Patriot Ledger Reviews The Tavern
TASTE & TELL - Tavern at Quarry Hills is a sight to be seen
By MIMI CLAFFEY
For The Patriot Ledger
They say there are three things that are most important in order to have a successful restaurant: Location, location, and location.
The Tavern at Granite Links Golf Club at Quarry Hills in Quincy has those criteria in a lock. Just driving up the hill to the entrance will take your breath away for a split second as you round the corner and gaze upon Boston Harbor.
We went in early October, and the leaves were just beginning to change color over the sprawling golf course, the South Shore and the Boston Harbor islands.
To match the view, they also have a lush interior, excellent service, and wonderful food.
Opened only recently (spring 2006), the Tavern at the Granite Links Golf Club is already making a name for itself with its quality offerings and spectacular tastes and sights. You do not have to be a member of the golf club to dine here, but many members do.
We started with a shrimp cocktail ($11), which ended up being a great choice. There were 12 jumbo shrimp lining a large martini glass and it was filled with a grapefruit-infused cocktail sauce. This was an extraordinary deal. Many restaurants offering shrimp cocktail set their menu price at a couple of dollars per shrimp, and when it arrives, the shrimp are generally a little more anemic than you had hoped for. These shrimp were fresh, crunchy, and icy cold as well as being enormous, and the sauce had a tangy kick to it.
The steak and cheese spring rolls ($9) are like a light version of a Philly cheesesteak made with shredded prime rib and American cheese in spring roll wrappers and served with sautéed peppers and onions.
There were fried calamari ($11), sautéed mussels ($10) and scallops wrapped in Applewood bacon served with cracked peppercorn maple glaze ($11).
I was so distracted by the view I kept forgetting to read my menu to decide on an entrée. Our server was patient when I asked him to repeat the specials.
The dynamic menu at the Tavern changes every month. Executive chef David Todisco is creative with his offerings without being pretentious, remaining true to the basics. That day, one special was a scallop and pasta creation ($22), which had no specific name, but sounded delicious: a dozen sea scallops, pan-seared and sautéed in a Mediterranean cream sauce with spinach and calamata olives served over rigatoni and tossed with freshly grated parmesan cheese.
Brian was glad he ordered this dish. He is not a small guy, but after making quick work of this generous meal, he was full and satisfied. I wish I could have brought home a gallon of this cream sauce and poured it over our meals for the next week.
I was in the mood for a big juicy cheeseburger and the Tavern Burger ($9) was just right. This was an 8-ounce Black Angus burger, grilled and served on a warm buttery deli roll with lettuce, tomato, and sliced red onion. I topped it with Swiss cheese and sautéed mushrooms for an additional $1. The burger was perfectly grilled and the bun was soft and fresh. It was served with a choice of potato or blue cheese coleslaw, and I opted for the sweet potato fries, which were a delightful change of pace from the standard French fry.
Nana ordered something which was simply called ‘‘Chicken’’ ($18). On the plate, it was an amazing creation: two large pieces of tender chicken coated in a parmesan batter, topped with roasted pepper pesto and broiled feta cheese, tossed with roasted tomatoes and calamata olives served over rigatoni with a garlic pomodoro sauce. It was very rustic and very good.
There was sea bass ($24), Kobe meatloaf ($21), pork osso bucco ($21), and a Mediterranean orechiette (roasted eggplant, portabello mushrooms, zucchini, spinach, artichoke hearts and red peppers tossed with orechiette pasta in a light garlic wine sauce, $16). The Tavern also serves grilled pizza. A classic cheese pizza is $11.
I’m going to have to go back to try the Fenway pizza. This pizza is grilled Italian sausage with sautéed peppers and onions topped with mozzarella and provolone cheeses for $13.
There are five salads on the menu, ranging from $4 for a side salad to $9 for the Baby Iceberg. There are eight sandwiches this month, including a lamb sandwich ($10) which was sliced leg of lamb topped with mixed greens and dressed in a balsamic reduction, served on a grilled parmesan square.
Our fine dining experience was capped with the dessert tray, which was a cornucopia of rich, chocolaty and cheesy goodness.
The Cherry Garcia cheesecake looked fabulous, but we saw the chocolate lava cake and ordered that, adding a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
The three of us were stuffed. We lingered for a while and finished our drinks, watching the sun set over the rolling hills.
The Tavern at Quarry Hills in Quincy is an elegant restaurant where you can expect to spend a bit more, but it is truly worth it.
The Tavern at Quarry Hills 100 Quarry Hills Drive, Quincy 617-689-1900
Prices: Appetizers, $9-$11; pizza, $11-$13; entrées, $11-$27
Hours: Lunch and dinner, Sunday through Wednesday, 11 a.m. - 10 p.m., Thursday through Saturday, 11 a.m.- 11 p.m. Sunday brunch, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Parking: Valet parking
Credit cards: All major credit cards accepted
Handicapped access: Handicapped accessible
Copyright 2007 The Patriot Ledger
Transmitted Wednesday, November 28, 2007