During the long months of renovation, residents of the Smuggs area must have found the sign that trumpeted that The Family Table was “coming soon” painfully tantalizing. Chef-owner John Raphael thanked locals for their patience and support on Wednesday in the best possible way — with free food. The next day, the building formerly occupied by Jana’s Cupboard opened to the public. Raphael, who has two degrees from Johnson & Wales and has been a restaurateur in Rhode Island, says he’s excited to provide carefully prepared, home-style cooking to his new neighbors.
Dishes include buttermilk fried chicken — which is brined for three days before being double-dipped in batter and fried — maple-herb-brined pork chops, fettuccine Alfredo and shrimp scampi. Specials will be more ambitious, showcasing Raphael’s high-end training, but few items will exceed $20. In summer, fish fry and barbecue will be dished up from the restaurant’s side window.
Whatever he makes, Raphael is confident folks will come back for more. “I’m picky,” he says. “So it’s gotta be perfect.”