Friday, January 15, 2010
Tavern On The Square, 100 Ionia Ave SW - 1/12/10
This is the old Black Rose Irish Pub morphed into a really nice restaurant. The main entrance was pulled back from the street to provide an outdoor patio with a fireplace, and seating in the summer. Upon entering, an attractive bar with some seating is on the left and an intimate seating area around a fireplace is on the right. The rest of the room is divided by a half wall; on the right - 2 long booths and about 15 tables, and on the left a room about half the size with a raised stage holding 6 tables. On weekends the stage is taken over by a DJ. The entire space is very tasteful with muted colors of black and brown, and mirrors help to belie the actual size of the restaurant. Decor is sort of Pre- and Post-Revolutionary War Patriotic and pictures were on the floor waiting to be hung. Exposed brick and wooden floor complete the picture. Cloth tablecloths are covered with brown wrapping paper, which is disconcerting only if the paper hangover is too long.
The lunch menu offers sandwiches and the Tavern Burger, Salads and Soups, and a daily feature, the “Red, White and Blue Plate”. There are no appetizers but you may select one of the four “hot sides” or one of the five “cold sides”. Our server recommended the Pedestrian Turkey Sandwich so we ordered that as well as the Pesto Chicken Club Sandwich. They came with sweet potato chips (they’re really too sweet to be a nice accompaniment to a sandwich). Beef and Barley soup was very good (it’s on the menu and doubled today as the “soup of the day”). Sandwiches were both great.
The menu changes completely for dinner and consists of Small Plates, Green Plates and Soup, and Plates by Design. They’ve created some really interesting sounding dishes that you can look up on their website, or stop by to pick up one of their small paper menus. Several times throughout our meal, we felt we were being rushed by our server (because we were), but she tried to make up for it when she brought our bill and told us to take our time, and was otherwise pleasant and polite. This is a lovely atmosphere with good food, and a great addition to Grand Rapids dining.
Sandwiches and Full Salads are almost all under $10.00; dinner Small Plates and Green Plates with Soup are under $10.00 as well; Plates by Design run $14.95.