At The Table Has Closed, But a Reinvention Is In The Works

Photo courtesy of At The Table

At The Table BYOB in Wayne has closed after less than a year in business.

According to chef Alex Hardy, this past Sunday’s service was the last for the current incarnation of the restaurant — but he and his wife Tara Buzan are already planning a comeback.

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Chaos Theory: At The Table Reviewed

Photography by Stuart Goldenberg

Photography by Stuart Goldenberg

We forget sometimes that every night at a restaurant is the worst night ever.

Not for us, the diners. Not most of the time, anyway. But for the cooks, the chef, the servers, every night is a constantly evolving disaster. Every day starts out perfect—tabula rasa, a clean slate. The tables are all laid. The book is full, with reservations from open to close. In the kitchen, the mise en place is set. The cooks have backups waiting in the cooler, and then backups for their backups.

But when the doors open, everything becomes triage. Table full of vegans, a dropped steak, oven won’t heat past 250 degrees, the sous-chef sneezed in the soup—every minute, it’s something. A chef’s primary job during service is containment—managing the chaos, mitigating the hundred things that can (and will) go wrong and making goddamned sure that no one in the dining room suspects a thing. Dressing up a catastrophe to look like the best night ever.

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At The Table Launches A “Sunday Supper” Tasting Menu

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At The Table, a small, 24-seat BYOB in Wayne that opened only a month ago, has introduced a new Sunday Supper service. The prix fixe menu is four courses that will change each week based on which ingredients are fresh and in season.

The regular menu (two prix fixe options, 5 courses for $65 or 8 courses for $95, plus an a la carte option) is impressive. December’s board lists everything from Kumamoto oysters with cucumber foam, yuzu and apple to a black kingfish presentation with lemon beurre blanc and shaved white truffles (for an extra $22). It seems to be hitting that sweet spot between modernism and classicism that’s pretty tough to get right, and the Sunday Supper appears to be mostly its own thing, with only a couple of dishes repeating from the regular menu–which is impressive

Here’s a sample menu:

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Really, Really Fine Dining In Wayne, PA

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What do Ian Moroney of Pumpkin, Andrew Deery of Majolica, Ralph Fernandez of Autograph and Peter Gilmore of Gilmore’s all have in common? His name is Alex Hardy, and he’s the executive chef of a new restaurant called At the Table. On November 16th, he and his wife Tara Buzan opened this 20-seat restaurant in the heart of Wayne, PA.

“We wanted to bring really, really fine dining to the area,” said Alex.

Before Alex was an executive chef, before he worked with some of the best chefs in the country, before he attended Johnson and Wales University, where he received a Bachelor of Science in Culinary Arts, he worked as a dishwasher. “In going through the process of my career it’s very important to know–to some degree–all the elements of a restaurant,” he said. “You have to know how things go together–the flavors, the balance, the presentation.”

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New BYOB to Open in Wayne

IMG_3821Despite good reviews, Wayne’s tiny crepe spot, Creperie Bechamel just closed itss doors this past Sunday. But the creperie is making way for something a little more upscale and refined.

Tara Buzan, owner of To the Table Catering just bought the restaurant and is planning to open BYOB in the space this fall. Buzan previously owned A Taste of Britain, but has been working as a private chef and caterer for the last 5 years. But she’s ready to get back into the restaurant business.

“The timing just seemed right. I sold my previous restaurant when my son was one,” said. “Now he’s six and I guess I just have the itch.”

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