The new dining concept at TEN Atlanta is simple: keep it about the food and don’t over-conceptualize it. When done right, the food will resonate on its own. FENUXE sat down for a talk with Kevin Spencer and a taste of what is offered at the new Table at TEN.
It’s been a year since TEN Atlanta first opened its doors offering a bar food-inspired menu at the popular Midtown hangout. However, the fun nightlife spot hasn’t been able to shake its bar-with-bar-food image. Despite an Asian-inspired menu revision last fall, TEN was overlooked by Midtown diners who were looking for a bite to eat while waiting for the magic hour (10 p.m. of course) when the restaurant transforms into a nightclub… but that’s about to change.
Kevin Spencer, a writer and musician, along with his wife Krystee Manifold Spencer (former manager of Wet Bar and guest-star on TV shows “Designed To Sell” & “Curb Appeal”), Marcus Sanders and Nicholas Pascale have teamed up with TEN owner James Nelson to create a new dining experience at the popular bar – it’s simply called Table at TEN and the aim is to do the dining experience right.
Why Table at TEN? Because the table is a place where people come together. “We made an extensive list of what brings people together: family, food, drinks, friendship – and a table!” Kevin Spencer says about how the name came about, “It was literally right there.” The aim is to bring a sense of family back into the dining experience with well-prepared, high quality food items that are rooted in Southern food culture, but with that coveted contemporary twist. The new menu will not only comfort but also surprise and thrill every diner’s palate. But the play on family goes even deeper than that: “Everyone needs a family,” Kevin Spencer says, “It may not be the family you are related to, but the friends that you surround yourself with—the people that you call family.” The strong sense of family—in all its variations—and getting friends together is also reflected in the menu. One of the highlights on the new menus is the Fried Chicken & Friendship; a prix fixe menu consisting of traditional family-style fried chicken with mashed potatoes, green beans, mac n’ cheese, deviled eggs, and biscuits with gravy. And, of course, to top it all off there is a pineapple upside down cake for dessert! However, it’s not just the ‘homecoming’ meal itself that screams family, but the fact that the prix fixe menu can only be reserved in advance by four people or more. So before you sink your teeth into the crisp, fried chicken, tasty mac and cheese and the smoothest potato mash you’ll ever have, you have to consider who you want to share the meal with—who do you consider family?
Other menu items include a selection of starters that include: crisp hushpuppies, deviled eggs and pierogies. The main entrees include tasty staples like a juicy pork chop, chicken fingers, a whole, roasted chicken, an amazing steak frites plate and classic shrimp and grits. Even though each dish may seem traditionally Southern, executive chef Scott Crombie has infused each and every bite with notable and delicious contemporary twists. For example, don’t miss the amazingly smooth sauce with a slight kick that accompanies the hushpuppies. Additionally there are the buttered beans steamed to perfection with a slight hint of garlic and the mac and cheese which is topped with a cracker crumble. They’re some of the most delectable sides you can imagine.
If you wish to eat lighter, try customizing your own salad from the bottom up with their impressive list of ingredients. You can’t go wrong since very sauce, dressing and dish component is made from scratch with only the best of ingredients—a condition that Scott Crombie was adamant about when hired for the job as Table at TEN’s executive chef.
Right now Table at TEN is open for dinner service from 5-10 p.m. with the full-bar opening for the Atlanta party crowd 10 p.m. Diners can continue the fun on the dance floor or enjoy the privacy of their cozy table. Every Sunday Table at TEN takes over the entire bar space to serve up their already popular “Sunday Brunch At Your Leisure,” which features an unlimited selection of brunch faves and made to order omelettes. Similar to the the dinner experience at Table at TEN the idea is not to rush anything and let guests enjoy hours of delicious food, drinks and great company. Future plans include extending their hours to include lunch and to introduce a grab-and-go selection between the wee hours of 2-5 a.m. This will be perfect for the party people who want to satisfy those late night munchies after a night of solely liquid ingestion.
Table at TEN is undeniably a welcome addition to the Midtown restaurant scene. It will no doubt thrill diners with its new twist on Southern cooking and refreshingly straightforward concept of—to use the exact words of Kevin Spencer—dining done right.