Braised Short Ribs ($18)
Amongst the best I've had anywhere, steam table or no. Meltingly tender and rich, cooked just so, and served on top of an insanely buttery, horseradish-scented rough purée of Yukon gold potatoes.
Turkey Meatball Sandwich ($12)
No Samuelsson venture would be complete without some version of his meatballs. American Tables' meatballs go the turkey route, with a decidedly more meatloaf-like texture—tender and flavorful. In place of lingonberry jam, you get a swipe of cranberry sauce along with some excellent pickled red cabbage and a saucerful of mushroom gravy.
Country Ham Biscuits ($12)
They don't taste like country ham (I could swear it was sliced city ham in there), but are nevertheless tasty, with excellent tender, buttery biscuits.
Side of Pickles ($5)
If you've had any of Samuelsson's food, you'd know he has a good way with pickles, and the Pickled Onions, Cucumbers, and Carrots are perfect for snacking on.
Cocktails ($13 each)
The Penny Arcade is a vanilla-scented twist on the Sazerac served on the rocks, while the Minuet is a maraschino-less Aviation that goes down just a little too easy if you want to stay awake and alert during the concert.
Taco Doro Wat ($12)
Taco Doro Wat is an odd mish-mash of Ethiopian food served in a Mexican setting, but it works. The spiced chicken stew is robust enough that you could mistake it for pork, its juices barely contained by the corn tortillas it comes piled on top of along with fresh cheese and a crushed hard boiled egg.
Squash Soup ($8)
Gingery, aromatic, and soul-soothingly rich and velvety. The grilled cheese we decided to tack on for an extra $6 was a miss, however, with chunks of still-cold cheese in the center of some barely-toasted bread from the panini press.
Spiced Bread Pudding
Served with salted caramel and whipped cream, it's the kind of dessert that actually improves as it sits, slowly softening to a near pudding-like texture.