Table 52 Chicago Bites Podcast #85

A deviled egg topped with okra awakens the taste buds for southern comforts.

My lamb was good, but not spectacular.

Ever since Oprah mentioned Art Smith’s Table 52 on her show, getting a reservation there has been next to impossible. So Tammy and I were thrilled when we landed one. It’s understandable that Oprah would give her personal chef a shout out, but is this new restaurant riding on hype alone, or is there really something special about Smith’s comfort food? We dove into the menu with relish to find out!

Download Chicago Bites (6.8 M)

Show Notes:
00:01 – 02:35 Hot reservation & Albert’s ghost
02:36 – 04:13 Revamped with mixed results
04:14 – 05:01 Southern comfort with a twist
05:02 – 07:53 Appetizers & sides – the mac & cheese question
07:54 – 10:20 Thoughts on lamb and salmon
10:21 – 11:58 Twelve layers of heaven
11:59 – 12:41 Thoughts on wine
12:42 – 14:47 Ratings & sign-off

Table 52
52 W Elm
Chicago, IL

Bridget rates Table 52 7/10
Tammy rates Table 52 6/10

A deviled egg topped with okra awakens the taste buds for southern comforts.

A deviled egg topped with okra awakens the taste buds for southern comforts.

  1. Leigh Hanlon left a comment on November 26, 2007 at 11:28 pm

    What a disappointment to learn of Table 52 and its apparently delusional definition of “accessibility.”
    Forcing customers in wheelchairs to go around the side entrance and then not provide a ramp stinks. If Oprah used a wheelchair, would she have plugged this place?
    Next time I see Oprah, remind me to ask her if she’d endorse a restaurant with a “colored” entrance.

  2. Bridget left a comment on November 29, 2007 at 10:42 pm

    Thanks for the comment, Leigh. I personally don’t mind the side entrance or the step, but it would certainly be tough for someone with an electric wheelchair. A ramp would be a nice addition.

  3. Leigh Hanlon left a comment on November 29, 2007 at 11:13 pm

    I’ll admit that maybe I’m overly sensitive to this issue, as my late mother often encountered these obstacles when in her wheelchair.
    Once, an establishment’s declaration of being “accessible” meant that they’d have two busboys manhandle you and your wheelchair up a couple of steps, through the back door, through the kitchen and then into the dining area.
    At least this place had accessible restrooms, right? Maybe they have a portable ramp to accommodate electric wheelchairs, like the ones the CTA uses?

  4. Angie left a comment on November 30, 2007 at 12:53 pm

    I’m not southern or an expert on southern food by any means, but I think that shrimp and grits is a traditional combination. I would guess the cajun spices are their own addition to the traditional dish though.

  5. Bridget left a comment on November 30, 2007 at 1:01 pm

    I completely understand, Leigh. I’m constantly amazed at people’s lack of logic in their definition of accessibility. What good is an accessible restroom if you can’t get to it?
    In my mind, it’s okay to have busboys carry me up or down the stairs if and only if I know about it in advance and can judge the situation myself.
    Some restaurants do this very well. Moto and Otom, for example, explain that they lay a ramp over the stairs for wheelchair access.
    What I find it interesting about Table 52 is that they claimed 100 percent accessibility when in reality there was a step and lifting involved. I even asked about the step because I’d been in the building when it was Albert’s and was told that it was “taken care of.”

  6. cristina left a comment on March 5, 2008 at 5:52 pm

    are you serious??? a “colored” entrance??? so if it was someone gay, say ellen who was talking about it and *gasp* she forgot to mention that there wasnt a handicap entrance, would she require a “gay” entrance???
    i guess you need to use the “stupid racist” entrance……

  7. Chicago Porta Potty left a comment on January 30, 2009 at 3:56 pm

    I’ve had the deviled eggs and okra… delectable. Thanks for the reminisce.

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