Table of the Year: Table 321, Fearing’s, Dallas

You will be served the same mesquite-grilled rib eye at table 321 as you will at 623, over by the door. But at 321, you will enjoy it more. That’s what a good table can do for a meal: elevate it. Make a special night more special. That’s why people slip twenties to hostesses. Some good tables just happen; at Fearing’s, designer Bill Johnson put some real thought into creating one. It is elevated twenty inches, providing a superior view of the open kitchen, the fishbowl wine room, the dessert counter, and the glassed-off garden with its live oaks and mosaic fountains. It is a tad elitist — people will stare at you. It is called the chef’s table, and the chef often stops by. It is, in an archetypal way, the best seat in the house. The runners-up: 1. Any table against the rear glass wall with a grand view of the Hudson River at X2O Xaviars on the Hudson (Yonkers, New York). 2. The booth facing all the other tables at the Russian Tea Room (New York). 3. The table facing the open kitchen at Central Michel Richard (Washington, D.C.). 4. The table just inside the door at Pizzeria Mozza (Los Angeles).

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