Prior to its demise, I had only gone to The Crushed Grape maybe twice, but I had generally nice feelings towards it. Furthermore, there were some scandalous rumours as to its demise that I found charming. Love, betrayal, trysts... all in a wine bar. Like a tiny, Regina based Melrose Place.
Melodrama aside, was Table 10 the best wine bar I had ever been to? Not by a long shot. Was it a bad wine bar? Nah not really. It was FINE but like most trendy/sophisticated/novel things in Regina it was a bit overpriced. Mediocrity is somewhat forgivable when compared to overpriced mediocrity. However, as noted, it wasn't bad.
There had been some generally favourable rumblings in reference to Table 10 and so last week I suggested it as a possible dinner venue for myself and two companions. It was a Saturday night and we didn't have reservations, but "hey," I thought, "this is Regina!". Much to my surprise, Table 10 was very nearly packed when we first arrived. The crowd ranged from early twenties to early sixties, with a few committed stalwarts drinking and gesticulating at the tiny bar.
We took to the patio with our cocktails to await a table. Unfortunately, the drink menu left a great deal to be desired. This is a common complaint I have with restaurants in Regina in general, however, for a bistro which promotes it's wine list, having a martini menu that doesn't feature a single classic drink on it is unforgivable in my books. While some of the cocktails looked interesting (to say the least) and a few even looked appetizing, the lack of standard, classic beverages was notable. Catering to the lowest common denominator with kool-aid blend, uber sweetened cocktails does not make you a grown-up restaurant. I settled on a gin martini, while my comrades made due with a mojito and a horseradish caesar. The martini was OK, however, the glass - like much of my Table 10 experience - was half empty. Literally. A 7$ gin martini made with Beefeaters should be more than half empty in my books. It should be at least half full. The mojito was mixed with Chambord, which while tasty, made the drink taste more like a Shirley Temple than anything. The caesar however, was excellent.
The food came next, and with it a move indoors. I ordered a glass of pinot grigio, and my companions ordered beer. The server recommended a different wine, and while I was skeptical of her recommendation, it was excellent. The wine list at Table 10 is not extensive nor is it particularly creative. The majority of wines are familiar. As the heir to The Crushed Grape in both location and clientele, if Table 10 is not attempting to position itself as a bistro cum wine bar, then more thought and attention should be given to the restaurant concept and brand.
The food itself was mediocre and was not nearly enough to distract from the evidently unfinished repairs and patchily painted ceiling. Overall, the menu itself is uninspired, and on par with more efficient and industrial locales such as the Freehouse. There is some promise, most evident in the appetizer selection, and the salads also showed flair, both on the menu and in presentation.
|Bistro flair? Not quite yet.|
Overall, Table 10 shows potential as they appear to have captured a niche of individuals desperate for an upscale but low key dinner location, however, poor execution of dishes and identity plague this small bistro. Focusing on ingredients, menu cohesion, and culinary execution could send Table 10 in the right direction. Save the creative cocktails, and standard offerings for the occasional table d'hôte or chef's special. Table 10's positives appears to be their steady brunch crowd and knowledgeable staff.
Dinner and drinks for 3 came to approximately $160 including tax and tip.
Food - 2/5
Wine list - 2.5/5
Service - 4/5
Value - 2/5
In sum? On a Friday night skip Table 10, go to the aforementioned Freehouse, save your money, get better food, worse service, and order the 20$ bottle of prosecco.
Table 10 Restaurant is located at 2118 Robinson St., Regina, Saskatchewan or http://www.table10restaurant.com