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Mable’s Table Takes Over the Jane’s Space in Bucktown

Mable is chef Anthony Reyes’s mom.

Steak and meatballs at Mable’s Table   Photo courtesy of Mable's Table

It’s time to get over Jane and give Mable a shot. Mable’s Table (1655 W. Cortland St., Bucktown) has settled into the space occupied for 23 years by the Bucktown brunch darling, and chef-owner Anthony Reyes (Rosebud, Fig & Olive) aims to win over the neighborhood with good old-fashioned hospitality and food he calls “Mom-inspired, chef-driven.”

Mable, the “mom” piece of that equation, is Reyes’ mother, an avid cook with a heart for others. “Our home was always open for people who were less fortunate,” Reyes says of his youth. “We didn’t have a lot, but we always shared. I want to keep doing that,” he adds.

Reyes’ American continental cuisine accounts for the “chef-driven” label. “My mom is Mexican, Italian, and Irish. [We ate] great Italian food, great Spanish food, and apple-bacon-wrapped meatloaf once a week,” he says. “There was a hodgepodge of everything going on in the kitchen.” To honor this, Reyes created a menu that relies heavily on Mable’s recipes. “I’ve been thinking about this menu for decades; I’ve been eating it for decades. I just added a little chefness to it,” Reyes concludes.

Offerings run the gamut from fish to steak to meatballs: Seafood is flown in daily and appears in dishes such as King crab and kimchi fried rice; steaks are 21- to 28-day wet-aged and hand-cut in house. And those meatballs? Apparently they needed some tweaking: “Mom was [at the restaurant] Saturday making meatballs,” Reyes says. “She’s like, ‘Anthony! Shred more cheese!’ The other two cooks are just looking at me. The second I walk away, she puts more cheese in.” Talk about quality control: “She’ll go behind the line and taste everything,” he adds.

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