Monday, March 22, 2010

The Old Place

Ah, The Old Place.

A very appropriate name...the location seems like it should be historical, if it's not already. The restaurant is only open Thursday - Sunday and has a capacity of about 60-70.

It was a Thursday evening and my friend invited me to check this place out. He's a regular so maybe the experience might be a bit different then your first time. But whether you're a regular or first timer, the staff is amazingly courteous and the ambience is incredibly welcoming. That is the highlight of The Old Place. We sat at the end of the bar where I was introduced to the manager Tim. Tim gave me a brief rundown of the location history as well as the history of the restaurant.

We started off with beers, we had an amazing Telegraph Ale, just not sure which one. We were joined by a lovely wine distributor that was coming by to visit Tim. So of course we had to do some wine tasting as well.

At this point I had to get some food into my system or Friday was going to be unbearable. We ordered all starters, Grilled Octopus, Mushroom Toast, Grilled Vegetable Salad, Noodle Bake and the Steamed Clams.

The star was the Noodle Bake, but then again I'm sucker for mac and cheese. Egg noodles served with a nice cheese sauce, all browned in a small cast iron skillet. Homey goodness. The grilled vegetable salad was simple and the grilling on the open fire really adds some smokiness.

The clams which were a popular item, were delicious but the broth lacked some flavor and seasoning. The fresh sourdough bread served with the clams was nice and warm, delicious. The grilled octopus was a little overcooked, which caused it to be too chewy. The mushroom toast had a nice assortment of mushrooms including local Chantrelles. It was served on toasted sourdough bread with melted cheese. Very good.

We ended the meal with a berry crumble, considering how full I was and the fact that I don't have a sweet tooth, it was a delicious ending.

The Old Place is a wonderful restaurant with a lot charm and personality. The ambience is what makes it a destination. The staff will keep you there.

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