Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Steven Clutter Continues Success At The Crown Tavern

NH Reviews has been a fan of Hanover Street Chophouse for many, many years.  From the beginning with the original owner, Chuck Rolecek, and later on under the new Principal,  Steven Clutter.  Now,  Mr. Clutter has opened The Crown Tavern, just down the street from the Chophouse.  Let’s find out how he is doing with his second Manchester restaurant.  

The name comes from an old theatre that was housed at the same location where Clutter has keenly put his own spin on the tavern concept.  Instead of the darkness that is expected you see a bright version.  The ceiling although low looks higher with white coloring while subway tiling on the sides opens up the room.  A visible kitchen and long bar help add to the atmosphere.  A friendly vibe prevails where the focus is on being seen and conversation.  

The hostess can make or break an initial impression.  Here, we were greeted by a warm smile and a helpful intent that was appreciated.   Seated at a small table, we looked out a window onto a beautiful outdoor dining area.  

My confidence was high that the alcoholic drinks would be outstanding and they were. A dirty martini was made with just the right amount of brine while a specialty drink, the Love Actually, topped that and was a sweet concoction of Stoli Citrus, house-made limoncello, fresh strawberry, elderflower, and sugar rim.  

Food options are a combination of snacks, shareable plates, soups, salads, wood-fired pizza, burgers, main entrees, daily specials, and desserts. Apparently, this has evolved over time and what you see on their website has changed with the array of options much larger on their current menu. 

A pleasant beginning, toasted baguette with warm roasted garlic, warm Camembert cheese, and tomato chutney. 

This was followed by a roasted half-chicken, browned nicely on the outside with a soft-easy to cut through-interior.  

Maine lobster roll was the second selection and hits all the marks including their own special sauce and hand cut fries. 

The final triumph, a chocolate peanut butter tower for dessert was delectable.  Peanut butter mousse sits atop a chocolate brownie cake. 

Our waitress did well guiding us throughout our meal.  She remembered all of the specials and helped with some food recommendations.  

An area for improvement, there needs to be better communication between the kitchen and the front of the house regarding special availability.  We had ordered the pierogi appetizer and then were told that the item was no longer available. 

Steven Clutter has continued his success with The Crown Tavern.   A different albeit just as satisfying experience compared to Hanover Street Chophouse. 

You can find them at 99 Hanover Street, Manchester,  NH  03101.  On street parking is available.  There is a parking garage shortly past the restaurant on Hanover that is a one way toward Elm.  Turn left and go to the third floor or higher because the lower floors are resident parking.  Phone (603)218-3132.