Thursday, January 26, 2012

A Review of "Winter Warmer Thursday" at Jamaica Plain's Ten Tables

I love food. As soon as I'm done with one meal, I'm thinking about the next. Although, in all seriousness, I must confess; I actually think about several meals ahead, not just the next one... Sometimes I wonder if the amount of time I spend thinking about food might be a problem... :)

Homemade meals are usually my preference. Creating and cooking in the kitchen is very enjoyable for me, and I love cooking for and eating with loved ones. However, every now and then it's nice to have someone else do the cooking for you, and I'm sure many of you would agree! Once in a while I just really want to go out to eat. Fortunately, on one of those recent occasions when I "craved' going out to eat, Mike and I could just take a 10-minute walk down the street and head to Ten Tables in Jamaica Plain (or "JP" as we residents and locals call it!). Last spring I wrote a blog post about our 3-year anniversary dinner that we had at Ten Tables, so it may sound familiar to you! And for all you locals in and around Boston, I'm going to go ahead and assume you definitely know Ten Tables. In addition to the JP location, there are restaurants in Cambridge and Provincetown.

I believe it was the last Thursday in December that Mike and I went to Ten Tables for their Thursday special "Winter Warmer" night. This consists of their mac n' cheese and a glass of wine for $14. You can rarely get dinner and a drink for $14 anywhere around here! It's definitely a steal. We arrived shortly before 6:00 and were seated quickly on the bar side of the restaurant; the Winter Warmer night is only on the bar side, and the other side is the main restaurant (and yes, it has only ten tables, as you may have guessed!). Our service was prompt and friendly, and we each started with a glass of wine. I had the house white on tap (you read that right - on tap!), which was a local wine from Westport Rivers Vineyard in Westport, MA. I have to apologize because I don't actually remember which specific Westport wine it was. Mike enjoyed a red, Montepulciano d'Abruzzo. Within 15 or 20 minutes of our arrival, the place was full! We had arrived just in time to snag a table before there was a wait.

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As we enjoyed conversation, in the back of my mind I thought our mac n' cheese was taking a little longer than I would expect it to, but I didn't think much of it since Mike and I were chatting, sipping our wine, and enjoying a delicious, soft dinner roll dipped in olive oil (the roll is one of my favorite aspects of eating at Ten Tables!). After a time, our server came over to let us know that they were very sorry that our mac n' cheese was taking longer than usual and that they'd "take care of it" for us. We honestly didn't  think it was taking too long, but we thanked our server and continued to chat. A few more minutes later, a manager (I believe) came to the table, and he also apologized for the longer than usual wait we were having for our food. The manager offered to give us a second glass of wine on the house because of the wait. Mike and I weren't quite ready for a second glass yet, so we thanked him and he went away. At this point we were a little confused about what "deal" we might get due to the contradicting messages; would they comp our mac n' cheese or would we get an extra glass of wine? Either way, it didn't matter to us! Anyway, very shortly thereafter, our mac n' cheese was served, piping hot and each one in its own adorable little cast iron skillet. The portion size was perfect. It was definitely filling, but not too much so, like pasta dishes often can be. We each finished the entire dish, as it was delicious! I can't remember what types of cheese were used in it (sorry!), but it was very tasty. Part way through our meal, the manager returned to offer us that second glass of wine, and we both took him up on the offer. :) I enjoyed a second glass of the same white I began with, and Mike switched over to white for his second glass. I'm not a wine connoisseur by any means (as you may know if you're a regular blog follower, I'm much more of a craft beer gal!!), but I do enjoy most kinds of wine even if I might not be able to critique them like an expert would. This white from Westport was very crisp and refreshing. It was very easy to drink two glasses. :)

Once we finished our meal and the bill came, we were both curious as to what it would say. As it turns out, we were only charged for the mac n' cheese ($12 for each) and our total of four glasses of wine was free. Yummy, comforting mac n' cheese and two glasses of wine for $12 each. Not bad at all, I'd say! The night we went was definitely a cold winter night too, so the "winter warmer" theme was quite appropriate. Ten Tables was the perfect place to be for us on that night! So warm and cozy. If you live in JP or in and around Boston and have not yet been to Ten Tables, you must go. Soon! 

And you know what else you should check out at Ten Tables? If you're not a vegetarian, you should absolutely go to their "Beerger" night on Mondays (also on the bar side like Winter Warmer Thursdays). We've been to Beerger night about 5 or 6 times, I'd say, and it's deeelicious! The deal on Mondays is the signature Ten Tables burger and a beer for $15. And the burger? One of the best burgers around, we think. You can catch a glimpse of this awesome burger on the "bar bites" page of their website.

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Ironically, on one of the nights we enjoyed our burgers, we had another slight mishap in service. When Mike took the first bite of his burger, he bit into plastic! Oops. It turns out that each burger bun is individually wrapped, and the plastic from the bottom of his bun wasn't fully removed. Our server quickly fixed the error by having a new burger freshly made for him, and his meal was comped that night, as was the right thing to do in our minds. 

I don't mean to mention these two errors in a negative light; these things certainly happen from time to time in the food industry! I wanted to mention them though because I think that both times, the ways in which Ten Tables handled the situations were appropriate. And that's another reason why we love Ten Tables. Not only do they have delicious food and a warm, cozy, friendly atmosphere, they also have wonderful customer service. 

Now, after reading this, don't you want to go to Ten Tables? I hope so! I didn't really intend this to be a "review" of Ten Tables, but I suppose it turned out that way. Well, it's a review of their Monday and Thursday night specials anyway. :) Since I've been trying to reduce the amount of cooking and baking I do because of my wrist tendonitis, I thought I'd change it up and share my thoughts on a recent dining experience. As a JP resident who loves eating and drinking locally, I wanted to give this top-notch restaurant a positive nod. If you love a good deal like we do, I'd highly recommend the Beerger night on Mondays or Winter Warmer night on Thursdays. You won't be disappointed! And if you're thinking about having a more elaborate meal, definitely look into eating on the restaurant side (the side with the signature ten tables). You can review my blog post from last April about our great experience sitting at the chef's table. We've only eaten on the bar side since that meal, but perhaps it's time for us to return for a special occasion dinner there!

I'm sorry I don't have any pictures for you in this post! When we went to Ten Tables that night, I wasn't planning on writing a blog post about our experience, so I didn't take any pictures. But you can rest assured that the mac n' cheese both looked and tasted great. :)

Happy almost weekend, friends!


  1. Sounds like a great place, I hope we get to check it out whenever we get around to returning to boston :)

  2. so glad you had such a good experience and it seems the staff there make it even better!

  3. I think we clearly need to go back several more times until they "get it right." Love Ten Tables!!

  4. I think about food constantly all the time if you ask're quite normal. :P

    Ten Tables sounds AWESOME! Definitely a place I need to check out the next time I'm visiting Boston!

  5. Wow, great surprise! I really want to go to Ten Tables over the next few months (it's on my 30 by 30 list :) )

  6. Heh, I meant to say great service (not surprise)