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Jun 30, 2014 11:30 AM

Barren Hill Tavern

Have been meaning to try this spot for the last few months, but we finally made it over there. I must say, I was very pleased with what we discovered. Though the bar was a little dark on the non-window side, it was comfortable and well-appointed. The bartenders were quick to take our drink orders and I was very satisfied with the selection. The Kolsch, a favorite of mine in the warmer months, was more flavorful than others I'd had, and was easy to drink. The 1/2 price happy hour special might've helped it go down faster than normal as well :)

In terms of food, we ordered the corn and cheese empanadas, served with chipotle mayo and duck fries, with duck confit and an IPA cheese sauce. The empanadas were crispy on the outside with a filling reminiscent of creamed corn with a little zing. The mayo was tasty, but a little thick and not a great marriage for the empanadas. The fries were pretty much perfect. First, the fries themselves were delicious. Hand-cut in house, crisp as can be. The cheese sauce had a nice tang and was applied in the right proportion. The sampling of duck confit was ample, I think we got some in every bite. This was the perfect bar snack.

We followed that up with dinner, Aventis Mussels (I only got to try the juice, which was soppably delicious) and the Porchetta sandwich with long hots on the side. A little on the dry side, but great flavor and huge portions. Paired that with the Old School Pale Ale, which was just hoppy enough as to not overpower the subtlety of the sandwich.

Overall, we were really happy with this. The atmosphere was really nice, the prices are very reasonable, especially for the beer, and the quality of the food and drink were great.

Highly recommended and can't wait to go back!

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  1. We like this place as well. My English husband feels at home (although the bar itself could be a bit more charming). The food we have had and the beers have been good. We like it best in fall and winter when the coziness of the place is more appreciated. But I have to ask, didnt you find it so strange that the porchetta sandwich was served cold? I was not sure what they were going for with that. We were totally turned off by that sandwich and even recommended they tell the chef I serve it warm. Everything together could've worked together but cold pork fat with a slice of cold cheese on a pretty hard roll was bizarre to us. Wondering what you thought.

    3 Replies
    1. re: amysep

      Growing up Italian, I've had it both ways, but generally, it's always sitting in a really flavorful jus. I do think had it been warmed with some jus, it definitely would have enhanced the sandwich. Still, I thought it had great flavor as it was.

      1. re: mkertello

        Definitely good flavor, just very strange mouth feel without the jus...

        1. re: amysep

          Agree on that, Amy. What else have you sampled on the menu, as we had a very hard time deciding.

    2. "Soppably delicious." You should trademark that. Really!

      Hand cut crispy fries and duck confit. I'm there.