Monday, September 14, 2009

Dinner -- 09/12/09

Selena's Table
2004 Valley Mills Dr.
Waco, TX 76710

254.235.9771

5:00 - 6:15 p.m.

$$$

Ramona: House salad with mystic cranberry citrus dressing; grilled marinated tuna Greco; garlic mashed potatoes; iced tea; Chaka Sanna; coffee

Jim: Pork vegetable soup; Perry's grilled balsamic steak; garlic mashed potatoes; iced tea; sfogliatella with fruit sauce; coffee

A new restaurant opening is always something to celebrate, and when a new dining spot opens that beats all expectations, that is really cause for excitement. While we like to visit new places early, there is always a fear things may be a little rough around the edges. Selena's Table came with some pretty lofty praise from some colleagues, so we decided to try it after it was open only five days.

Obviously a lot of planning went into this new place at Ridgewood east on the corner of Valley Mills and Cobbs. The decor is as eclectic as the menu, which features a wide variety of unusual dishes from South America, Mexico, the Mediterranean, and Asia. The menu had such an interesting selection, we had a hard time settling on our dinner, changing our minds a couple of times.

Jim started with the soup, which had a slightly spicy and wonderful taste. Ramona's salad had a colorful presentation with fresh ingredients and an excellent dressing neither of us had ever tasted.

The entrees were of a generous size, perfectly cooked, and served at the right temperature. Jim especially liked the fried spinach, which served as garnish for the steak. Ramona's tuna steak was embellished with Roma tomato slices, capers, Greek olives, capers and feta cheese. Grilled mixed vegetables accompanied each dish and were fresh and crisp.

Lastly, the dessert menu held every bit as much interest as the rest of the menu. Ramona went with one of her favorites -- a flourless chocolate cake, and Jim tried for something completely different, a delicate pastry with fruits sauce and Nutella. Both were outstanding.

The only glitch was the bread, which had no character at all. The owners assured us that the arrival -- soon -- of a new bread and pastry chef would remedy that situation. At least for the near future, BYOB.

Scott, our server, seemed a bit nervous, but for the early days of the restaurant he did a great job.

If you like 1424, you will love Selena's Table. Don't miss out on this great new spot in Waco's ever-improving dining scene. Shame on Waco if it cannot support two first class restaurants, which rival many, many places in Dallas or Austin. We eagerly await our second visit.

-Jim & Ramona.

1 comment:

Steve Orr said...

Thanks Jim & Ramona! Had a great time at Selena's Table. Ivy, Greg, and I went there last night and truly enjoyed our evening together. I had the steak and, like Jim, really enjoyed the fried spinach garnish (Steak was superb--tender and delicious). I also enjoyed a small house salad (but had them remove the craisens--I'm on a diet) with the house dressing: excellent as well. Dessert for me was the cheese cake (listed as sugar free, but tasted wonderful!). My complaints are minor, but should be noted. The coffee they served me was not fresh (and that's being polite). The server DID bring me some fresh coffee about mid-meal, apologizing that it took her so long since she had to make a fresh pot. I told her I ALWAYS love fresh coffee & that I was perfectly happy to wait for it ;-) Maybe too subtle, but you never know; it might stick. The server told me the balsamic steak came with mashed potatoes & beans. I asked her to just leave off the potatoes, and , before leaving us, she confirmed I just wanted the beans. What she brought me was steak fries (no beans). I know it is usual to not write orders down in these high-end restaurants, but I think she might have benefited from doing so. All three of us ordered steak, but were not provided steak knives until we asked for them (after gamely sawing away at them with our case knives for a few bites--the steaks were certainly tender enough, but, you know, steak needs steak knives to truly be enjoyed). Finally, and this is really minor, they told us they take all credit cards except American Express; not unusual for a start-up restaurant. BUT, at some point, if they want to encourage the $$$ clientele, they are going to have to accept the AMEX card.