Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Fine Time at "209"

Last time I visited Punta Gorda (FL), I tried a new restaurant called Opus. An enthusiastic German lady named Ines, was instrumental in helping to get it off the ground, while at the same time running her own   downtown restaurant; Table 209. Her mission complete, Ines is back at 209 full time.

My co-worker had dined there for lunch and couldn't wait to try dinner. When it comes to checking out restaurants it doesn't take much to twist my arm. The outdoor patio looked inviting but the weather wasn't, so we sat at one of the three tables situated in a semi-private section indoors. Our server suggested we begin with a signature Cucumber Champagne Cocktail. It's hard to say no to the bubbles.

However, it was a rainy, dreary night and what I really wanted was a dirty martini. Table 209 only serves beer and wine. The cucumber seemed more suited for the patio, on a warm afternoon. It was good but it just wasn't doing the trick and our server could tell. She grabbed a wine list and removed the cucumber cocktails with a wink, assuring us they would not go to waste; it was her favorite libation.

Settling on a bottle of Mars Venus Cabernet from Chile, we next set our sites on the appetizer menu. The Tomato Soup was rich, with roasted bell pepper, basil pesto and small chunks of mozzarella; just what the doctor ordered.

Next up was the Shrimp Fraiche. It came in a delectable garlic, lemon, butter and sour cream sauce that required extra bread to sop up; so did the next two dishes. The tender Escargot was cooked in white wine, garlic and bacon. Just when I thought the sauces couldn't get any better, the Mussels showed up. They were plump and mild, cooked perfectly in a broth that many patrons ask to purchase for home; white chocolate, coconut milk, garlic and spices. I'm salivating just thinking about it.

The appetizers ranged in price from $6-$12. Next time I'll try to order only one so I can have a proper main course. On second thought, next time I'll try the Sunday Jazz Brunch on the patio, with a Cucumber Champagne Cocktail. The Brunch menu looked fabulous. I'll keep you posted!

Table 209 on Urbanspoon

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