The food at Table 8, a new restaurant located in the Cooper Square Hotel, is meant for people who like their seasonal vegetables but also those who might want a nice steak every now and again. Chef Govind Armstrong doesn’t favor a lot of day-long stock reducing, jellifying, foaming, or nitro freezing anything in the kitchen. Instead, he'll roast some mushrooms to pair with the halibut and sorrel, or add some tiny yellow popcorn shoots to the just warmed through sweet pea leaves with prawns and pistachio vinaigrette. No tricks.

There are other Table 8 locations, in Miami and LA, and this new one follows with a sort of unabashed Californian vibe, perhaps in part because Armstrong started his career at the original Spago when he was just 13-years-old. No doubt the man has rolled out more than a few of Wolfgang Puck’s signature smoked salmon pizzas with crème fraîche in his time, but Armstrong has long been obsessed with trying new things. The chef once called his cooking-fixated, teenaged self "a strange kid who would read the food section and rip stuff out"; at Table 8 he seemingly just wants ingredients to dictate his menu and isn't seeking to merely clone his already-open restaurants.

There’s an arched, black subway tiled ceiling over the bar area. The bar itself is marble, and from one of the stools it’s easy to pretend you’re in California, again. In the dining room there is a big glass wall and a big leather paneled wall. That inside space is cool, dark, and is perhaps what it would look like if the Batcave closed down and was repurposed into a sustainable locavore restaurant. (And if Alfred served a stellar house-made linguine with Parsley, Lemon, Ricotta and Bread Crumbs.)

Chef de cuisine Willis Loughhead provides the charcuterie assist and is already turning out things like pistachio flecked mortadella, country pate, and lamb pepperoni at the restaurant's 14-seat "Salt Bar." Vegetarian options like white asparagus soup with pretzel croutons and pumpkinseed oil are menu-balanced by a heartier Prime Porterhouse for two, decked out with three side dishes. The signature cocktail here is the Basil 8, made from muddled green grapes and basil with vodka, lime, sugar, and ginger ale. Below, last night’s opening menu, sent over by Table 8.

Table 8 // Cooper Square Hotel // 25 Cooper Square // (212) 475-3400

SALT BAR

Prosciutto 5
Mortadella 4
Fluke 4
Striped Bass 4
Scallop 5
Country Pate 3
Serrano 4
Duck Prosciutto 3

FLATBREAD
Fennel Honey, Mushroom, Goat Cheese, Thyme 4


Grilled Octopus with Celery Heart Salad, Tomato and Moroccan Olives 9
Sweet Pea Salad with Seared Prawn and Pistachio Vinaigrette 12
Oak Leaf Salad with Roasted Beets, Sweet Onion, Feta and Black Olive Oil 8
Seared Cana de Cabra with Arugula, Avocado, Red Onion, and Balsamic 9
Sauteed Scallops on Wilted Spinach with Spring Succotash 12
Crisp Soft Shell Crab with Shaved Asparagus Salad and Ramp Aioli 12
Quail with Wild Leek Polenta and Spring Bean Salad 11


SMALL ACCENTS
Spinach with Grilled Watermelon and Red Onion 3
Pickled Vegetable Crudités with Garlic Aioli 5
Cauliflower a la Plancha with Dill, Capers and Parsley 4
Braised Turnips and Radishes with Warm Anchovy Vinaigrette 4
Grilled Broccolini with Chili and Garlic 3


Linguine with Parsley, Lemon, Ricotta and Bread Crumbs 7/14
Halibut with Sugar Snap Peas, Artichokes, Mushrooms and Sorrel Sauce 22
Bone-in Skate with Steamed Cockles, Fregola Sarda in Spicy Saffron Broth 19
Wild Striped Bass with Warm Potato Salad and Lobster Sauce 25
Grilled Baby Chicken with Short Rib Hash, Cipollini Jus and Arugula Salad 22
Filet Mignon with Confit Baby Potatoes, Charred Leek and Horseradish 29
Duck with Sunchoke, Hazelnuts and Kumquat 24