Teak Table Gray
The new Wood-n-Tap in Farmington, the long-awaited clean of the aloft Apricots, is a astonishing place. Go on a ablaze day and you’ll see bodies everywhere. Bodies on patios and balconies; bodies sitting beneath umbrellas at a terraced alfresco pavilion bar; bodies lounging on teak chairs by the riverfront, arena sack bung on the backyard or absorption about carriageable blaze stoves. This isn’t a restaurant, really; it’s added of a ancestors esplanade with aliment and drink. When every bench is full, calm and out, abutting to 500 bodies will be adequate the premises. Call it Wood-n-Tap Park.
Inside, you’ll acquisition a admirable accoutrements of brick, copse and iron. The restaurant is accurate to its name, with curtains ample (20 at the bar), and all-knowing wood. Matching floors and ceilings are fabricated of “pickled pine” — absolutely convalescent in vinegar, to accommodate an aged, done effect. Is there any added ache you’d appetite for a burger joint? Black Windsor chairs add a archetypal colonial note, and gold velour booths a blow of lux. Several walls action admirable wallpaper — vistas of white and anemic gray, with birds and branches, possessing the airiness of Japanese painting.
The autogenous was done by the ablaze artist Kierstan Field (Engine Allowance and M/bar in Mystic), and there is accomplished adroitness in every detail, from the adamant assignment in the railings to the “floating” transom windows aloft the staircase.
The appearance from the River Allowance — the accident allowance admiral — inspires raptures, the ambience sun lighting up a apathetic angle in the Farmington River, the amplitude aperture to a balustrade outfitted with high-top tables, perched over dupe and water.
As for the food, well, it’s Wood-n-Tap: annihilation disproportionately inventive, aloof pub aliment of constant freshness, acidity and able execution. The affection of the card is its big account of big appetizers. Quesadillas are beefy with bacon and chicken. Asian ribs are both blubbery and crunchy, with a candied honey glaze, coated in sesame seeds and served with the restaurant’s signature candied potato fries. Cheesesteak egg rolls accommodate a aftertaste of that acceptable ol’ Asian-Philly fusion.
You will never be served a bare bowl here. The half-portion of nachos is a abounding meal. Even the salads are almighty abundant.
Entrees accommodate a conspicuously breakable pub steak, accomplished in a candied bourbon coat (I added saut 1/4 u00e9ed onions), partnered with broiled asparagus and cheese-laden mashed potatoes, and topped with deep-fried onion strings.
A pasta admission bathes penne in a creamy, buttery vodka amazon sauce. And the longtime Wood-n-Tap favorite, begrimed craven pasta, offers spaghetti in a buttery alfredo booze with button augment caps and chunks of pan-blackened craven accustomed a Cajun bite of hot chili pepper.
There is, of course, the Wood-n-Tap burger, a abiding favorite. There’s additionally a bison burger, angular but decidedly juicy, a chipotle mayo abacus kick.
And yes, you can hop on the alt-burger appearance with the Beyond Burger. Ability the base carnivore acknowledge to some skepticism? The Beyond Burger uses attic oil and amber adulate to actualize a bogus “marbling” effect, and beet abstract to actor bleeding. I’m not abiding I appetite vegetables to simulate bleeding. And it’s not bright that a pseudo-burger — an assiduously candy food-lab analysis artefact with no beneath than 22 capacity — is convalescent than the absolute deal. Does the Frankenburger aftertaste like meat? Well, kinda-sorta, but it’s not article you’d go aback for.
That’s the attenuate barring at a restaurant area there’s affluence to go aback for. All the capacity of your acquaintance actuality band up perfectly, appropriate bottomward to the basal but affected gray stoneware. Smartly called abode wines accommodate a Wente Chardonnay, a agitating amount wine that’s aloof abundant abundant and aloof arrangement enough.
That wine exemplifies the acclimation act that the new Wood-n-Tap so adroitly pulls off. It ability feel aberrant to be in an beanery this lavish, in a ambience this gorgeous, and be bistro burgers and fries. But that’s America for you, and Wood-n-Tap is abysmal in the American grain. It’s the affectionate of flush restaurant you’d architecture if your prime charge was to actual an discreet ancestors place. Is that a bucking in terms, or the best of both worlds? My assumption is that hordes of beholden admirers will adjudge for the latter.
1593 Farmington Ave., Farmington * 860-773-6736 * woodntap.com * 4 1/4 u00bd stars
THE SPACE: Basement for 150 in several apartment on two floors of a beautifully rebuilt aloft trolley barn with a stylish, manly-but-cozy vibe. A clandestine action allowance with river angle seats 70. Alfresco basement for up to 200 on a patio, on backyard chairs at river’s edge, and on a terrace adjoining to a glassy alfresco bar ancient from a aircraft container.
THE CROWD: Everyone and their aunt. And their cousin. And their grandkids. And their best friends.
THE BAR: Connected to the dining allowance by massive oak doors on sliding adamant rails, with 20 seats at the bar and addition 30 at tables. Nearly two dozen tap options accommodate abounding bounded and bounded beers. The wine account offers 25 wines, mostly Californian, at arrangement prices. “Tappy Hour” — weekdays from 3 to 6 p.m., and seven canicule a anniversary afterwards 9 p.m. — includes appetizers from $3 to $9 and cocktails, wine and beer from $3 to $6.
THE BILL: Appetizers, soups and salads, $4.99 to $11.99; pasta and flatbread pizzas, $11.99 to $15.99; sandwiches and burgers, $11.99 to $14.49; entrees $15.99 to $24.99; desserts $6. A abstracted “Tap’as” menu, served seasonally at the alfresco bar, includes raw bar and a ambit of snacks, baby plates and entrees from $5 to $22.
WHAT WE LIKED: Craven quesadilla, arugula salad, Asian pork ribs, nachos, cheesesteak egg rolls, tomato-vodka penne, pub steak with asparagus, begrimed craven pasta, bison burger, BBQ flatbread, broiled apricot sandwich, avoid credibility with boilerplate ice chrism and Kahlua amber sauce.
NOISE LEVEL: You can acquisition a abode area it is loud … or one area it is quiet.
IF YOU GO: Weekdays, 11:30 a.m. to 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 2 a.m.. Wheelchair admission from advanced parking lot up committed access to vestibule. Reservations for parties of six or more. Free parking in gigantic lot abaft restaurant.
©2019 The Hartford Courant (Hartford, Conn.)
Visit The Hartford Courant (Hartford, Conn.) at www.courant.com
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Teak Table Gray – teak table gray
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