Where to Try Classic Dishes Prepped Tableside

This old-school dining experience is back again  

There’s only one thing better than a great meal—dinner and a show. Tableside meal prep is making a strong return, with favourite classic dishes at the forefront. 

Here’s where to snag a ringside seat:

Hy’s Steakhouse & Cocktail Bar, Toronto (and various locations across Canada)

In the heart of the Financial District, Hy’s serves up some of the biggest and juiciest steaks in the city. It is also a hub for those who love the tableside dining experience—Hy’s has been carrying on the tradition since it first opened in Calgary 60 years ago.

Dish to try: Steak Diane, an old-school dish originally created for game meat. Beef tenderloin is seared in a pool of hot, clarified butter, bathed in a veal stock and cream sauce, then splashed generously in brandy and set aflame. A true showstopper!

Hugo’s Cellar, Las Vegas

No apologies here for sticking to traditional ways: Ladies receive a red rose, and diners can beckon a salad cart to roll up to their table. The menu is equally traditional, with mains like beef Wellington and shrimp scampi.

Dish to try: Cherries Jubilee for two. Originally prepared to celebrate Queen Victoria’s 1897 Diamond Jubilee, this dessert features pitted cherries simmered in brown sugar and butter, kirsch (cherry brandy) and a burst of flames. Then the warm sauce engulfs a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Le Paris Grill, London

Since 1978, this family-run establishment in Tower Hill, just outside of London, has served no-nonsense French classics. It’s notorious for its wall of ties, cut from the necks of diners who dare wear loud ones on their birthdays.

Dish to try: Steak tartare. The secret to a perfect version of this classic is high-quality beef. You can see the freshness as the server chops it tableside, then mixes in a raw egg yolk—onions, capers, and pickles on the side. Dress it as you like before smearing it across crisp toast.

The Dal Rae, near Los Angeles

It’s worth the 30-minute drive from downtown to slip back in time at this L.A. institution that opened in 1958. You know you’re in the right spot from the towering atomic-age neon sign.

Dish to try: Caesar salad. Of all things prepped tableside, this is one staple that never goes away. Here, ingredients (including olive oil, Tabasco and dry mustard) are drizzled and swished one by one into a wooden salad bowl, then mashed with a fork. It looks so simple and tastes so delicious you’ll never buy bottled dressing again.

Desnuda Cevicheria, Brooklyn, New York

If you prefer eating with an exotic twist, try this sleek bistro that channels flavours of South America. The restaurant is known for its excellent ceviche as well as its tableside theatrics, like taking a blowtorch to crisp up potatoes.

Dish to try: Tea-smoked oysters. Glass orbs capture smoke from fragrant burnt tea leaves and are then placed atop raw oysters to lightly infuse a smoky flavour. Wait 90 seconds, inhale the smoke, then slurp.