TABLE is now open with its family-style dining twist brought to Boston’s North End by local celebrity chef, Jennifer Royle. With 32 seats, guests arrive at scheduled time and find a place at the long, wooden tables in a completely renovated space at 445 Hanover Street.
The feast begins with appetizers such as gourmet flatbreads or grilled octopus and entrees that run the gambit from eggplant terrine to panzetta. And, of course, leave room for desserts such as riccotta zeppole and apple cinnamon fried dough.
“The group atmosphere provides an element of camaraderie, even among strangers,” said guests at the opening Sunday brunch. Frittatas and breakfast flatbreads led to plates of chicken & waffles with cinnamon butter on top.
Table is currently operating without a liquor license, a testament to the demand for Chef Royle’s home-style cooking. Still, she is hoping to add wine and beer when a license becomes available.
“Brunch has been a surprise hit,” says Chef Royle. Right now, we’re packing the house at an 11:00 am sitting for brunch on both Saturdays and Sundays.
For dinner, Table continues to expand the sitting times and offerings. Through the winter, there is an 8:15pm seating on Thursdays and Fridays, plus Saturdays at 6:00pm and 8:15pm.
Royle made her name in catering through her company, Dare to Taste. With the new space, she still intends to use the space for private parties such as rehearsal dinners, corporate events, bridal and baby showers and birthday celebrations. At one point, that was the primary plan for Table. Then came the requirements and cost to install a commercial kitchen, venting and bathroom facilities. At that point, Royle felt the need to introduce public restaurant seatings as well.
A longtime North Ender, you may recall seeing Jen on ABC’s ”The Taste” TV show where she brought her exuberant personality to the finals. Before that, she was a sports reporter for over a decade until she pursued her cooking passion.
Living in the North End with her bulldog, Truman, Royle is also the author of the cookbook “Bullied Into Cooking,” a charitable book that raised funds for an anti-bullying campaign for the Boston Public School System, and then “Dare To Taste” after that her second publication.