Sunday, December 30, 2012

Russell House Tavern

          I'd been hearing great things about Russell House Tavern for awhile, so I jumped at the chance to try it the other night with some friends for a late Christmas celebration. We sat in the downstairs dining room and ordered a mix of small plates and entrees, to try as many things on the menu as possible. We had amazing experience that not only lived up to the hype, but even exceeded our high expectations!

          I started with a drink, the Always Sunny, partly for the name and partly because I've been on a ginger beer cocktail kick lately. Russell House's selection with house made ginger beer, lime raspberry syrup, and orange bitters was one of my favorites. It was sweet but didn't have that overpowering flavor from the sour mix that so many places use.

          Next were the small plates, I loved all of these but my favorite was the bone marrow. Everyone at the table had a different favorite, which I always interpret as a sign that everything was outstanding!

Smoked Pig's Tail Pierogi with Celery Root & Honey Crema

Hickory Smoked Lamb's Belly Toast with Walnuts, Apricots, Harissa-Ginger Aioli

Archer Farm Marrow Bone with Pickled Red Onion, House Marmalade, Brioche Toast

          I had a hard time choosing between the pork trio and burger for my entree (as in asking our server to come back three times!) but finally decided on the burger when two of my friends ordered it (I knew I'd be jealous if I didn't have one). I was glad I did; it was one of the best burgers I've ever had! The eight-ounce patty of Maine Co-op grass fed beef was cooked and seasoned perfectly, and extremely juicy and flavorful. The sharp cheddar, bacon, and caramelized onions were great additions and the English muffin as a bun was just right and somehow made the whole thing seem a little bit lighter.

          We were stuffed after our entrees, but had to at least try dessert and decided to share one between the four of us. The only disappointment of the night was that they had run out of the dessert we wanted to try (I honestly can't remember what it was) and the burnt sugar ice cream that came with it. We were content to have another round of drinks for dessert, but our server was generous enough to bring over that night's special: chocolate cake with a fig and honey filling. It was amazing, and of course we devoured it in seconds!

                    There isn't one thing I tried that I wouldn't order again, but there were so many things on the menu that looked good I could see myself going back several times and having completely different meals. I definitely plan to return soon!

Russell House Tavern on Urbanspoon

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