TNT Diner

Gig Harbor’s newest restaurant opens with big buzz. Here’s what the upscale menu is like

The albacore tuna crudo from Table 47 came with spicy pickled Fresno chiles and a flavorful poke sauce. Pictured here is the smaller of the two portion sizes.
The albacore tuna crudo from Table 47 came with spicy pickled Fresno chiles and a flavorful poke sauce. Pictured here is the smaller of the two portion sizes. skidd@thenewstribune.com

For years, I’ve heard two valid diner complaints.The first is that modern restaurant design bounces too much noise. My ears concur.

The second is a more complex question/complaint: “Why won’t restaurants serve me something smaller and charge me less for it?”

Diners, Table 47 has your back in both regards.

Gig Harbor’s newly opened upscale restaurant takes the mantra of “smaller portions for a smaller price” to a degree I’ve yet to see in the area. Kudos for that.

Nearly every appetizer and entree on the restaurant’s opening menu is available in two sizes.

Flexible menu aside, the restaurant fills a void in Gig Harbor’s dining landscape. While chain restaurants abound, chef-driven restaurants are in short supply.

Owner Troy Alstead hired longtime Northwest chef Ian Wingate to helm the kitchen and that chef brings big flavors with far-flung inspiration and a deft hand with seafood.

Did I mention the restaurant is actually tolerable in the noise department?

It’s this paper’s policy to avoid criticism of food and service in a restaurant’s first month. Here’s a first-bite look of the dinner-only restaurant, which opened April 8.

Background: Alstead began work in 2016 on Table 47 and its attached gaming complex, which also opened this month. Ocean 5 has duck-pin and 10-pin bowling, a gaming arcade, laser tag, a scaled-back menu serviced by Table 47 and a distinct family-friendly vibe.

The former chief operating officer of Starbucks pushed sustainability. That shows up everywhere, from the local farm sourcing to the on-site worm composting and the building’s geothermal heating system.

Entry: Enter the joint lobby for both businesses and find roving staffers with tablets. Let them come to you (there is no host stand) to check you in at the restaurant or discuss entertainment options.

The concept: Table 47 touts upscale cuisine with flavors that draw inspiration from distant international flavors and regional American cuisine. The setting boasts sophisticated edges but it feels like a come-as-you-are restaurant (jeans are just fine). Thoughtful design of the 300-seat restaurant reduced noise by portioning the space into distinct dining spaces broken by walls and other design barriers.

For sensory seekers who like a ruckus, a communal table flanks the bustling kitchen.

The menu: A flexible experience with an eye on diners who want portion/budget control. Appetizers come in “taste” and “share” sizes. Appetizers are seafood heavy with choices, including hama hama clams ($11/$20), charred octopus ($10/$18), albacore crudo ($12/$24), mussels ($10/$18) and oysters on the half shell ($3.50 each or $18 for a half dozen). For grazers and sharers, there are shareable meat and cheese boards ($12/$21) and flatbreads ($14/$24). Salad lovers will appreciate four preparations come in half ($7) or full ($12) portions.

The heartier side of the menu is split into a half dozen sandwiches ($12-$16) and seven high-end entrees with a broad representation of steak, made-over 20th century classics and seafood ($12-$34). All but one come in small/large sizes with portion ounces listed.

Beef comes from Washington’s Pure Country Harvest, but as with other local farms and food companies on the menu, vendors will change periodically.

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A hanger steak from Table 47 in Gig Harbor. This was the larger of the two portion sizes offered. Sue Kidd skidd@thenewstribune.com

Dietary restrictions: Extensive options for gluten-free and vegetarian diners.

Beverages: Five each specialty ($10-$14) and classic cocktails ($9-$14) emphasizing local spirits (Heritage Distilling Co., BroVo, OOLA and more). The South Sound-centric taplist includes Wet Coast, Silver City, 7 Seas and Narrows Brewing. Beers come in 16- or -20 ounce pours ($6-$8).

The by-the-wine-glass menu includes nine reds ($7.50-$19) and eight whites ($7-$16) in six- or nine-ounce pours (Northwest wineries well represented).

Coffee beans come from Seattle’s Fundamental Coffee, a small-batch roaster.

Mom seal of approval for featuring sodas from Seattle Soda Co. and Rocky Mountain Soda Co.

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Raw oysters on the half shell from Table 47 in Gig Harbor. Sue Kidd skidd@thenewstribune.com

On a first visit: Do not miss the octopus appetizer with the smaller portioned “taste” big enough for two ($10/$18). Char and smoke dominated the dish with tender octopus, smoked pork belly, a warm smoky tomato vinaigrette, navy beans, fingerling potatoes and a pop of flavor from preserved lemon.

Oysters on-the-half-shell featured a lineup from Lilliwaup’s Hama Hama Co. Diners will find a selection of four to six Hama Hama oysters (ie: Eld Inlet, Hammersley, etc.). Served raw, they come with a vinegar mignonette (or order them barbecued).

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The Parallel Burger at Table 47 is fortified with mushrooms in a patty made of ground chuck and short rib. Sue Kidd skidd@thenewstribune.com

The Parallel Burger was the best I’ve eaten in Gig Harbor outside the Gourmet Burger Shop. The juicy patty was made from ground short ribs, chuck and a surprise bonus of ground criminis that added moisture and detracted nothing from that beefy flavor and texture ($16). Extra points to the kitchen for asking, “How would you like that prepared?” It arrived medium as ordered.

The Parallel Burger came topped with creamy Beecher’s cheese, sauteed onions, a swipe of stone ground mustard, LP sauce, a tomato slice and lettuce.

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Charred octopus from Table 47 in Gig Harbor. Sue Kidd skidd@thenewstribune.com

The hanger steak also arrived just as ordered, medium rare, with the same skins-on fries accompanying the burger ($18/$31). The fries were fortified with parmesan and mixed herbs. The steak carried a beefy tasting red wine sauce. Grilled oyster mushrooms and sauteed fiddlehead ferns finished the plate.

Those same fiddlehead ferns came with the line caught wild coho salmon with deeply seared skin and a silky center ($15/$28). A tart huckleberry reduction swam into a creamy squash beurre blanc that clung to light-and-airy butternut squash gnocchi.

Next: Dinner service only now. Lunch will be added in the coming months.

Sue Kidd: 253-597-8270, @tntdiner

Table 47

Where: 5268 Point Fosdick Dr NW, Gig Harbor (in Olympic Towne Center)

Info: 253-857-4777, t47.com

Hours: 4-10 p.m. daily

Note: No reservations currently, but reservations beginning soon by phone and website.

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