Twenty six amazing All Access Foodies joined together for an incredible evening of food, beverage, and community at Table 23!
Table 23, led by Chef Brandon and owners Joe and Mandy Lemons, embraces the original “bones” of its 1920’s restored residence, located in Midtown at 1215 Thomasville Rd. Nestled under a canopy of moss-covered oak trees, Table 23 serves southern-style cuisine indoors, in their event space, or my favorite on a beautiful evening – their large, beautiful outdoor porch bar.
Like the previous, this Secret Dinner also sold out in under a minute, unbelievable!!! I’m so very grateful to all of our Tallahassee Foodies All Access supporters.
3 Elements To Our Secret Dinner:
- members pay up front with zero knowledge of where they’re going
- members receive an email with location reveal the morning of the event
- a custom, prix fixe menu is revealed upon arrival
The ultimate goal of our Secret Dinner Series is to bring a new, adventurous concept to Tallahassee, introduce our All Access Foodies subscribers to restaurants that are either new to them, or menu items they may have never tried, all while spending time together at one long table, building community. We had such a wonderful evening!
Our Secret Dinner At Table 23
I love that every Secret Dinner we’ve hosted has similar elements of beautifully plated courses delivered at the same time, an intro to the restaurant and each dish by the chef or owner, and a community experience. Aside from these elements of our Secret Dinner exclusive format, we also try to customize the experience a bit, per the character of each establishment.
Table 23 absolutely killed it at our latest Secret Dinner! You can tell when a moment is a hit, you can feel it. Looking around the room and seeing all the friendly smiles, the laughter, the sounds of joy as people took each bite! It was an incredible experience from beginning to end – or should I say, from our social gathering of charcuterie and cocktails, to our trio of desserts, with great eats and community conversation in between those amazing moments.
So many people came up to me afterwards with an unsettling compliment, “this one is going to be hard to beat”. While that is true, I’m hoping we can at least match this delicious experience again someday.
Massive photo dump and more details ahead….
I had been talking with Mandy Lemons of Table 23 since last summer about hosting a Secret Dinner at their beautiful location. We literally held off for so many months because the vision was a beautiful spring moment on their wood deck under the trees and twinkly outdoor lights. Well, Mother Nature had other plans in the form of a tornado warning, that luckily ended in time for all of us to get there safely. It was a full house! Their complimentary valet service was perfect for jumping out in the rain right at the front door.
Table 23 had the most beautiful back up plan for weather – a spacious upstairs room that I had only seen in pics of events at our Tallahassee Foodies Facebook Group. I was wow’ed when I entered the room – a long full board of charcuterie greeting the entry way, an open bar for our social gathering moment, and our very own bartender Mickey that kept us entertained with unlimited Table 23 signature cocktails, beer and wine throughout the night. He does tricks my friends! “Throw the fruit behind your back and catch it in the cocktail glass” tricks.
There are truly no words to express how wonderful everything was – the delicious food, the tasty creative cocktails, the friendly service, the beautiful decor, just an overall Southern hospitality moment from beginning to end! Chef Brandon poured his heart into this dinner, and it was the most wonderful meal I’ve ever experienced at Table 23. Every single bite was pure joy. A very heartfelt thank you to you, Chef Brandon. Your talent is beyond measure, and I appreciate you so much!
The beauty of these dinners, besides the adventure of trying a place that may be “new to you” is, if you have previously dined at the establishment before, you may find yourself trying menu items that are “new to you”! This time, I was the one exclaiming, “I would have never ordered that, but it’s fantastic”, and therein lies the adventure. Read on to find out what was new to me!
I had a bit of a hand in deciding this menu, mostly because it was a great excuse to meet up with Mandy and have a glass of wine together, all in the name of party planning lol, but they also threw in some things I’d never tried before.
I ALWAYS order the incredibly flavorful Blackened Tuna and Fig appetizer, so it was wonderful to watch everyone eat this in delight. The beauty of Table 23 is their everyday “community based” menu is heavy on the cocktails and appetizers, meant to be shared, so I tend to order many appetizers as entrees when dining there. This time, I adventured beyond the apps, and finally got to try their wedge salad which is amazing. This dish also got my vote because I feel like dinner have a course that mixes in crisp, fresh ingredients and color. It was a refreshing, southern-style take on a wedge, and it was delicious!
More that was “new to me” – my husband makes a damn good steak at home, so if I’m ever out and about, I typically order seafood. Well, we got a little surf and turf at this custom tasting and both were fantastic! Wow, such incredible flavors. The Prosciutto Wrapped Filet was tender, so full of flavor, seasoned beautifully, and the prosciutto on the outside was indeed crispy – all cooked to perfection. This was served over their famous garlic mashed potatoes, again something I would never order because my husband makes amazing mashed potatoes, but wow, there was something about this garlicy mashed blend that was ADDICTIVE!
The Grouper 23 made me love corn, y’all. Again, the adventure of a mystery pre-fixe menu, getting us to step outside of our usual “ordering comfort zone”. I declared that there was something so tasty in this course that I couldn’t quite place, and then I realized, it was the delicious sweet corn. Every ingredient in this dish played so well off of each other, just an incredibly tasty entree!
And then there was the dessert – a trio of my favorites, yet I had no input on this “sweet treat” moment! I LOVE myself a key lime pie, creme brûlée, and flourless chocolate anything. It was a trio that all tasted so well when you jump from bite to bite, and for this round, all things I would order at a restaurant. They even let us take home the key lime pie filled Table 23 shot glasses as a party favor!
Joe and Mandy, dear friends from my days in the hospitality industry, I just cannot thank you enough for everything. Thank you for treating our group so special, and thank you for taking the time to come up and share some laughs with our amazing supporters. For the two of you, Chef Brandon, and the entire Table 23 team, I am so very grateful. Everything was so super delicious, we were all wow’ed by each course!
For our Secret Dinners series, we hope to offer a wide array of cuisines from multicultural backgrounds, ranging from super casual to elegant wine pairing dinners!
What an incredible experience! Thank you so much to the entire Table 23 team for the delicious food, all you can drink open bar (wow!!!), and wonderful service, to Dave Barfield of Lonely Fox Studios for these beautiful images, and to our All Access Foodies for joining us for such a fun-filled evening.
Secret Dinners are exclusive for our All Access Foodies only. For as little as $5 per month, you receive access to our private deals page, monthly perks, and first access to exclusive events. Funding pays for blog hosting, newsletter expenses, and the articles that help give back to our local community.