New in Beverly Farms - Hale St Tavern & Oyster Bar, anyone been?
The other day I drove by what used to be Zoe's in Beverly and it is now Hale Street Tavern & Oyster Bar. Zoe's was a nice space but DC & I shared a couple apps there once last year and the place was unfortunately not about the food. Zoe's was part of the Cala's group. Does anyone know if the new place is still part of the Cala's family, and more importantly, how's the food/oysters, etc.?
Beyond having a selection of good oyster that are well prepared what are the qualities of a 'proper oyster bar'? Does a proper Oyster bar need to eschew all other seafood or could a good raw bar that also served littlenecks be a proper oyster bar as well? Is it the focus on oysters that makes it 'proper'? I've never been to Neptune that everyone raves about; would that qualify? What are some other places worthy of that title? Are 'proper oyster bars' generally found in a specific geographic location? I love oysters, I'm curious.
Stopped in on a whim last week, about 4 pm during a Red Sox game and thought I'd have a few bi-valves whilst watching the boys of summer in the spring. The place looks great. The parking wasn't bad, but it was only 4pm. Bartender was friendly and I had a martini and read through the menu. Lots to choose from and several nightly specials. It was Wednesday, so they had a 25 cent wing night. I wasn't looking for a meal, so the wings sounded good and economical. Mild, hot or Atomic Hot were available. I like hot, but I decided to go mild, and they were hot. I asked about the A-Hot sauce and the bartender made a face and said it's unbelieveable. But the wings were good, fresh, hot, crispy and the blue cheese dressing was very chunky. I thought about oysters, but got full with the wings, and I thought, "6 wings for the price of one half oyster...." anyway, they had 5 or six different offerings of oysters, east and west coast. I will be back very soon for some. The place should do well. It looks good, the apps were good, the drinks were good and yes, the calas are the owners.
We ate there the other night and were very pleased overall. The Hale St salad with walnuts, apples, cranberries and blue cheese sounds standard but I found it much better than the normal rendition - the dressing was nice and light and had a lovely sweet flavor without being overpowering. I then had the fish stew which was loaded with beautifully cooked seafood. I can't say the broth was world-class, but it was perfectly fine and again the seafood was generous and all cooked perfectly. Plus they fed their mussels parsley - I always like that little touch. My husband had a steak which was cooked perfectly but a little tough. The spring rolls were good (although I am never enthused about fried food...) with very flavorful sauces.
The atmosphere was fun - had a couple of Hoegaarden's - it was $5 draft night so that was a pleasant surprise. All in all an excellent value and an extremely pleasant evening. We'll be back with the kids on Monday night for Kids Eat Free night!
i went to hale st. sunday very excited that there was another restaurant on the north shore now serving brunch ... as there are so few. 10 minutes later we actually walked out.
we sat ourselves in the corner at a very cozy couch with a coffee table. the sign said please wait to be seated, but a customer told us that no one is seating and that we should seat ourselves. the coffee table was cleared, but quite dirty, no worries i thought, i'm sure they'll wipe it off in due time. we sat there for 5 minutes and no one came by. i got up and went to the hostess stand and got ourselves menus. still no one came by. right next to us a party of four sat down, they were given menus, and drink orders were taken. i then got up and asked if we could be waited on. the waitress replied that she wasn't sure, would we like to sit at this table instead ... which was all of 2 feet away. i told her that we'd prefer to sit at the couch if possible. her response was she'd ask her manager and she didn't return. nor did the manager. meanwhile, she began waiting on another new party that came in behind of of six people. they sat right next to us, we handed menus and drink orders were taken. still - no one came to our table. she then took both brunch orders for the other 2 tables, and no one had still yet acknowledged us ... well over 10 minutes into this ... it became obvious this wasn't going to be a wonderfully relaxing brunch, it was going to be a struggle to get surved, and take a while given 10 peoples orders were now if front of us. with no interest in begging someone to wait on us it was decided to give our business to someone else.
the restaurant was not even a quarter full. one would think that given the state of the economy, and the adverstising dollars they must spend somewhere, that when someone walks in the door they are greated and waited on. there was no hostess, no bartender, no manager overseeing the dining room ... just 2 waitresses that seeminly just didn't give a damn.
for anyone that is looking for a great brunch in that area ... go to Tryst in Beverly ... it's amazing! for anyone looking for a great restaurant in Beverly Farms go to Cygnet, always excellent food and service. Other gems ... Cala in Manchester, Wild Horse and Soma in Beverly.
Hale St ... my grade? a solid F.