The Table. Singular. Leigh Ann Card has opened her newest dining venture in Marathon. The space is half commercial kitchen in an open format, visible from the long farm table and a short bar. It’s a novel concept for the Keys and really well executed.
“I wanted to have a birthday party for my husband, but didn’t want to go to a regular restaurant,” said Rachel Wagner. “This is perfect. I love her cooking and the intimacy of celebrating with just friends. We’ve been missing our get-togethers and this made it possible.”
The vibe is welcoming and laid back, but the attention to detail suggests understated luxury. The main table seats 12, and there is also a bar area that can seat another six guests. The room is bookended by two display cases — quality crackers, Leigh Ann’s own mushroom paté, and wine and champagne.
“We carry very good wine. Many people translate that to mean expensive, but it’s not. Let’s call it a boutique inventory,” she said.
The magic happens in her cooking area. Leigh Ann designed the space specifically to fit her needs, and she pirouettes between stations where everything is an arm’s length away. Her parties range from sip-and-nibble with a huge charcuterie board spread to full meals including appetizers and dessert.
“Usually, all the guests have the same meal,” she said, “but we can alter it to accommodate food allergies and things like that.”
The open concept makes for an interactive experience for the guests and chefs. There’s a cooktop built into the bar. As soon as it’s safe to do so, Leigh Ann intends to hold cooking classes. She dreams about bringing in local guests chefs, too, to add some spice.
Even before the pandemic, this private dining concept was taking off globally. During the pandemic, it’s perfect. Friends and family groups can go out for a meal, while still isolating themselves in their own bubble.
Leigh Ann continues to provide off-site catering, as well, through her company Clouds in My Coffee Catering (cloudsinmycoffeecatering.com). Customers can also order custom baskets, boards, desserts and Key Lime pies. More information about catering or The Table is available at 305-731-5654.
Vote for Leigh Ann today! Favorite Chef (favchef.com) is sponsoring a contest. If Leigh Ann wins, she’ll be featured in a two-page spread in Bon Appétit magazine and receive $50,000. A portion of the proceeds will go to Feeding America, the nation’s largest organization dedicated to ending hunger in the U.S. Voting ends Thursday, Jan. 25 at 6 p.m. PST. To vote, visit favchef.com and click on “Who is the favorite chef / discover” button, then scroll down and search for Leigh Ann Card by name. Voters can cast a free ballot on Facebook or purchase votes.