Beckett’s Table, now an Arizona staple six years strong, “you know, the restaurant with the community table” and elevated comfort food, invites you to ‘come together’ to celebrate their new winter menu made with love, a tinge of nostalgia, and beautiful flavors.
Like any good party host, Beckett’s Table first offered us drinks.
The Palmaire was a sweet, vodka and pomegranate liqueur concoction garnished with fresh mint and a hint of honey and lemonade while the Legend City Cocktail was a mix of Bulleit rye, house-made honey syrup, Ricard, and Peychaud bitters that was enough to keep us warm on this chilly evening, yet refreshed. The smoke and floral notes of the Legend City felt very southern, maybe because Chef Beckett is also the creator of Southern Rail and those flavors just can’t help but come out to say hello at the sister restaurant sometimes.
Our three-course dinner began with a bevy of starters, including a Hickman devilled egg with blue cheese, chive, and a sweet potato chip; oven roasted brussels sprouts with a basil lemon vinaigrette served al dente; roasted cauliflower; a mixed green salad with puffed corn; and an Un-Waldorf salad.
A Waldorf salad is a classic dish served first by a swanky hotel restaurant and later at your grandmother’s church social. It can feel dated if presented wrong (aka soggy, aka alongside dry chicken). But, good news! This Waldorf salad feels fresh, a little fancy, and ready to take on 2017.
Chef Justin Beckett is a little bashful when he talks about it. “Waldorf, I know,” he says almost apologetically, but more like, ‘sorry, not sorry.’ Someone mentions they were surprised to see it on the winter menu. Beckett explains, “When I’m eating a Waldorf I feel like I should be eating Jell-O at the same time,” he laughs, “But this feels okay. I like how it’s laid out.”
Apples, endive, pecans, and grapes are tossed delicately on a plate over a schmear of créme fraîche. It’s less of a creamy, gloppy mess and instead an improved, streamlined take on an old classic.
If you’re looking for the kind of salad that makes you feel as though you did something good for your body, look no further than the mixed greens salad with buttermilk dressing. Yes, buttermilk can appear to be a heavy contender, but actually, it’s lower in fat than regular milk or butter so you can feel totally fine about the beets, carrot, and green bean being tossed in a dressing made of it. On a regular day, add chicken to the salad and make it a whole meal.
But lucky for us, this is not a regular day. This is a winter feast. Our next course consisted of plates of pan seared sea scallops, seared Scottish salmon, pork Osso Bucco confit, and Pei mussels.
Mussels are always a crowd pleaser. Paired with cioppino style tomatoes that were reminiscent of a ratatouille and piled high with saffron rice, the dish is flavorful and presented like a nice present we get to unwrap. Or at least crack open and scoop out.
Keeping with the sea theme, Chef Beckett is also offering a seared scallop with chorizo, a sly take on surf and turf if there ever was one. Scallops are placed upon a bed of potato, green bean, spinach, almond, romesco, and chorizo. Yes, of course, chorizo. The spicy, pan-fried meatiness of the sausage makes these scallops stand out from a sea of other dishes (no pun intended… well, maybe a little). The smokey flavor complements the subtle sweetness and umami of the scallop. We paired this with Susie’s Little Helper, a mix of gin, Cointreau, Lillet and a spritz of Absinthe. It cut through the richness of the scallop, balancing the dish and cleansing our palate for the next two plates.
The seared organic Scottish salmon was a moist and light dish, with the meat of the fish keeping a buttery consistency. The bonus of bacon jam, Crème fraîche, and pops of pomegranate accompanying the dish gave a little bit of decadence to the hearty vegetable bed of broccolini and cider-poached endive, which truthfully, could be a meal in itself.
Italian for “bone with a hole,” Osso Bucco is always a nice addition to a menu, A hearty dish, Beckett’s Osso Bucco was served in a bowl and paired with roasted garlic and black pepper spaetzle. This is the food of love. Fork tender and rich from braising in wine and broth, Osso Bucco takes forever to make. Like, the entire length of the movie Titanic and then some bonus content long to make- longer if you’re super traditional. It’s the kind of meal everyone sits down to eat together as a family. You know, a Sunday Meal. Do not overlook the restaurant that will make it for you. It’s the perfect winter dish and at Beckett’s Table, you get to eat it even on a Tuesday. Do not miss out.
Our final course is dessert. Chef Beckett offered up some spins on favorites, such as a bacon bourbon apple cobbler, chocolate flourless cake with a coffee butterscotch sauce, and the all-American campfire favorite, the s’more.
What more could one ask for than a dessert presented on a log?
The chocolate dipped s’more with house-made marshmallows combined caramel whipped peanut butter, graham cracker, and yes, bacon.
People keep thinking the whole bacon thing is over. Chef Beckett is here to tell you bacon is the little black dress of food. It goes anywhere. It does everything. And it never fails to make something even more delicious. It’s here to stay.
Pop into Beckett’s Table to explore their full winter menu before winter isn’t here anymore! Their offerings change with the seasons.
3717 E. Indian School Rd.,
Phoenix, AZ 85018