Restaurant Review by Kirsten O'Brien/The AS Review

The Table, located downtown next to the Mt. Baker Theater, is a retail pasta shop and restaurant run by the Bellingham Pasta Company.

Tucked away on the corner of N. Commercial Street and Champion Street sits The Table, the newest restaurant in the Bellingham Pasta Company’s growing list of retailers and restaurants serving high quality pasta made from locally produced ingredients.

Just like the suave ladies’ man in action movies or the sophisticated starlet who’s always dressed in the latest red carpet fashions, The Table radiates a sophisticated cool that manages to be warm and inviting.

I visited The Table with two friends on a particularly dreary day and felt instantly at home when I walked through the doors. The restaurant is small, but its long rectangular shape and large windows facing the street allowed for some great people watching.

We were told to seat ourselves, and soon after we were greeted by waitress and co-owner, Nikki Williamson. She rattled off several specials, all of which sounded delicious, and soon our foray into the world of gourmet pasta had begun.

Well, maybe it hadn’t begun just quite yet. The Table offers a wide variety of appetizers, including a fancy red jalapeno, lime and cilantro hummus served with pita bread and cucumber slices called Hummusamongus (It’s like “fungus among us," see what they did there?).  All were relatively affordable, ranging in price from $3-8. We decided to go for the standard bread appetizer with oil and balsamic vinegar, which was made infinitely more exciting when Williamson brought out a complimentary bowl of roasted pear with celery root and beat soup that included a saffron crème fraiche on top and a mint garnish on the side. Although the combination of fruits and vegetables sound more like V8 juice than soup, the concoction was surprisingly delicious. Not only that, it was gorgeous. The soup was a vibrant magenta, and the crème on top was in the shape of a daisy.

When our meals finally arrived, they were as pretty as the soup had been. The kitchen staff at The Table has an eye for detail, and not a single noodle or lettuce piece was out of place. I ordered a veggie sandwich, and my friends ordered the macaroni and cheese and the pink vodka penne.

My veggie sandwich featured a thick portabella mushroom with chunky hummus, spinach, caramelized onions and plenty of goat cheese. It also came with a side of pasta salad, which included plenty of cherry tomatoes and fresh cucumber doused in tangy vinaigrette dressing.

The sandwich and the pasta salad were both delicious, but for $9 I felt that the portions could have been a bit bigger. The Table offers a sophisticated dining experience, which is great, but they could do without the minuscule, sophisticated dining-style portions. The macaroni and cheese was a similar story. Apparently, my inner child is a 6-year-old who has a never-ending love affair with mac and cheese. I was less than impressed with what The Table had to offer. As with everything else, the presentation of the dish was beautiful. The noodles ballooned up out of a small dish, and then pillowed over the edges. Very pretty, but not very practical.

The true triumph of the meal was the pink vodka penne, which included fresh basil and Pecorino Romano cheese, and it wasn’t heavy or uncomfortably filling as some cream sauce pastas can be. For $8, the dish provided the most bang for its buck too.

We finished our meal with a dessert of cinnamon crème brulee, which was delicious but a bit pricey at $5.50. My final tab was a lofty $14.50.  Although The Table offers beautifully presented food in a swanky, sophisticated atmosphere, this young restaurant has some work to do before becoming a regular lunch-time hot spot.