Don’t worry, they’re not serving up dishes made from musicians, the head of a moose, and definitely not deceased famous authors.
The Glenbrook section of Stamford is clearly on the up and up. Examples? Olio and Amore are notables, and more places are clearly not afraid to move into an area that’s away from the hustle of Downtown Stamford.
The “new kid” in the area is the very approachable Tavern 489, with its casual vibe, live music damn near every night, enough French/American pub grub to find something you like, and a bar that’s built for some good old fashioned drinking.
489’s look is gritty but in a cool log cabin way, with some Ernest Hemingway (and Robert Frost) décor inspiration, and the fireplace area and stage acting as a focal point of the bar-dining room. Speaking of stage, Tavern 489 makes it a point to have live music most nights and that’s no shock considering its owner, Eric Monte, used to run The Fez across town.
|The ice cold Glenbrook Mule. Puttin’ that Stamford funk on it.|
|Moosehead Lager is nothing fancy, but it’s chuggable and cheap.|
At the bar you can pretty much get any mixed drink you want, although the bartenders mentioned they are working on a specialty cocktail menu. I started with a variation of a Moscow Mule that they dubbed the Glenbrook Mule to honor the section of Stamford where the restaurant is located. The Glenbrook Mule is kept classic for the most part (ginger beer, vodka, lime juice) but they add in a bit of pineapple juice. Just like the original, it’s ice cold, refreshing, and perfect on a warm night. Tavern 489 also boasts a strong wine list and craft beer, but you’ll find one brew that’s uncommon around here, and as of now, 489 is the only bar in Connecticut that serves Canada’s own Moosehead Lager.
The food is prepared by co-owner and chef Regis Saget and there are some notable dishes worth ordering. My media pals and I were treated to a bunch of appetizers, mains, and a terrific dessert. Some were a big hit for me, others were just OK, and there was one big steak worth a brag.
|Love the marrow bone presentation|
|Some loved it, I just can’t wrap my head around all cold soups. I’m warming up to it.|
|More presentation points for these superb fried oysters|
|Gotta give you the close up|
The venison meatballs (roasted fingerling potatoes, braising liquid) were a hit with me. They aren’t traditional by any means but I liked the creativity (and presentation). They were only slightly gamey but I liked that and the braising liquid was rich. The fried oysters had to be my favorite of the apps. Each was well-coated in a fried chicken-like crust and fried until crunchy. The lemon tamarind tomato curry that comes in a cup has some nice heat to it and you’ll want to slather that all over each fried morsel.
|Blackened Angus Burger topped with bleu cheese|
Before the main courses we got a surprise in the form of three different burgers, each cooked to mid rare perfection. Of the three, the Tavern Burger (lettuce, tomato, cabernet caramelized red onions, black truffles black pepper aioli, mild cheddar) was my “best of” pick due to the fragrant earthiness of the truffles. Overall, they were solid burgers, but nothing I haven’t seen before.
|Octopus. On fleek.|
After the burgers, out came one of the better octopus plates I’ve had around here. The charred octopus (kidney beans, tomatoes, shallots, garlic, parsley, pomegranate chimichurri) was packed with garlicky flavor and the tender octopus only needed a few chews.
|A tender, juicy ribeye, cooked well at one end, to increasing rarer at the other end. I may have gnawed and knifed off some of the meat around the bone. Zero shame.|
Out last was the tomahawk ribeye that I paced the entire meal for to fulfill my carnivorous needs. It was delivered to the table on a giant wooden cutting board, sliced off the bone, and served with sides of broccoli rabe, roasted potatoes, and asparagus wrapped in prosciutto. It’s a gluttonous meal, but great for groups and special occasions and other diners will certainly be jealous and stare at you while you rip meat between your teeth. Do it. You know you want to.
|Chocolate mousse for dessert. This was so light and airy, and not overly chocolatey. I think I ate more of this than anyone at the table.|
I enjoyed most of the meal at Tavern 489 and I’m curious to see what the future holds for it. I’m enticed by the live music and the chill atmosphere that makes for a cozy pub where you’d want to have a pint, some pub grub, and take in some tunes.
|Eric & Donna Monte pose for a few photos|
|Hey Stamford! says, “Peace out, yo!” Actually it was, “No photos!”|
489 Glenbrook Road
Stamford, CT 06906