Washington Square Tavern

Let's Eat by Kitty Kaufman

If I tell you how good Washington Square Tavern is then we're all going to have to wait. So we'll go for the communal table and you hang at the bar with your Martinelli Jackass Zin.

Friday night. We get seated at once and you will too if you go early. Fried calamari with yuzu aioli arrives first sans garlic, tomato sauce, cherry peppers, and hot sauce. Bright mesclun and baby spinach salad, so fresh they must be growing it out back, with walnuts and citrus dressing was crunchy and tangy. Frisée salad comes with creamy goat cheese and golden beets, milder than red ones.

With the menu's new American slant, the no-meat group can start with the PEI mussels. Carry on with roasted eggplant and spinach ravioli; roasted local cod and one of our evening's choices: local sea scallops. Huge and lightly cooked, they are plated with what we thought was sauce that turns out to be cauliflower puree. On the list of vegetables we know we should be eating but aren't, this preparation stands as a tribute to chef Chris Cronin's bent of less being more. Cronin, late of Delux Café, also knows what to do with his gnocchi. He terms it simply Parmesan gnocchi with sweet fennel sausage and San Marzano tomatoes in tiny pillows.

The secret to Tavern's ongoing success may be what they don't do: no reservations, no take-out, no dessert and no valet parking. They keep the lights low and the music peppy, with servers who know the menu inside out.

See it on TripAdvisor

© April 19, 2012

2016 © 2001-2016 all rights reserved - please write for permission* * *
Write to us:
Share it on Twitter:

Food stories on
Boston restaurants
Deli after Dark Dedham

Yes, we have no meatballs

Nisa's Thai

Thai another one on in Canton

Sophia's Grotto

Meatballs and calamari on the patio

Pon Thai Bistro
Pon cooks with Thai fire

Blue Hills Grille
It's the cheesiest

Toraya Japanese

Suburban Japanese

Amelia's Trattoria

New York state of mind in Cambridge

Free Gifts
Oxymorons and iconic meat

Sweet Cheeks Q
Beer, brisket, biscuits be mine

Toscano in Harvard Square

Tuscan redux

Brio Tuscan Grill

Tuscan Sun Shine

China Sports Bar
Sum dim sum is a badge of courage

Fuji at Kendall

Fish + tempura fried cheesecake

El Pescador Fish Market
How I spent my summer vacation

Edo Sushi

Lemon rolls, soft shells, crab salad

King's Fish House

Fish, it's what's for dinner

Harvest Restaurant

Shine on, Harvest

CAV Restaurant

Fear of carbs has not reached Providence

Audubon Boston
Sleek and classy

Bar Boulud
With all due respect

Lunch on Newbury Street

Neptune Oyster
Living up to the hype?

Cafe Sushi
Fish for highbrows

McCormick & Schmick's
They are real guys

Surf Restaurant
Surf's up in Portsmouth

Via Matta
Italian with dazzle and style

Latitudes at Wentworth by the Sea
Is this lobster or is this lobster?

Row 34

Oysters, pearls and wine

Capital Grille

Fish, it's what's for dinner

Picnic on Boston Harbor
Sunday in the park with dogs

City Landing
Soft shell crabs and lobster tail puffs

Fairstead Kitchen

If you lived here, you'd be home now

Bistro du Midi

Vive La France

Sushi Ota

California dreaming

Flour Bakery
Eat dessert first

Estelle's Southern

Sudden hospitality on Tremont
Blue Dragon

Tofu-teas on A St in Fort Point

Tremont 647
Pimms on the patio in pajamas


Eat at Jae's, live forever

The Gallows
Les Boone's Farm lives

Island Creek Oyster Bar
Best bar none and ever

B & G Oysters
Pearls with wine

Area Four
This pizza is a ten

Legal Restaurant

Come to Boston, eat fish

Eastern Standard Kitchen

Fried calamari winner

Thanksgiving Stuffing
My mother's wins

Georgetown Cupcake Icing? Make mine cream cheese

Za Restaurant

Za za zoom