Church Street Tavern is the kind of place that could be on top of my list, but is not because of the multiple issues we had with the service. I rarely comment on service unless it is exceptional. For poor service, I rarely do it because I understand that waiters are not in control of everything. Could the kitchen be the problem for instance? They could also be understaffed for whatever reason. Well, at Church Street Tavern, the issue was our waiter. First, if your patrons do not feel like having a drink, you should not make them sense you are disappointed because your tip will be lower, the bill not matching your expectations. Then, no need to be condescending when questions are asked about the menu. Last, of the three times we went, twice we got an issue with our order. The first time, I ordered a Wellington burger: I had no idea what it looked like and ended up with their Tavern burger that, although delicious was not what I asked for. The second time, I got the Wellington burger, but it was overcooked and medium. It might have been a kitchen issue, but considering the previous issue and the attitude of the waiter, I would think not. Yes, there are definitely issues with the kitchen, the main one being inconsistency: look below at the fish and chips we ordered at two different occasions. Not at all the same quantity of fish...Too bad because it was pretty good, the fish being perfectly cooked in a batter that was slightly crunchy.
Before I show you what we ate, let's talk about the place. When you enter, you stumble on the bar that, each time, was full. In the back, is the dining room, with its exposed bricks and black and white photos that give a nice atmosphere to the restaurant, warm, with a bit of nostalgia.
The main item of their menu is burgers made with a dry-aged patty made with their own blend. The Tavern Burger was definitely a hit for me: juicy, tasty with a nice proportion bread / meat and the patty had a nice char. It is made with bacon-onion jam, aged cheddar and arugula on a toasted brioche bun.
The second burger was the Wellington burger. It was built with mushroom duxelles, foie butter and cheesy pastry crisp. This is the one that was overcooked and I found the puff pastry a bit tough. Definitely not as good as the Tavern burger.
When I ordered the Tavern burger, I could make it a deluxe, that came with a side. Their sides are fairly good, whether it was the fries or the onion rings, my preference going with the later.
We also tried their mac and cheese that were delicious, made with lots of cheese that did not taste processed.
Other dishes were the fusili with tomatoes, mozzarella and pecorino cheese. I admit that it was very good, especially because they were generous with the amount of cheese.
And the fish and chips I mentioned previously. The photos below show the two different times we went and the inconsistency in the size of the dish.
So I am a bit on the fence with Church Street Tavern: this is a good example as how poor service can ruin an experience. They have good food there, so I may anyway decide to go back. We'll see...
Enjoy (I did)!
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