When the Willow Street Tavern got its start late this summer, it did so thanks to the many other restaurants who tried this location before including the previous "Rancho Cafe"
The owner/chef Paul Bevacqua and his wife Meghan have done a nice job renovating this property. Stepping into the dining room with it's hardwood flooring, soft lighting and tan ("tavern taupe") painted walls makes one feel like they were walking into a bright and homey Irish family tavern. Seating is high back stools surrounding a good sized bar plus tables and chairs. We noticed the backs of all the chairs had The Charles Hotel in Harvard Square logo on the back.
The bar was full of people watching TV and playing Keno.
My friend and I decided to give this new restaurant a try the other night for dinner.
We were greeted by the owner and his wife. They mentioned the tavern has become a neighborhood hotspot, doing a brisk business with all the car dealerships in the area stopping by every day for lunch or take out.
We started with cocktails and appetizers. The appetizer menu includes everything from quesadillas, stuffed quahogs, jalapeno poppers to coconut shrimp, fried provolone plus a variety of salads including Caesar, Greek, and antipasto.
I chose the Chicken Quesadillas ($9.99) The seasoned tender chicken came in a grilled tortilla with melted cheddar cheese, roasted red peppers, onions and lots of portobella mushrooms. Sour cream and a mild salsa were served on the side. The quesadilla was cut into four large pieces, enough for a entree. Highly recommended!
My friend's appetizer was the House Made Meatballs ($9.99) The three meatballs were topped with with a generous melt of mozzarella and were nicely seasoned, juicy and tender. The meatballs were infused in the sweet house made tomato marinara. He said they were more flavorful than his favorite downtown Italian restaurant. Now that's saying a lot.
While we were eating a train roared by the rear of the tavern. It was like we were dining on the diner car of the train. Fun!
Our friendly server Jenn encouraged us to try one of the chef's large menu selection of creative sandwiches with names like The Big Vin, The Rocco, Thai Chicken Wrap, The Gouda Chicken. Most of these were a value at $9.99
I selected the Opened Faced Roast Beef ($15.99) The in-house lean slow roasted beef, sliced paper thin, was piled high on a bun and served with hand cut fries and a delicious brown gravy. Jenn asked if I would like the gravy served all over the fries and roast beef, which I tried. Next time I would have the gravy only on roast beef and not the fries. This was a delicious meal!
My friend went for "The Vin" ($9.99) This huge Italian sandwich was stuffed with imported ham, prosciutto, Genoa salami and provolone with romaine lettuce, tomatoes, onion, pickles, roasted red pepper and banana peppers then tossed with a house made Italian dressing. It was served on a braided roll that was pressed and grilled panini style.
He added a side of perfectly seasoned hand cut fries for an extra ($5.99).
Packed with great flavor, it's for sandwich lovers who seek something beyond the deli case.
Totally satisfied, we couldn't even think about dessert.
The lunch and dinner menu offers a variety of meals including nine specialty pizzas from $2.99-$14.99, or you can build your own. Flatbreads from buffalo chicken to steak bomb, burgers, Steak tips,Pasta, Chicken Parm, Shrimp Scampi and more.
The children's menu entrees, all served with a soft drink, are $7.99 including Chicken tenders with a basket of french fries,Pasta with red sauce and grilled cheese with french fries.
Our server, Jenn, was prompt and cheerful.
The Willow Street Tavern is a good fit for families and sports fans
What it all boils down to, if you serve good food with good size portions at family prices you will be a success.
We wish them well!
If You Go
Friday & Saturday 11:30-9pm, Closed Monday
Willow Street Tavern
477 Yarmouth Rd, Hyannis
(774) 470-5834 facebook.com/willowstreettavern