Centers of Attention

Chef’s tables let you dine like the culinary elite.


Everyone knows restaurants have good tables (the center booth) and bad tables (the two-top by the bathroom), but more and more local spots are adding another category: the chef’s table, offering special menus, service, and views—and a status upgrade over the hoi polloi.

 

AUJOURD’HUI

The Setting: Located near the kitchen—or inside it, by request—Table 76 (available Tuesday through Thursday) can seat two to eight.
The Food:
Modern French. Dine on a "chef’s whim" menu created by William Kovel, who pays regular visits to the table.
The Cost:
$250 per person for four courses with wine, plus amuses and other treats. 200 Boylston St., Boston, 617-351-2037, fourseasons.com.

PERSEPHONE

The Setting: Configured for what chef Michael Leviton calls a "communal supper club," the large table seats 18. Diners can reserve as many chairs as needed.
The Food:
Top-notch seasonal ingredients—many from local sources—prepared simply on an ever changing menu.
The Cost: $45 per person for three courses with wine. 283 Summer St., Boston, 617-695-2257, achilles-project.com.

RENDEZVOUS
The Setting:
Nestled into a nook by the front windows, the table can seat as few as eight and as many as 24.
The Food: Mediterranean, with an emphasis on local ingredients. You choose the number of courses; chef-owner Steve Johnson is your guide.
The Cost: Varies, but a typical four-course menu is $50 per person. 502 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, 617-576-1900, rendezvouscentralsquare.com.

SIBLING RIVALRY
The Setting:
Here the chef’s table is actually a brushed metal bar overlooking the open kitchen.
The Food:
Modern American (such as grilled hanger steak served with a blue cheese popover and shallot rings). Order from the regular menu, or arrange for a chef’s tasting.
The Cost:
Varies, but a typical three-course à la carte meal, without wine, runs about $55 per person. 525 Tremont St., Boston, 617-338-5338, siblingrivalryboston.com.