The Sound TableJessica | February 27, 2011
Ack! I’m falling behind on posts so that I don’t fall behind on writing my thesis. I appreciate anyone who is bearing with me anyway. But if I’m not updating here regularly, chances are you can find some of my features over on City’s Best – Atlanta, or see a few things that I post exclusively on First Bite’s Facebook page.
So, The Sound Table. I was both excited and a little wary about visiting this new-ish Old Fourth Ward eatery run by the same folks who brought us Top Flr. I was excited because I had heard raves about the place, but wary because 1) Mario and I had had a really dismal meal at Top Flr not a month before (our first–and likely last–visit), and 2) all the raves about The Sound Table were mostly about the drinks and atmosphere, with the food getting what collectively seemed like a “good, but not great” rating. But, I pushed aside my apprehension and decided the Scoutmob coupon we were using would make any meal a little better.
Mario and I arrived and were seated at our table downstairs near the bar. This location got to be a bit awkward as the night wore on, as bar patrons started spilling further and further back from the bar. There is an elevated area with tables downstairs–maybe this should be the only place restaurant patrons are seated, while the rest of the area is left to the bar? Just a thought.
For dinner, Mario decided on the pork chop, which contained many of his favorite ingredients–pork, apple, and sweet potato (to be exact, Eden Farms porkchop, apple cider reduction, and sweet potato puree). I went for a two-fer: the Chinese pork ribs (chargrilled with red chili, soy sauce, and scallions) and sunchoke puree (roasted mushrooms, poached egg, pecorino).
Mario’s pork chop was very juicy and well-seasoned, but he thought there could have been more sweet potato puree on the plate. This is one thing about The Sound Table/Top Flr: everything is a la carte, so entrees don’t come with sides. Therefore, don’t expect the “extras” to be filling, and expect to pay a little more if you want a substantial side. My sunchoke puree was rich and delicious, and was made extra-rich and delicious by the poached egg. Plus, I just love anything that complements roasted mushrooms, so this dish was a win for me. I only wish it was priced and portioned as a side ($4-$6 range) instead of an entree ($9), because the soup alone would not have made for a filling entree. The Chinese ribs were also flavorful and fall-off-the-bone tender. It turns out my eyes were bigger than my stomach that night, so I couldn’t finish the ribs. Rest assured, they do reheat well
Since most of The Sound Table’s raves are actually about the drinks, I also had to try one of their unique cocktails. After talking to our waitress about what I might like (since I really didn’t recognize most of the cocktail ingredients), I settled on the Estate di Romeo under the “Bright and Dry” listing. The drink menu here is cleverly arranged more by flavor profile than, say, ingredients. The cocktail was a bit too much like a cosmo for me (i.e. too sweet) but still good. Overall, the drink menu was really intriguing and made me want to try more.
I enjoyed my meal at The Sound Table, but agree that the food was “good, but not great.” The place is probably more about the drinks and atmosphere, and that’s ok–they do an excellent job with both.