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A first look at Town Tavern
My wife and I went to the Town Tavern on Thursday, Sept. 6, among an estimated 125 people checking out the new spot in East Arlington.
As part of "family and friends night," all were the guests of owner George "Bootsy" Mullan, the owner, who is from Charlestown and lives in Belmont.
We had an excellent evening and tasty meals, but let's get a small matter out of the way first -- the striking color on the restaurant's exterior: It's not yellow, Mullan insists. "It's warm gold."
Whether or not you like it, I think you have to admit that the hue helps take you away from remembering that Olivio's, an Italian restaurant, held down the corner of Winter and Mass. Ave. for 16 years, until late July.
A clearly American pub is there now. It's not a bar.
Service amid noise
If you don't mind noise, this is your restaurant. We arrived to raucous laughter among folk who seemed well-acquainted.
The familiar arrangement of booths at Olivio's has given way to a series of tables for two and four lined along windows on the Mass. Ave. side, which can open, if weather permits. On the evening we went, rain drops ended, and a glorious pink sky bloomed over Capitol Square. Other tables in the main room have higher perches, and diners can see into the kitchen. Seating, including those outdoors, totals 120.
You can see the Town Tavern layout in this license application (scroll down) >>
The plentiful waitstaff wears dark shirts. On the back is emblazoned "terar dum prosim," loosely translated as "the customer is always right."
"Bootsy," who has been a chef at Boston Beerworks and Stockyard, and manager Kevin Schwartz say they live by that motto.
We ordered and then waited a long time to eat, as did others. That is to be expected at a soft opening. Drinks came immediately -- a Jack's Abby lager for me; chardonnay for my wife. We sipped and watched a young girl at the next table enthralled with her iPad.
What we ate
We shared an appetizer of Mass. Ave. Dumplings, a blend of pork and roast veggies in a bacon dashi. Delicious.
For dinner, I had a Town Tavern Burger. Too big to bite, I nibbled away at the half pound of ground chuck on butter-griddled Brioche, with smoked bacon, royal mushroom, Gruyere and a whistle-pig glaze. It comes with house frites.
My wife enjoyed a dish whose name acknowledges the previous owner, Olivio’s Grilled Veggies. She deemed delightful the mix of kale, eggplant, zucchini, royal mushroom and red pepper topped with spiced pecan croutons and a light honey-mustard vinaigrette.
On our way out, I waved to one diner I know, Town Moderator John Leone.
We colored the evening "warm gold."
The Town Tavern had its grand opening the next night, Sept. 7.
The Select Board on Sept. 12 approved an application for an entertainment license -- for corn hole and dartboards.
Monday through Thursday: 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Friday through Sunday: 11:30 a.m. to midnight
This introductory restaurant review was published Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2018.
I visited the Town Tavern in Arlington this past weekend outside the food being excellent my story is about our server. We have a special needs child that usually can not tolerate long outings or dinners without a melt down and we become an unwarranted center of attention. Well this server "jen" overlooked the the fact he was autistic got down on her knees and addressed him in a way that caught his trust with the place packed and as busy as she was her attention on him remained and for the first time in 6 years my husband and I were able to enjoy a dinner accompanied by our little boy . But my story does not end there while we were eating a blind woman sat near us our server sat at her table read the menu when the food came she put the utensils in her hand but not before cutting her food for .. we were so amazed as we watched this it has been a long time to see such acts of kindness from anyone especially a woman that even as busy as she was never let it get in the way of showing us nice people do exsist WELCOME TO ARLINGTON TOWN TAVERN thank you for an experience that has not gone unnoticed
>'On the back is emblazoned "terar dum prosim," loosely translated as "the customer is always right."'
Google (not always the best translator) suggests rather 'While benefit survive'.
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