Entering the Iron Works Tavern is like turning back the hands of time. Originally built in 1867, this historic mill building has recently become one of my favorite places to visit, mainly because of its warm and inviting atmosphere. Although it is now renovated into a restaurant, they have preserved the integrity of the building, capturing some of the original charm. There’s just something about this place that feels like home.
There are two restaurants inside – one is downstairs and the other is located upstairs. Each offer separate menus, yet they both serve Contemporary American Cuisine…or as I like to call it, comfort food. For this specific meal, we dined Upstairs at the Tavern.
The original offices have been converted into semi-private rooms for dining…a very nice touch. In fact, I happened to dine in Thomas Jefferson Hill’s office, the man who originally built the Iron Works nearly a century and a half ago.
In this case, it’s OK to judge a menu by its cover
The Duck Wellington perfectly sums up Iron Works in one plate. It is a classic dish with a modern twist. I enjoyed the addition of moist, juicy duck instead of your typical beef wellington. The puff pastry was golden and slightly crispy on the outside. Other delicious components like the Orange Balsamic Demi-Glace, Truffle Essence, and Pate all added bold flavors and a mind-blowing richness to this tasty appetizer.
Needless to say, the Duck Wellington is a must-try at Iron Works!
This dish was perfectly executed. The shrimp was wrapped in sopressata which was cooked until crispy with bacon-like characteristics, making it salty and savory. The risotto was a great consistency, both creamy and velvety. I devoured the entire plate which was like a meal within an appetizer…no complaints about portion size here!
The chicken breast was poached in Riesling which happens to be Monica’s favorite kind of wine…so of course she had to order this dish! The pairing of the Riesling and the crepes helped bring out some sweetness. But our favorite part actually turned out to be the use of cheese…more specifically…the Goat Cheese stuffed tomato on the side! The tomato definitely stole the show. It was so simple, yet so delicious!
I have to be honest…this dish did not make sense to me. Conceptually, Mangoes and Celery Root Puree should never appear on the same dish. Is it fall or summer? The flavors just don’t go together.
Nonetheless. the Chilean Sea Bass was flaky and perfectly cooked. Paired with the Celery Root Puree, it tasted amazing. Paired with the Mango Salsa, it also tasted fantastic. Tasting all three of these together, it simply didn’t work. This dish has big potential to be one of the best entrees on the menu…they just need to eliminate one ingredient from the dish.
Although this was a rich and decadent chocolate cake, somehow it was missing the lava inside. Unfortunately for me, I did not get the entire volcanic eruption effect. Judging by the deliciousness of the cake itself, it is probably safe to say this is an awesome dessert when the volcano is active!
Overall, we had a great experience at the Iron Works Tavern. The service was stellar, the atmosphere was charming, and all in all, it left us wanting more. There’s really no other place in RI similar to the Iron Works…so check it out for yourself!