Table, Donkey and Stick

Table, Donkey and Stick

By Lindsey Becker

There's always space in this windy city for an intimate restaurant offering rustic bread and plates of cheese and house-made charcuterie. Though the name might seem obscure, Table, Donkey and Stick welcomes you in with the comfortingly familiar: a German beer, a chewy pretzel, and a warm fire. And once you've settled in, you'll be surprised with intelligent updates to classics like the pork fat pretzel accompanied by a cheesy cauliflower puree that replaces the typical beer cheese, or the lightly tangy beef tri-tip sauerbraten balanced with roasted sweet potatoes and crunchy toasted kasha. While the menu changes seasonally, other highlights on our visit included the creamy and funky duck liver mousse and silky schweinekopf, aka cured pig's head, on the more classic side of things, while the chocolate pavé dessert with braised beets rounds out the meal on a much more unusual, contemporary note. But don't be misled by the meat-heavy menu; this cozy hideout will transform into a bright, open hangout in warmer weather with the help of a partially retractable glass roof and backyard patio.

the crowd

Casual dates or groups of twenty- and thirty-somethings lingering by the fire over carafes of on-tap wine.

... on the side

what's in a name?
The memorable name comes from a Brothers Grimm tale of three magical items given to three brothers: a table that sets itself with hearty food and drink and a donkey that produces gold coins when the word “bricklebrit” is uttered, both of which are stolen by an evil innkeeper. The third brother is given a stick that leaps out of a sack and beats the evil innkeeper, convincing him to give back the stolen items.

eye for design
The space is a modern take on cozy Alpine inns, complete with lots of unfinished wood, exposed bulbs and brick, and a chic gas fireplace. Once the weather warms up, expect a lively, crowded backyard patio and rear dining room, where the glass roof is retractable.

decibels
Medium

hours

Mon, Wed–Thu 5 PM–midnight; Fri–Sat 5 PM–2 AM
closed Tuesday

price range

$6 (soft pork fat pretzel) to $23 (pan-roasted sturgeon)
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