Situated on the corner of Locust Street and Lakeshore Road in downtown Burlington, Table 34 Resto Bar has undoubtedly secured one of the best locations in the city.
Many will know the spot as the previous home of Benny's Restaurant. Today, something new and wholly different occupies the lake-facing corner lot and its culinary compass points in a vastly different direction. Instead of wraps and sandwiches, Table 34 looks to impress guests with a variety of dishes, culled from a wide range of cultural components.
Executive Chef Zeljko Grahovac, better known as Chef “Zee” describes his menu as world cuisine, one that fuses old-world style with a healthy dash of modern sensibility. A self-professed musician, Zee says he views the menu like a fusion album, a blend of traditional genres that, when melded and mixed just so, come together to create a wholly new and original tune. Suffice to say, don't expect many culinary replays.
Guests looking for a more traditional sound might enjoy options like the $22 Alberta High River Smokey Mountain Ground Brisket & Sirloin Burger served with Balsamic Portobello Mushrooms and Caramelized Leeks, Applewood Smoked Cheddar and fresh cut fries.
Fancy a more eclectic tune? Try the popular Smoked Turkey Leg that's braised Osso Bucco style and served with sweet potato and acorn squash, braised sauerkraut and toasted mustard seed and a helping of maple balsamic cipollini onions, for $32.
While your taste buds explore the melodies and flavours the interior décor helps to keep things grounded ““ think more lounge-y cool rather than a cave of dark woods.
Moe Kapor, who shares ownership of Table 34 with his brothers Damir and Tom, says the interior aesthetic was heavily influenced by the styles and ambiance of the lounges and restaurants he visited while in Manhattan.
In essence, that means Table 34 looks and feels decidedly upscale, with black and white walls, low-back white leather chairs with black legs, and a splash of silver on the booth-backs. Elsewhere, a dazzling white quartz-topped bar catches the eye while subtle details like a black ceiling, with exposed ducts and pipes, adds a welcome industrial feel.
As for conversation pieces, you can't beat what's at your feet: each table is supported not by wooden legs, but by slender, black gas piping; another industrial touch that serves to balance much of the sleek and chic found elsewhere.
But a description of Table 34 wouldn't be complete without mentioning the wine wall, which was clearly constructed to catch guests' attention right as they walk in the door. The entrance-facing wall is dotted with more than a dozen wines that are supported on little platforms and each features a small description, written in white chalk ““ both fashionable and functional, it's a great conversation piece that also notches up the unique vibe.
But don't go thinking Table 34 (named for the three brothers and their four offspring) is merely a wine bar ““ far from it. There are a wide variety of mixed drinks available and the drink menu features a rotation of ten cocktails: five traditional cocktails, like a Caesar or a Dark 'N' Stormy, and five of the resto-bars' own signature cocktails, like a strawberry pineapple jalapeno sour or a glutini (a gluten-free martini), a few of which will be swapped-out every few weeks or so.
With a soft opening in March, Table 34 is one of the newest businesses to take residence on the Burlington waterfront. Keep an eye on Kapor, Chef Zee and the rest of the team as they offer-up a distinct concept and an approach that is currently unique in the waterfront area. Will it be enough to kick-their goal of turning Table 34 into a franchise? As Kapor notes, “you have to start somewhere.”
RECIPE: Local Venison Chops, Duck Rillette, Sundried Tomato & Thyme Polenta, Sunchoke & Blackcurrant Glaze, Bitter Dandelion Greens in a Yellow Carrot & Daikon Roll, Sweet Patty Pans
RECIPE: Lavender & Elder Flower Green Tea Infused Crí¨me Brí»lée
-1455 Lakeshore Road, Burlington; 289.337.3344; table34.com