Former sports reporter Jen Royle is plugging into a different background for her forthcoming family-style concept, Table, set to open in the North End in mid-December. Inspired by the boisterous nature of her upbringing, Table will run like a home kitchen, featuring communal tables, a prix fixe menu and plenty of shareable red-sauce staples.
“My inspiration is just the way I grew up eating Sunday dinner,” the Massachusetts native says. “When it comes to food, we grew up sort of yelling at each other across the table and eating lots of Italian food and I really wanted to replicate that experience.”
Former sports reporter Jen Royle’s new North End spot will serve family-style dishes.
Royle revamped a former nail salon’s 600-square-foot interior with farmhouse-inspired accents and furniture built by small business artisans, including rustic sliding barn doors, wooden light structures and tables crafted by a friend in Rhode Island. The 40-seat space will also include custom art inspired by cotton pods, a favorite decor element of Royle’s.
“I said to myself, ‘Let me open up something that’s different,’ ” Royle says. “ ‘Why don’t I open a place that’s family-style, where everybody gets a lot of everything—all different kinds of dishes to try—and people can literally make a reservation for 40?’ ”
Open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday and brunch on Sunday, the restaurant will also be available for private events on Monday. Options from the 10-dish prix fixe menu will feature items like a classic tomato bruschetta of Roma tomatoes, baby cannellini beans, fresh basil and sea salt, homemade cavatelli served with braised short rib and Parmesan, and ricotta- and Nutella-stuffed zeppoli garnished with raspberry coulis and hazelnut dust. A la carte dishes will include seared octopus served with pancetta as well as meatballs with housemade ricotta.
The brunch menu will offer a couple of “cupcake” frittatas—including a prosciutto and Gruyere variation—in addition to chicken and waffles topped with maple butter and served with Thai chili maple syrup. For the beverage program, Royle is keeping it simple with a selection of red and white Italian wines, beers and straightforward cocktails served from a pushcart in the middle of the room.
“Come in hungry and friendly,” Royle says. “Hopefully everyone is happy and passing the food and enjoying their time—remember you’re here to eat.”
Table 445 Hanover St., Boston tableboston.com