Sep 092010
 

Ceres’ Table has moved to 3124 N. Broadway. This is a review of the Uptown location, now closed.

Mushroom Salad

Mushroom salad split for two.

Ceres’ Table came to me highly recommended. Located in Andersonville, this neighborhood spot serves a seasonal menu of culinary delights, and no doubt has a dedicated fan base.

“This is the best corn chowder I’ve ever had!” an elderly woman who was dining with her husband at the table next to mine announced to the waitress.

Goat Cheese Ravioli

Goat cheese ravioli.

I’d gotten to there a tad early, and all of the other darkly stained tables were empty — obviously this was the tail-end of the early bird dining set.  I eyed the woman skeptically because I’ve heard more blanket statements like hers about food than I’d care to count, and they’re rarely true.  Was this corn chowder really “the best?” But as I sat there, sipping wine and waiting for my friend Susan to arrive, I was impressed to hear the woman expound upon her opinion, identifying ingredients in the dish and discussing things like mouth feel and preparation in detail with the waitress.  It turns out, she was a serious foodie and knew exactly why the chowder tasted good to her. Her statement wasn’t blanket at all; it was merely an initial expression of enthusiasm for a combination that sang to her regardless of how anyone else might evaluate it.

Cod

Cod.

That one overheard interaction sums up my experience at Ceres’ Table too. That’s because the combination of fresh seasonal ingredients, an excellent marriage of flavors, and attention to detail in presentation and preparation makes the food something to sing about. Personal taste aside, you’re getting quality, well-prepared food, and that shined through in every course.

We started our meal with the artichoke and mushroom salad served with fresh Parmesan and arugula in light lemon vinaigrette.  The texture and tastes complemented each other perfectly, creating a light and tasty dish for any mushroom lover.

For our main dishes we had the cod and the goat cheese ravioli and both were stand out.  The cod was served with black olive, white anchovies, panzanella salad, tomato sauce, and basil, and here again the flavors worked incredibly well together. The fish was also perfectly cooked.  The ravioli was served with rock shrimp, tomato, fava beans and basil mixed in, and the sauce was surprisingly light.

Peach napoleon

Peach napoleon.

Dessert didn’t disappoint either. We settled on the roasted peach napoleon with brown butter custard. Truly, I’m attempting not to gush, but this dessert leaves me at a loss for words.  Made with fresh peaches, and a light flaky crust, it puts every peach pie I’ve ever had to shame.

Ceres’ Table is my favorite neighborhood find of the summer, and I don’t say that lightly.  I enjoyed the meal, the service, and the atmosphere from beginning to end (not to mention the good company), and with entrees priced from $17 to $21,  I absolutely got my money’s worth.  I also liked that we weren’t rushed out of the restaurant.  It was buzzing by the time we left, but we were still allowed to linger. It was one of the best all-around dining experiences I’ve had in awhile.

Ceres’ Table
4882 North Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60640-4711
(773) 878-4882
Get directions

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