I just went there last weekend with a group of friends for Dine About Town. Parking within 3 blocks was non-existent unless you went for the pricey pay lot across from Rouge like me or traipsed down to Polk and Pacific. The interior was as expected for a bistro, cramped or cozy depending on your style. The decor was neat and well-presented, great for a casual date. Since my party numbered 13, we were seated at an end-booth by the kitchen with a large square table, which was something I've rarely seen. It was a nice idea for a larger party as everyone could share their juicy stories with the whole table. So, if you do reserve early enough, Tablespoon is ok for at least one large party on any given night. \r
The service was attentive if not especially brisk. Our waitress was quite charming and easy on the eyes, which was a nice distraction delicately enhanced by the strategically placed accent mirrors encircling the bistro. Most of the party opted for the prix fixe menu which offered a pedestrian squash soup, a nugget of broiled short-ribs, and a sliver of chocolate cake for $32. While the price seemed right, the offerings didn't pique my interest so I ordered a steak with a side of oysters a la carte. The $23 steak came unnecessarily pre-sliced with the juices running helplessly over the scalloped potatoes and the blanched chard. Unfortunately, it was harshy handled like a skirt steak and oddly, one half was very well done and the other was rare. \r
My seat offered a unique view into the kitchen and I couldn't figure out how the sous chef could allow the lone student assistant chef to push something like that out the door. We paired our meat courses with an all-purpose pinot noir as we were not interested in the predominantly syrah wine list. We could have shelled out $400-700 for a decent bordeaux, but given the environment, we didn't bother. From our 6:30 reservation, we finally finished around 10. For $50 a pop, it was a nice average meal.
Pros: Solid food at a decent price, Nice desserts
Cons: No parking, Slow service