New to the dinner and late night scene is the Broken Clock Gastropub. Driven both by a desire for a true "gastropub" and the buzz around town, the hubby and I headed in for a late dinner one Friday night. We were greeted warmly and seated promptly at a location of our choosing. We opted to sit at a low table in the front room, separated from the live band by a generous window.
The menu showed an impressive culinary imagination. Lobster mac and cheese cozied up to a daily pot pie special. A flatbread with bacon marmalade shared space with more traditional sliders. Filet mignon was offered as an entree, but most of the menu items translated the essence of fine dining into more traditional pub foods--burgers, sandwiches, fish and chips--warm, homey, hearty dishes.
After much indecisiveness, I settled on the smoked pot pie. That night's style was beef, made with tips of tenderloin. My husband ordered the fish and chips.
We relaxed with our soft drinks, watching The Whiskey River Kings. A blend of bluegrass, American, and Irish folk, their music was captivating. My hubby played sax through high school and college, so he was delighted to see a saxophonist not only in the band, but playing a significant role. Even more impressive was the management of the sound levels. The music was loud enough to hear clearly, but quiet enough to allow us a reasonable conversation.
The decor followed this same practical bent. A stylish jukebox shared a room with the stage, the TV near our table was a small-ish flat screen. Large enough to watch a game, but not so large as to take over. A few decorative pieces hung on the walls, but area above the small lounge/waiting area was filled with a large chalkboard listing the beers available. The space was generously sized but the lowered lighting made it an intimate place for a date or a confidential discussion among friends.
Our server was attentive and unobtrousive, quickly refilling drinks and answering our questions. Our meals came up promptly, beautifully plated and completely tempting.
My "pot pie" turned out to be a crock of stew topped with a square of savory pastry. The beef stew included tenderloin tips which shredded at the barest touch of a spoon, firm fresh asparagus, and small slices of celery suspended in a thin, bright broth. The seasoning was spot on and the flavor was reminiscent of Worcestershire sauce. The combination was addictively delicious with the textures balancing nicely. The generously sized savory pastry was a flaky, buttery, lightly garlicky piece of perfection. The basil topping added a pop of color.
The hubby's fish and chips (seen at the top of this post) were pronounced "good". He was enamored of the fries, with their slightly crunchy exteriors, and the accompanying vinegar.
One look at the menu had been enough for the hubby to advocate for dessert. This is enough of a rarity that I don't argue. (Aside from which, he had a point, they all sounded fantastic). Which is how an order of bread pudding made it's way to our table.
Made with brioche, the bread pudding had a soft, layered texture, laced through with a sticky, sweet white chocolate sauce. The dish had wetter sections which balanced out the dusty coating of powered sugar. Despite expectations to the contrary, the pudding was not overly sweet, but instead hit just that right balance to make the dish enjoyable to the last bite. As someone who generally dislikes white chocolate, I was especially impressed.
They expect people to linger, so we did have to ask for our check, but once requested it arrived quickly.
From its inviting cushy booths to its well planned lay out, The Broken Clock is inviting and comfortable. The food more than lived up to my hopes for a "gastropub", classic dishes given a twist and excellent execution. This is fine dining made into accessible indulgence. A perfect spot for a night out with friends or a laid back date night. I'm thrilled to see that they offer Saturday brunches (a rarity) as well as happy hour pricing 5-7pm on weeknights.
Total for the meal: $36.60 (Includes two entrees, two soft drinks, and a bread pudding)
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