Some restaurants serve Dover sole or Caesar salad tableside. The Oval Room is introducing tableside coffee service.
The restaurant recently purchased a Siphon coffee maker to add a bit more excitement to its after-dinner offerings. According to general manager Simon Stilwell, the move came about because they asked customers what they'd like to see from the restaurant (which recently underwent a $1 million renovation), and younger diners said they wanted a more interactive night out. "The younger or millennial generation wanted to be a a part of the experience in some way, and tableside coffee isn't the same thing as pouring a sauce or other [gestures] people are used to," he said.
The restaurant first investigating offering pour-over coffee, but it took five to 10 minutes to deliver a cup that way. With the Siphon apparatus, it takes less than three minutes to brew a pot. For those unfamiliar with the device, looks like somethign out of a chemistry set (Stilwell likens it to the device Gale built on "Breaking Bad"). Advocates of the style praise it because coffee is ground fresh to order, and the device uses a "full immersion" style that leads to a smooth taste. The coffee remains hot during the entire brewing process (compared to, say, the French press method).
The restaurant has been serving the coffee option for about a month now; Stilwell says customers are more likely to order it when they see it delivered to another table. "It's a fun show. There are a lot of good restaurants out there, but sometimes you want a little flair with your meal." The coffee is $12 for a two-person serving and $20 for a four-person pot, and can be customized to serve a single customer or group of up to six.
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