wine. The multi-ethnic cuisine ranged from modern to old world, from Pan-seared halibut, tasso ham, pernod, and truffles to tuna tartare with wasabi puree. I could go through each one, but words can't do it justice, you're going to have to just stop reading right now, get in the car and get over to Table 16. The food is unique, pleasing, and explodes on the tongue. The dishes we were served were well thought out and you could tell a great deal of diligence went into creating the meal and drink. Now I'm not a Chef or a fine diner, I'm a foodie, and a cook... but to me it wasn't the food, nor the compilations of the dishes, nor even the presentation in my opinion that would make me want to come back to Table 16, it was the sauces. That's what made the dishes special. We could call it 'jus' or 'laise', but lets be frank here... Some of these dishes had the most out-of-this-world- gooey, sweet, nutty, winey, sauces dribbled over some of the finest cuts of meat, fish, and various other forms animal I've ever tasted in the world. I could literally hear the neurons in my brain fire like pop-rocks in soda as my palette came into contact with Table 16's various "sweet marmalades" You might find hundreds of restaurants like Table 16, and menus with similar courses, but I highly doubt anyone would ever come close to producing such rich tasting dishes with a little drizzle of their special sauce. As they say "The secrets in the sauce."


I could never tell you what all the dishes are we had, or what wine wine went with which, in fact it's probably important that I don't because part of the attraction of a restaurant like this is you're paying the staff and their expertise to cook for you based on your likes and your dislikes. That's what they do. In fact outside of the food, it's really the reason you want to dine here. It's the story. Each one is different, and they tell it by cooking it for you. It's like an old Hollywood movie scene where the owner of some New York restaurant goes table to table telling his old war stories from before he owned a restaurant. At Table 16 You actually have an interaction with the staff. They all smile, and are genuinely happy to be doing what they're doing. This is their dream, and like actors they want to perform for an audience. They're pleased to tell you about their story, or why the Chef Graham Heaton prepared this particular dish. They even get to know you. Show up at Table 16, and the staff greets you at the table taking your likes and dislikes, and if you allow them so, they'll size you up and make the perfect matching dish, to go with your fairy tale evening. It may sound cliche' but your dinner, amazingly, always ends deliciously ever after.


So in the end we had a wonderful evening of wine and food, and the story ends with Table 16 saving Greensboro's fine-dining culture with their wonderful foods, and their psychic mind-reading, story telling staff who might, if you show up on Elm street cook for you the next time you want the food adventure of a life-time.


Does "fine dining" always require you to have a map to find the food on your plate? :confusion-confused:
July 15th, 2009, 11:55 am
User avatar
Location: 5th circle of hell -- actually not very crowded at the moment.
WOW that looks FANTASTIC! Ive been wondering where the really nice restaurants were in the area.
"You can't put the civil rights of a minority up for a majority vote."
July 15th, 2009, 12:26 pm
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Expert...on everything...
Sanjuro wrote:WOW that looks FANTASTIC! Ive been wondering where the really nice restaurants were in the area.

And now that you've moved away from the area, you finally find out. :twisted:
July 15th, 2009, 12:31 pm
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Location: 5th circle of hell -- actually not very crowded at the moment.
I totally agree that Table 16 is a fantastic place to eat--one of the best kept secrets in Greensboro, NC. Also, I definitely recommend having the chef's selections rather than ordering off the menu when dining there. And, you can't go wrong with the recommended wine pairings... :D
July 15th, 2009, 1:50 pm
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Location: Greensboro, NC
Yeah, still feeling the wine....

July 15th, 2009, 5:37 pm
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I show you something fantastic and you find fault.
Location: Greensboro, NC
Yes, the sauces are excellent and I like that the chef uses so many fresh, local ingredients.
July 16th, 2009, 12:44 pm
I absolutely agree! The wine pairings with the Chef's selection was unbelievable! I never knew chefs in Greensboring could get so creative! Only @ Table 16.
July 18th, 2009, 2:58 pm
Ryan Robbins

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