Monday, June 4, 2012

Restaurant Review - Armsby Abbey

This review is a couple months in the making.  We've been a total of three times, but I'm just getting to this now.  I think maybe I just wanted to keep going so I'd have more delicious things to write about!  I would have to say that this place is just about our favorite restaurant these days.

Armsby Abbey is in downtown Worcester, between the courthouses on Main Street.  As you walk by and peek in the front door, at first glance it looks like a dark, dive-y bar. In reality...that description of the look of the place wouldn't be far off.  But quickly you notice that the beer selection is vast, focusing on mostly Belgian style beers.  There also seems to be a desire to feature local New England brews.  Next you notice the selection of craft cocktails made with all fresh ingredients and artisan spirits.  It makes sense that the place was featured in Wine Enthusiast Magazine.

Next the food.  The menu seems to change weekly (if not more often).  They always feature locally produced meats and cheeses on "slates" that include appropriate condiments.  All menu items feature local ingredients, simply prepared.  The last two trips to the restaurant featured the aroma of their house cured bacon being smoked.

We've been twice on Sundays for brunch.  Below are the items we had this past Sunday (copied from their online menu).

Onion Frittata
Caramelized Sweet Onion, Shaved Red Onion, fresh Scallion and Gruyere with Local Organic
Eggs from Gibson’s Dairy Farm served with a side of fresh Greens from Berberian Farm
dressed in a Red Wine Vinaigrette

Pig & Grits
Slow Roasted Pork Shoulder, Spicy Creole Sauce made with Victory Hop Devil, Vermont
Cheddar & Scallion Grits, Bacon braised Tuscan Kale, one 145˚ Local organic egg from
Gibson’s Dairy Farm

Belgian Sugar Waffle
Housemade to order with Belgian Pearl Sugar and Urthel Samaranth topped with a Rhubarb-
Strawberry Compote and Mint Whipped Cream

As far as drinks, I ordered from their "Bloody Mary Bar" (Right Gin infused with peppercorns, house bloody mary mix, garnished with house pickled asparagus, cocktail onions and a slice of house cured bacon).  Jeanne had the "Fleur de Violette" which was Crème Yvette Liqueur and Prosecco
with a candied Wild Hibiscus Flower.

So in summary, two thumbs up.  Worth the trip to Worcester.....

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