Friday, October 10, 2014

Talula's Table

When you say the name "Talula" in a sentence in Chester County or Philly, ears immediately prick up.  "Talula? That Talula?"  Yup, Kennett Square Talula.  Loud exclamations immediately follow, and they run the gamut.  You'll hear, "omigod, it's IMPOSSIBLE to get in there, and I really want to goooooo [insert groans here]" or "Sorry, any place that requires you book a year in advance is complete BS. Whatever--no thanks" or "I know a friend of a friend of a cousin of this guy my sister knows who actually got to eat there" and all of these comments are usually followed by one bewildered person asking, "What the hell is Talula?"

Thanks to my friend Molly, I can officially count myself among that very narrow and very lucky group of people who can say that they've had not coffee, not scones, not cheese at Talula's, but dinner. "At the farm table."  THE farm table.  I'm still in disbelief that this happened.

In the center of Kennett Square (not Center City--bizarre, right?), you'll find Talula's Table: By day, it's a super cute cafe with some of the most gorgeous desserts, pastries, salads, and sandwiches ... by night, it's a super exclusive restaurant--with a single table.  As I type this, that table is booked up--solid--for the next year.  From what I understand, this table will be booked up forever.  Tomorrow morning, somebody somewhere will pick up a phone on behalf of Talula's and take a reservation for this table regarding the night of October 11, 2015, and the same thing will happen on the 10/12and 10/13, etc etc etc.  Every once in a while, somebody cancels their year-in-advanced reservation (I imagine this happens with bitter sobs and biblical gnashing of teeth) and the table goes up for grabs.  Naturally, the open date is snatched up right away and the earth continues to whirl along on its axis and everyone gives a big sigh of relief.

My friend Molly grabbed one of those open dates recently.  And even though she could not--for the life of her--muster the required ten to twelve patrons to fill up the table, they let her keep the reservation anyway.  And guess who got to go?

Love that bow tie--maybe Ron needs a bow tie?

Eight courses--I fasted all day, so no problem, right?  Right!  Not featured on the menu are the three bite-sized hors d'oeuvres: "tater tot" with smoked salmon, a chilled Asian inspired ravioli, and goat cheese risotto with bacon.

Yup, I was that horrible cheeseball person who took a picture of every. single. plate.  I might never get to come back here, so what do I care? Plus, I did this under the guise of, "Hey, you guys want these pictures too, right?  Of course--no problem, I can document this."

You know I love me a soup--Philter across the street is the only other place I know that has a mushroom soup with clear broth, not cream.  They served the mushrooms, brie, and toast and poured the broth from a steaming kettle at the table.

Veal cheek--I've never ordered veal before or prepared it at home.  I'm also the girl wearing a leather jacket in the above photo, and nothing on earth pisses me off more than hypocrisy.

We all agreed the next day that the duck meatballs and spaghetti squash gave us the best lingering memory the next day.

And the deep fried pumpkin donuts hot out of the fryer?  And the apple cider ice cream? You know I'm a dessert girl through and through.  When I was in college, there was a restaurant in Atlantic City that only served dessert, and you could order multi course dinners of just dessert.  Brulee ... something tells me it's long gone.

It was truly a lovely night--eating so many tiny courses is nice because I was able to try so many things that I would typically never order.  I'm thirty one years old and I've NEVER had duck, mostly because any protein with an orange glaze sounds less than appealing to me (fruit + protein ... I've never understood it).   Each plate was its own work of art, and truly nothing disappointed. It's not the kind of thing you can do every day (or every week, or even every month in my opinion), but I can say I went once in this life because Molly did the leg work to get us in.  Thank you so much, Molly, for including us in that one in a million shot of snagging an open date here.

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