Take a seat at the big table

Bites and wine pairings in Oceanside

A roast beef bite at the Miller's Table
  • A roast beef bite at the Miller's Table

There’s an actual table at the center of Oceanside eatery, The Miller’s Table. It’s a large, stoutly constructed wood high top, about 6'x6', topped with plants, candles, and eclectic décor. The community table is not the only place to sit — there are a couple of counter seats and outdoor tables should you feel like keeping to yourself.

The Miller's Table

514 S Coast Highway Suite A, Oceanside

But, since social dining contributes mightily to the small restaurant’s immense charm, I’d suggest doing as I did: grab a seat at one corner of the table and prepare to get chummy with your fellow customers.

Tuna bites use cucumber slices as an alternative to a ciabatta roll.

Tuna bites use cucumber slices as an alternative to a ciabatta roll.

You may want to ask questions about the wine list. Foodwise, The Miller’s Table chiefly serves sandwiches, salads, and an attractive charcuterie board, and as you peruse the menu, you’ll notice suggested drink pairing suggestions. An Italian red goes with a pressed sandwich of cured meats, for example, while a spicy, house-roasted turkey sandwich likes something fruity. The daily grilled cheese special goes with beer.

Someone from the small culinary team behind the place will offer more specific guidance, and you may find yourself in a conversation touching on the character of distinct varietals. The setting lends to a homey, European vibe, and it’s easy to forget you’re in Oceanside, with the coast highway outside the door.

I found myself trying to decide between a $14 tuna sandwich, and the $12 house-roasted beef. For $6.50 and $6, respectively, I embraced the option to try smaller versions of both. I imagined these so-called “bites” would resemble half sandwiches, or small sliders. They turned out much more interesting.

While the whole sandwiches would have been served on ciabatta, the bites were the same sandwiches deconstructed into hors d'oeuvres. So, like the sandwich it resembles, the roast beef came with horseradish, mustard, arugula, and lightly oven-roasted tomato, except these were served atop a small crostini.

Likewise, the Italian Kissed Tuna featured a lemony tuna salad served with grape tomatoes atop a smear of black olive tapenade, except the crostini was swapped out in favor of a thick slice of cucumber.

With three bites per order, these would make a terrific sharing option, but I devoured them all myself, and it proved tough to declare a favorite. The sliced beef came through moist, tender, and pink in the center; the saucy tuna salad’s bright flavors complemented by the tapenade, and contrasted by the coolness of the cucumber.

As the chef pointed out when she brought the bites to my table, the small assembly took more work than the sandwich alternatives would have. Hopefully, the quick work I made of these tasty morsels justified the extra effort.

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