Monday, June 18, 2012

The Table by Bellingham Pasta Company: Ravioli Poetry

So it was a Thursday night and Ashley and I were wondering where to go eat. We wanted pasta but didn't want anything as heavy as D'Anna's or to drive all the way to Fairhaven to Mambo Italiano. We wanted something central to downtown, easy, light, not too expensive but with beautifully prepared food. Nothing immediately came to mind and just as we were giving in to the idea of getting a pizza at Rudy's, Ashley suggested The Table.

It is amazing that neither of us had ever been to The Table. Only a block away from The Black Drop and Modsock, I had walked by it many times. My perception was that it was too nice for lunch and yet always forgot about it as a dinner option. No longer. 

When we walked in the place was bustling with customers, not entirely full but with a sense that something was going on. Everyone seemed very happy and smiling. Our server, Anna (who also is one of the founders of the Bellingham Pasta Company, of which The Table is part), asked us if we had ever been in on a Thursday before. Of course, we hadn't. She told us it was Ravioli Night. Every Thursday from 5 to 9 pm, you can choose from several types or ravioli and also choose from a variety of sauces.

It sounded perfect for what we wanted. We ordered a glass of a nice Cabernet, a small Caesar Salad and a Carrot Ginger Dill Soup to start. The soup was well structured with a rich creamy texture and just a light touch of ginger. Ashley thought it was simple and beautiful, one of the best she had ever had. It made her very very happy. The Caesar had well proportioned pieces of chopped Romaine at the ideal coolness to still be refreshing and crisp, but not so cold as to remove the flavor. Lightly covered with an exceptional house-made dressing, accented with an abundance of grated pecoino romano and croutons.

We ordered two small plates of ravioli: the Sock-Eye Salmon with shrimp in a pink vodka tomato cream sauce and the Italian Sausage with a Gorgonzola Cheese sauce. Both came with a fresh slice of delicious Focaccia  bread. First taste of the ravioli and we knew we had found something special. The pasta was prepared as good as I have ever experienced: delicate and light but with balanced structure, holding the perfect amount of stuffing. The sauces were also supreme. In particular the pink vodka tomato was nuanced and subtle with its balance of flavors. Combined with the gentle smokiness of the salmon, it was like eating a poem. Beautiful. 

The service was attentive and friendly, informative but not overbearing. We had arrived close to nine but never felt rushed in any way. Everything came out from the kitchen at just the right time, indicative of a well run kitchen. 

It is worth noting from the website: 

It has been our mission from the start to be known both for our consistently exceptional food and our commitment to supporting the local economy. The local abundance of wineries, breweries, organic farms, wild seafood, and ethically raised meats has made our choice to source locally obvious and enjoyable. We feel it is essential to make subtle changes to our menu every few months to highlight seasonal food while always focusing on what we do best...fresh pasta!
We will most definitely be back for the Thursday Ravioli night, but also to try everything else on the menu.

The Table by Bellingham Pasta Company
100 North Commercial Street
Bellingham, WA 98225

All photographs by Ashley Berger and Scot Casey

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