DeWolf Tavern – Bristol, Rhode Island
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DeWolf Tavern / 259 Thames Street / Bristol, RI 02809 / 401-254-2005
Walking toward the entrance of DeWolf Tavern on a recent blustery cold evening, I felt like a character in a 19th century seafaring novel come to life.
Talk about ambiance!
Between the 1818 stone warehouse that DeWolf Tavern is located in, the waterfront location on the Thames Street Landing in historic downtown Bristol and the flickering flames of the metal torches guiding you to the main entrance of the tavern, DeWolf most definitely projects an attractive nautical vibe.
If it wasn’t so painfully cold outside the night my wife and I dined at the tavern we would have spent much more time exploring the grounds. This is just one of the many reasons I will be returning.
DeWolf Tavern, adjacent to Bristol Harbor Inn, will win you over with its cozy/rustic atmosphere, delicious food and impeccable service.
Jennifer and I were seated downstairs in the restaurant’s lovely tavern area with hanging lanterns, granite walls, exposed ceiling beams and flickering candles.
Upstairs is a bit more formal with a roaring fireplace and water views.
During the warmer months you can sit out on DeWolf Tavern’s casual patio while enjoying the bay breeze and cocktails.
Our server for the evening, Sarah, took great care of us. After ordering drinks, which included an extremely enjoyable coconut martini, we were served hot, crunchy bread and cornbread sticks. It’s not often that I rave about a bread basket, but the Italian bread and cornbread sticks were simply delicious.
We looked over the creative, mouth-watering menu and finally made our decisions.
For our appetizer we shared the Ham & Cheese Croquettes (cranberry chutney, mango sour cream, grated parmesan cheese & curry leaf).
I was eagerly anticipating Chef Sai Viswanath’s food as I’ve heard nothing but rave reviews, and let me tell you — the raves are 100% deserving!
Jennifer and I were impressed by the lightness of the croquettes and the fusion of flavors that worked beautifully with each bite. Completely addictive!
For our main entrees I ordered the Filet Mignon (served with herb butter, mashed potatoes & seasonal vegetables) and my wife ordered DeWolf Tavern’s famous Seafood Stew (made with shrimp, scallops, mussels, clams, lobster, fish & crab in coconut coriander).
Words can’t express how delicious both our meals were. My filet mignon was cooked perfectly. I enjoy my steak well done — yet moist. The steak literally melted in my mouth. The mashed potatoes were creamy and green beans the perfect accompaniment. Absolute perfection, however, the main star of the night was Jennifer’s seafood stew!
You know something is good – REAL GOOD – when Jennifer hardly comes up for air! 😉
She raved about the hearty pieces of seafood and delicious coconut broth and made the “this is beyond delicious” sound effects that chefs around the world rejoice at!
We also tried two of DeWolf Tavern’s side dishes including Fougath (toasted fresh coconut, chopped seasonal vegetable and hash butter) and Basmati Rice Risotto (braised eggplant, mustard seed & swiss chard). Both sides were unique, especially the fougath, which went perfectly with my filet mignon.
Sarah informed us that the restaurant had recently hired a new (phenomenal) pastry chef, Michelle, who kicked creativity up a notch.
Jennifer and I decided to share the Raspberry Mouse (served with red velvet cake, chocolate ganache, vanilla ice cream, chocolate crisp, tarragon and St. Germain & berry salsa).
Take a second to soak that description in.
Yes, it was as delicious as it sounds.
Neither one of us have ever had mouse like that before. It was super light and airy, almost like a sorbet.
Delectable is an understatement!
Jen also washed down the dessert with a delicious Irish Espressotini (Jameson’s Irish Whisky, Bailey’s Vanilla Cinnamon, Kahlua and Espresso).
Bravo to both Chef Sai Viswanath’s and Pastry Chef Michelle!
GOOD TO KNOW:
- DeWolf Tavern is open 7 days a week. Breakfast is served 7:00am-12:00pm; Full menu Monday-Saturday 12:00pm-10:30pm and Sunday 12:00pm-9:30pm
- DeWolf Tavern has parking in a lot behind the restaurant.
- The restaurant hosts special events, live entertainment and private parties. Call for up-to-the-minute information (401-254-2005).
- The restaurant is located in historic downtown Bristol which is a beautiful, quaint, waterfront town full of eclectic shops and galleries. Definitely plan on arriving early or making time afterwards to explore the area.
- The tavern’s south side displays a massive indentation caused by the Prudence Island Ferry when it washed up against the building during the Great Hurricane of 1938. It is interesting to note that the building is still standing after going though at least a dozen hurricanes since its construction!
- The tavern opened in 2004 to rave reviews and acclaim including being voted “One of the top 20 restaurants in the U.S.” by Esquire Magazine.
- Chef Sai holds degrees from the Culinary Institute of Americas, where he taught. The restaurant is owned by both Chef Sai and his wife Melicia Phillips.
- For a list of DeWolf Tavern’s menu’s click HERE.
GAY & LESBIAN FACTOR: I am a Rhode Islander. I know the entire state inside and out and I can tell you that this is one VERY LGBT friendly place to live or visit. There is a plethora of Lgbt friendly/owned establishments and DeWolf Tavern is certainly one of them. Dining at DeWolf Tavern is a must, whether you are a local or tourist. Plan on spending some time in the area. Visit the historic waterfront towns of Bristol, Warren and Barrington. All three are chock full of fun shops, art galleries, coffeehouses and an award winning theater. No matter what time of the day or night, DeWolf Tavern will be ready to serve you. All of the workers I encountered were super friendly and down to earth. That is the beauty of DeWolf Tavern. You can enjoy high end service and food in a beautiful setting with a truly laid back atmosphere. It doesn’t get any better. Start your day with breakfast at the tavern! Refuel at lunchtime before heading out on the water or to do some shopping. Have a romantic dinner at night before taking in a play at 2nd Story Theater in Warren, RI! The options are limitless. The restaurant was extremely welcoming to Gay Travel Information and made my wife and I feel right at home. I happily “OUT” DeWolf Tavern as LGBT friendly and worthy of our business.
As I write this review I am anticipating my return (I’ve been craving the Sweet Bread French Toast served with hazelnut butter and Vermont maple syrup I read on their breakfast menu! Yum!)
Hopefully the day will be warmer as I can’t wait to sit out on the patio at DeWolf Tavern as I take in the water views, enjoy delicious food and soak in the history.
One of the best restaurants in the U.S. indeed.
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