The Pork Triplet from Table 128 Bistro and Bar in Clive featuring grilled eden farms pork loin, prosciutto, crumbled bacon, apple slaw, au jus with a Kale Caesar.
Table 128 Bistro and Bar: A new place with updated tastes
Published on June 25th, 2013 | by Joe Stych
Reinvention can be a tricky thing, particularly if you already have a good thing going. But it works in the case of Table 128. In mid-May the owners
of French-inspired bistro Tartine closed up shop for a major makeover. The result is Table 128 Bistro and Bar, a Clive cafe with an emphasis on natural tastes. Don’t worry: Although they phased out the breakfast-focused menu and put a new name on the door, they haven’t lost their aptitude for incredible food.
The scene: We got to Table 128 around 5:45 p.m. on a Thursday, as patrons were trickling in for dinner.
Two things pop as you walk through the door: the dynamic color palette and a big wall of wine. The interior is beautifully renovated, complete with new lighting, updated furniture, a longer bar up front and lots of family-friendly seating. Overall it feels inviting, vibrant and open. But since a patio was added out front, we opted to sit in the sun.
Table 128 also overhauled its menu. Some old Tartine favorites are still there, but the owners made an effort to include more main dishes with an emphasis on fresh, local ingredients. That means heirloom chicken, river trout and a lot of tough decisions.
The food: Just because they ditched the French name doesn’t mean they’ve Americanized the menu.
We seriously considered the croque-madame, a play on the classic croque-monsieur — with ham, Gruyere cheese and eggs, but decided on the stuffed blue burger ($10) and the pork triplet sandwich ($12), both with a side of fries.
The burger was juicy and oozed with locally-sourced Maytag blue cheese. The sandwich was equally delicious, and was served with
au jus and three kinds of pork: prosciutto, bacon and grilled pork loin from Iowa’s own Eden Farms.
We also sampled an order of ugly donuts ($6), which are much more appetizing than they sound. The waiter delivered a basket of cheese-packed dough balls that are coated with Parmesan and served with a side of marinara-like dip. Our recommendation: really dunk them in that sweet red sauce. It’s too tasty to waste.
What to try: The ugly donuts were stellar, but there’s a bunch of other foodie-friendly fare to sample, too. Table 128 has mussels, a roasted beet salad with organic greens, and truffle-oil-infused fries to try. Oh, and remember that wine collection near the entrance? There are 55 varieties listed on the menu, plus a bunch of local beers. Make sure you don’t walk away thirsty.
Table 128 Bistro and Bar
Where: 12695 University Ave., Clive
Hours: 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday,
8 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday,
9 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday