Elusive Tableside Service and Where to Find it in Dallas

caesarby Steven Doyle

There is simply nothing more elegant and festive as tableside service. We are talking the classic Caesar Salad tossed in full view of the guest, at their table and with great finesse. It is the definitive dinner and a show that has somewhat fallen from a great many menus across the country. Beyond adding a bit of flair, this and many other tableside presentations also demonstrates a commitment to freshness. What could be more fresh and flavorful than a dessert or salad  finished off right before the diners’ eyes? This said, there are still many restaurants across the country creating delicious dishes tableside, and certainly to rave reviews.

In New York the three Michelin-starred restaurant Eleven Madison Park delivers a push cart tableside brimming with bitters, garnishes, and ice to create a variety of upscale Manhattan’s. The cocktail tableside is fast becoming a new revolution that separates any restaurant from its competition.  A similar cart can be found in Los Angeles at Bourbon Steak where a host of whiskeys are plied with garnishes, ice spheres and more for a unique play on this style of service. Expect a perfect martini made with flair by your side in Brooklyn at Maison Premiere.

In Portland there is an amazing experience awaiting at Multnomah Whisk{e}y Library which calls upon 1,500 spirits that are retrieved and presented tableside, and also is accompanied by an allegorical treatment of the history of each cocktail.


In the culinary realm look to Nashville’s Le Sel which offers several dishes from its New French cuisine menu, including a salt crusted fish that is cracked, deboned and all served tableside. They also carve a roasted veal shank in the dining room. In New Orleans we visit Commander’s Palace with its 50-year old recipe for flambé of bananas with Caribbean rum, brown sugar, banana liqueur, and vanilla bean ice cream which makes the perfect Bananas Foster Flambé for Two which is not only delicious but exceptionally romantic. At Carmelo’s in Houston fettuccine is served in a cream sauce and a steak is lightly sauteed in front of you. Crepes Suzette for dessert is a must.

In Dallas the tableside service is not as big as our city is, but you may still find this elegant service with a host of cuisines. Sadly, our search found no tableside Caesar salads. If you are a restaurant looking to kick things up a bit, make your customers happier, and in improve your profits… please add this to your lineup.  Also know there are plenty more meat carving selections available in Dallas, we are showcasing a few of our favorites.


The S’more: Dallas is steep up in tableside s’mores. You remember these simple campfire treats laden with a toasted marshmallow and chocolate sandwiched between graham crackers. In Big D you can find these in many hotspots including Common Table in Uptown and Tillman’s Roadhouse in Oak Cliff. This is not as hifalutin as a a Steak Diane prepared lovingly by your side as these are more of a do-it-yourself operation.


Lawry’s The Prime Rib: This is the place for the most amazing prime rib, Yorkshire pudding and its signature “spinning salad” all served to the joy of its guests tableside.

stampede 66

Stampede 66: Here is the Dallas version of the tableside cocktail, and it makes sense. For the most lush margarita a cowgirl is directed to your table where she blends liquid nitrogen together with Herradura Double Reposado tequila, prickly pear fruit and Patrón Citronage orange liqueur. The result could be called dessert, but be careful of this boozy concoction.

Beto and Son in Trinity Groves has their own version of the liquid nitrogen margarita prepared by your favorite server.


Mi Dia From Scratch:  This Grapevine restaurant (with Plano location) has a tableside preparation of guacamole prepared in a molcajete where servers mash avocados and customize the blend with a variety of ingredients, including sun-dried tomatoes, walnuts and bacon. Look for a third location soon in Flower Mound.


Perry’s Steakhouse and Grille: This where you find that legendary pork chop that is massive in size and flavor. We have video! By the way, the flaming desserts? Perry’s does have those as well. Our choice of the three would be the Mont Blanc a la Frisc, made with vanilla ice cream served on a homemade sponge cake with freshly cut strawberries, topped with a flambéed Belgium white chocolate sauce prepared table-side with Bailey’s Irish Cream. A bargain on Friday’s at lunch for only 13.95.



The Oceanaire: Save room for dessert at this wonderful seafood restaurant, and be sure to order the Baked Alaska. This is the classic cake and ice cream dessert that is swirled in meringue and drizzle with alcohol then set aflame. The flavors change, so you will want to sample this often for a variety of flavors.

Table 13: Look for more than a dinner and a floorshow at this Addison restaurant that has this whimsical 60’s throwback feel. Here you get dinner and two floor shows. One on the stage, the other at your table. Table 13 offers both Baked Alaska and Bananas Foster while you watch. Video below.

Perry’s Steakhouse Chop

Oceanaire – Baked Alaska

This style of Pasta Carbonara is being made at Mercat Bistro in Dallas, but this only made Monday through Wednesday each week. Read more about the dish here.

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