If Reinvention is Tricky, Table 219 is Reborn, Sort of

Table 219 offers creative comfort food in a hit or miss menu aimed at filling bellies more than sati

Category: Eat + Drink Articles


Table 219
Reinvention is notoriously tricky when it comes to restaurants, so Gary Snyder and Stacey Hettinger faced an uphill battle when they decided to close Capitol Hill’s El Greco, the beloved Mediterranean stalwart they’d owned since 2002, and replace it with Table 219, a loungy date spot with a “creative American” small-plates menu, which debuted in May. The good news is that El Greco’s fans are still crowding into the jewel-toned, slightly industrial dining room for weekend brunch, when the delish El Greco menu—including my favorite, eggs Benedict ladled with an incredible tomato-mushroom sauce ($9)—is still in place (there’s also a new, inventive Bloody Mary menu). But Table 219’s creative comfort-food dinner menu—think French onion mac ’n’ cheese, garlic and bacon deviled eggs—is hit or miss. Some dishes are ill-conceived, especially the duck confit “nachos” ($9), an overwhelmingly rich, tomato-flecked, duck-confit-topped Saint André cheese sauce (served with tortilla chips) that masks the flavor of the duck meat. Other dishes are yummy but overly generous: I wanted to taste my way through the budget-minded menu (nothing’s more than $15), but after being served three irresistible (but full-size) chicken-andouille corn dogs ($8), it was hard to make room. Drinks, though, are spot on: The orange-laced Sauza Hornitos Plata margarita ($8) and the house old fashioned cocktail ($8), made with Basil Hayden bourbon, are priced right and expertly mixed. Brunch Fri.–Sun., dinner Tue.–Sun. Capitol Hill, 219 Broadway Ave. E; 206.328.4604. $

Photo by Victoria Lahti