Michelin, the arbiter of fine dining worldwide, bestows the Bib Gourmand designation on restaurants where, according to Open Table, the cooking “punches above its weight class, guiding diners to places that serve phenomenal meals that don’t break the bank.”
One of those restaurants is the whimsically named, Austrian comfort food of Logan Square’s Table, Donkey and Stick. In a cold winter season, I can’t think of a more apropos place to come in from the cold and warm up in a cozy, rustic alpine-style inn.
About their name…
According to their website, Table, Donkey and Stick refers to a Brothers Grimm tale, ‘Tischlein deck dich, Goldesel und Knüppel aus dem Sack.’
Apparently, the moral of the Grimm tale essentally deals with the consequences of bad behavior and the riches associated with being a good person.
Their menu honors the eating and drinking traditions of the Alps, including serving brandies and liqueurs eaux-de-vie and schnapps. Seasonal specialty cocktails are crafted from house-made tonics, syrups, and shrubs and the complex aromatic liqueurs made with mountain herbs and flowers from the Alps.
Their menu features creative, seasonally driven dishes inspired by the mountain cuisines of France, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Germany and Slovenia. The menu includes a rotating selection of chartuterie and artisan cheeses, as their website notes. The kitchen works with local farmers and whole animals whenever possible, and all breads and charcuterie items are made in-house.
A word of caution: the menu really does rotate daily, so check with the restaurant if you read a review describing a specific dish.
That’s why I’ll highlight just a few of their courses here, with the recommendation that you take a moment to visit this Austrian chalet yourself and be surprised by the sheer variety of options.
In their menu section marked Wanderteller (hiker’s plate)—start with their Charcuterie Plate, aselection of three award-winning charcuterie items, all made in-house, and accompanied by fresh homemade bread. Potato Latkes have a special kick of horseradishaioli. Their Cheese And Charcuterie Plate pairs a chef’s choice of two house meats and two artisan cheeses with fresh homemade sunflower oat toast. Meats could include a duck pate or mortadella. You can also order perfectly cooked smoked salmon or bacon. There’s a unique selection of warm, cozy-sounding soups on the menu, as well as larger plates with choices such as Risotto and Schnitzel.
Table, Donkey and Stick is located at 2728 W. Armitage Avenue. They are open Sunday through Thursday for dinner, 5pm-9pm, and Friday and Saturday, 5pm-10pm. They are closed Mondays.
Walk-ins are welcome, but reservations are highly recommended. Click here for reservations.
Alison Moran-Powers and Dean’s Team Chicago