Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Greater Boston Area >
Mar 27, 2013 10:31 AM

Tavern Road

I didn't see a topic dedicated to Tavern Road, so here it is.

Last night, we shared:
Focaccia with honey butter - are they microwaving these to heat them up? Whatever the method is, the buns are very chewy.
Hunter's sausage - really meaty and slightly smoky.
Whipped goat’s milk feta - this came on what looked like mini-English muffins, but were definitely some sort of grilled bread. There was a sweet flavor that overpowered any goat essence.
Lamb meatballs, baby artichoke, sheep’s milk yogurt - possibly more pureed in texture than I would have loved - the exterior of these were crisp, verging on crunchy. The baby artichokes were delightful.
Smoked fish belly, strawberry, eva’s pea greens, mint, ginger-orange vinaigrette - The smoked fish belly didn't have a chance in standing up to strawberries and a rather tasty dressing, but at least all the textures worked.
Baby beets, dates, pea tendrils, horseradish - I think this dish may have changed from the menu as I couldn't detect any dates or horseradish, but our beets were glazed to perfection.

I felt rather mezza mezza about the food, but perhaps a seat at the bar, a genever cocktail in hand, and some charcuterie could be quite pleasant.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. My first impressions are of a first-rate craft cocktail program and a very impressive slate of charcuterie (we tried the entire selection in a couple of sittings). It's a place I want to go back and explore a lot of the menu. Along with Drink and Sportello, about the only use I have for the Seaport at the moment.

    14 Replies
    1. re: MC Slim JB

      No opinions on Blue Dragon yet? Also, I can't wait until Trillium opens their brew pub -- I had their farmhouse ale at Vee Vee last night, and it was really good.

        1. re: Gordough

          For some reason, I had in my mind that it was going to be a brew pub as well (probably one of the early press releases), not just a store front and brewery.

          1. re: yarm

            Trillium is open and the beer is GOOD (as noted above). They originally wanted to be able to offer a tasting room at the brewery, but so far that's not happening. They have a small retail space at the front of the brewery at 369 Congress Street. Stop by and buy a growler of beer (to go) or some of their merchandise, if you're so inclined.

            They are *hoping* to one day be able to call their retail space a tasting room, but so far they don't have permission from the city of Boston (because, I believe, they don't have an ADA-compliant bathroom). They are hoping to get a variance for this, but it remains to be seen if that will happen.

            Regardless, if you're a beer fan, it's worth a visit. I've been enjoying a glass or two of their beer just about every night this week at home.

        2. re: yarm

          I've been in to Blue Dragon for a drink, not food. Cool-looking space, a tavern in Chinese restaurant drag, but small and cramped, 80 seats in a tight space. It has been a mob scene every time I've tried to get by to try the food, long waits, and it doesn't take reservations for parties smaller than 10.

          Think Toro if it were half the size, in Fort Point, and Ken Oringer had a TV show and a loyal exurban fan base. In other words, it might be really good, but it will probably be a pain in the ass for people like me who hate to stand at a packed bar for an hour-plus waiting to eat.

          My cocktail was competently done by a bartender the approximate size and shape of The Rock, in one of those big-assed cocktail glasses for $14.

          1. re: MC Slim JB

            I'd go just for The Rock mixing me a big-assed cocktail! Who needs food?

            1. re: mtm7654

              I'm fairly certain the ladies of a certain age seated at the bar in front of me had chosen their seats strategically.


            2. re: MC Slim JB

              There's a window onto the line from the first unisex bathroom in Blue Dragon - anyone who wants to wash their hands and watch the line cooks now have a birdseye view.

              1. re: MC Slim JB

                Big John can be intimidating but he knows his way behind a bar and the classics. He was at E.S. up until a few months ago. I have yet to hit up Blue Dragon but I've heard nightmarish reviews about their opening week, including a sighting of Ming face palming himself while shaking his head as he walked out of th kitchen.

                1. re: Unfoodie

                  Thought I knew most of the ESK staff, amongst which he'd certainly stand out; he's one I had never seen there or elsewhere.


                  1. re: MC Slim JB

                    He was at the Alchemist before they closed and he moved on to Anchovies. He opened Firebrand Saints prior to his stint at ESK.

                    1. re: Unfoodie

                      Also, I don't think he was at ESKD all that long before he went to Mead Hall prior to Blue Dragon which might be why you missed him Slim. Never got to visit him at MH, but he was a good bartender at ESKD (I sat at his bar over the summer).


              2. re: yarm

                yarm, we have been meaning to try vee vee; how is its food?thx.

                1. re: opinionatedchef

                  I really enjoy it and would go more often if JP wasn't such a hike. Veggie and pescatarian friendly. Always properly cooked. Good beer selection.

                  I've heard good things about their brunches, but haven't made it out. Did try their vegan Wednesday night fixed price menu and they did an excellent job with that.


            3. I had a great Manhattan there (w/ a giant ice cube), but no food. I am intrigued and would like to go back.

              1. We ate there two nights ago, and really liked everything. Charcuterie tray was great. Agree on Hunter's sausage and liked the lardo and lomo a lot. Two of us had fish. The cobia was escabeche and the citrus was nicely integrated. The skin was perfectly crunchy. I had the char and it was cooked to a warm center, which i loved. We also thought the sides were outstanding, especially the mushrooms and carrots and the wilted greens with pine nuts. Side portions were enough for 3 each.

                My friend had a Straight to Hell and really liked it. In fact, he had 3. I had a really nice $8 red from Spain.

                Service was friendly and professional, except for very in-depth tour of the entire menu when we sat. No way they can do that once they get busy - it must have taken 3 minutes.

                To correct a geographical inaccuracy that i learned today from, Tavern Road is in the Innovation District, fka Fort Point Channel. Different from the Seaport. No chain restaurants yet.

                Will be happy to go back.

                1 Reply
                1. re: WTF51

                  Sorry, have to take issue with this since I live here. The "Innovation District" is a trumped-up marketing name the Mayor created to attract big pharma and tech companies to the Seaport area. Even "Seaport" is a branding effort by real estate professionals to direct people to the Northern Ave/Seaport Blvd. developments.

                  But "Fort Point Channel" is an actual geographical designation formally recognized by the BRA, the Landmarks Commission and City Hall for 30+ years. If you cross Summer St. Bridge you will see "Welcome to Fort Point" sign. It spans from Sleeper St. to Channel Center Street, and down to the HarborWalk.

                2. gini, thx much for this very helpful detailed account, the only long report here. Hasn't anyone else had some food here recently? I've made reservations for next Tues and would love some more pointers, as there are so many appealing dishes. TIA.

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: opinionatedchef

                    bump. would love current recs from hounds! anyone?we're headed there this tues. TIA

                    1. re: opinionatedchef

                      Wish I could help you out but haven't been. I have to say that after reading this thread I feel the great need to go to the bar, have a drink and oggle "Big John".

                    2. re: opinionatedchef

                      I went about a month ago. Just two of us and we didn't order a lot, but we did enjoy what we got quite a bit.

                      First off, all the main dishes are served steak-house style with no accompaniments, and sides are meant to be ordered separately. I didn't mind too much because the prices were on the low side, but it is a bit different.

                      I had a rabbit leg that is not on the current online menu. It was an unusual preparation, but it worked well. Sorry, can't remember specific ingredients. One thing I noted was that it made for a light meal with just one side of veggies (I think broccoli rabe or a bitter green, which was fine but nothing too special).

                      My DC had the lamb loin with merguez. The loin was nicely cooked and the merguez was well spiced. The amount of meat was also much larger than on the rabbit dish. He also had a side of the kaese spaetzle, which was delicious and compared well to versions I had in Austria and Germany.

                      We didn't sample any of the drinks, having come from Drink. The bar was hopping, but there was a number of empty tables. We liked the atmosphere and food, and I would certainly go back.

                      1. re: opinionatedchef

                        We went this past weekend and are now positively smitten. Spent about an hour at the bar before seating - we had a res but had planned to meet our dining companions at Drink. The wait was waaaaaaaaay to long at Drink so we decided to cocktail at Tavern Road. What a great decision. We did not order anything special at the bar, as I am a wine drinker and my husband is a bourbon drinker. But the service and the options were top notch. Nowhere have I enjoyed a crowded bar scene standing up and being jostled as I did this cocktail hour. The energy is just great (as is the music!) Once seated we were presented with the above-referenced focaia rolls. These were hot, as described... but the shared experience ends there. These were fresh, fluffy, and delicious - especially with the honey orange butter. Sooo good! We also had the Mouverdre at $8 per glass - it was $42 per bottle - so we had 2! Nice choice at a reasonable price. We shared the lomo and the coppa as well as the whipped feta and the smoked fish. i didn't sample the smoked fish, but our DCs said it was wonderful. The lomo and the coppa were both excellent. I had just had both at Spoke the night before and they actually compared favorably. For mains, we had the English pea, chantenay carrot, arugula and yogurt salad. Fresh and delicious. My husband had the coddled egg with asparagus, polenta and lardo. Wow - that was the best thing I ate - I was trying to incorporate veg into my meal, which is why I went with the salad - but next time I will have the egg. This was excellent! For mains, we had the roasted half guinea hen with sunchoke puree. This was fine. My husband gave me a piece of the super crispy skin, which to me is all I want from poultry anyway ;) I had the lamb loin and Merguez sausage. i agree with an earlier poster who commented on the portion size. For $18 it sure was a lot of food. The loin was cooked perfectly medium rare (to rare). The sausage was beautifully spicy. What a nice meal. Our DCs had the Bavette steak - and they both agreed it was cooked perfectly. I did not try it. (It is hard for me to transition from lamb to beef in one sitting - I usually have to commit to one of the other.) For sides we had the baby beets, cauliflower, and raisins as well as the soy roasted mushrooms with ramps. Each was delicious and there was more than enough for all four of us to share. Service was top notch. Chef Louie came by and said hello. The music was fab! The vibe was excellent. I can't wait to go back! We love what they are doing there - it is a great way to spend a Saturday night with friends.

                        1. re: Small Plates

                          thx much to you and nick for all the details. the egg dish sounds LUVerly. An unexpected hospital stay has postponed tomorrow's trip but we'll go soon i hope, and order a number of your recs.

                      2. Went to TR Street Food for the first time today! I couldn't find a thread just for that, so am writing on here instead.

                        I've attached photos of the hot and cold menus for today - I didn't see any menus online, so wasn't prepared at all! A friend and I split the sausage calzone and the porchetta sandwich, and a third friend ordered the Moroccan turkey kebabs. All were delicious and highly recommended.

                        We opted to eat "in" - food is wrapped and put on a tray, then you can eat at any of the tables in Tavern Road. It wasn't too crowded - perhaps because of the rain, but many seemed to be ordering then taking food back to where they came from.

                        All in all, highly recommended so far. I'm excited to go back.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: addiez

                          Thank you SO much for the menu pictures! I've been looking online for ages and haven't found them.

                          1. re: addiez

                            I've enjoyed the porchetta sandwich and the beef tacos (should have asked about the cut), but the lamb meatball sandwich I had on my first visit is the clear standout so far, just an amazing sandwich. I appreciated the pastrami-like slicing of the porchetta, but thought it was a bit overwhelmed by an aggressive mustard.


                            1. re: MC Slim JB

                              I had the porchetta for the first time on Wednesday and was actually disappointed by the slicing. I was hoping to get a little thicker cut. That said, I really enjoyed the flavor. I'm excited to try the lamb meatball the next time the weather improves so I can walk over there.