Country chic cocktails and cooking7/29/2015
According to Bridal Guide magazine, the No. 2 wedding theme for 2015 is “rustic chic,” while “flea market,” “country style” and “vintage living” are trending searches on the Better Homes and Gardens website. Charming barns are sought after as backdrops for senior pictures, and antique tea sets sell in several shops on Etsy. What all these things have in common is a little bit of elegance and a little bit of country.
This combination is also true for Table 128 Bistro and Bar in Clive. This place oozes class — but in a cozy and subtle way.
Upon entering, customers are greeted by a beautiful shelving unit holding drink glasses, copper mugs and liquor; the backdrop to the bar is made out of distressed wood, as is the hostess stand, which is the customer’s first stop. The hostess directs patrons to their table — already set with a small centerpiece, a glass carafe of water, glasses and silverware — and offers to move them if the spot is unsuitable. She goes on to tell them her name, the soup of the day and the lunch feature, all of which she lists as if she came up with them herself, making “sliced almonds” on the salad sound like a secret indulgence.
It’s evident she’s passionate about her workplace.
The hostess takes your drink order or leaves you to look over Table 128’s six-page drink menu. As overwhelming as that sounds, it’s organized by beverage type — cocktails; white, red or bubbly wine by the glass; white or red wine by the bottle; and beer, either bottled brews or rotating drafts — with bottled wine taking up half the pages. Narrow down between the categories, and it becomes much easier to make a selection.
Table 128’s cocktail list is created and compiled by its in-house mixologist, Blake Brown. His creations range from the seasonal drinks, hand-scripted on the bar mirrors, to the menu staples like the Blood Orange Mojito, made with Appleton V/X rum, Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur, lime, mint, and club soda mixed in a highball and the Apricot Julep, Baker’s seven-year bourbon, apricot grappa, mint, demerara sugar and crushed ice, served in a julep cup.
Brown’s creations are a signature aspect to Table 128’s style. The drinks complement the sophistication of the indoor space, but it’s not so refined as to feel awkward with your fancy glass out on the patio. Think back porch-swing in the summer or fall bonfire style.
The antique china and embroidered vintage aprons hang framed on the wall. They spice up the decor, while the birch branches standing in vases and cool paint colors send a calming, relaxing vibe throughout the establishment. The combination of high-tops near the bar and booths in the back builds a framework for the tables in the middle, creating a cozy environment to enjoy lunch or dinner.
The lunch and dinner menus are one page each, which helps make choosing very simple. Keep in mind, though, that while the lunch menu ranges $10-$15 a plate, Table 128 has a regular lunch special where diners can pick two for $9: soup, salad or half a sandwich.
And, for a great date night, go on Saturdays for a three-course dinner and wine paring ($55), usually made with ingredients from local producers. Saturday’s menu changes every week, so you can go again and again to enjoy the rustic, country-chic look and feel at Table 128 Bistro and Bar. CV
TABLE 128 BISTRO AND BAR
12695 University Ave., Suite 140, Clive
Mon. – Fri. 11 a.m. – 10 p.m., Sat. 4-10 p.m.
Happy Hour: 3-6 p.m. daily
Bri Levandowski is a senior in journalism at Iowa State University. She is writing as part of an internship with Cityview.