The Tap Room Grill
This restaurant sits on a high incline just before an underpass at 2823 Boston Road in Wilbraham, MA. The Saturday night dining pilgrims, AKA one husband, a sister-in-law, a son, and I decided to pay a visit on October 15. We had been there before and thought the experience worth a second try. As it was the last time, the dining room was virtually empty, with one couple finishing whatever it was they had ordered. We were told to seat ourselves, and so we marched across the wide room to a booth along the back wall. We bypassed the outside seating since it was quite already dark this autumn night.
We were handed menus by the hostess and leaned in to the light to try to discern the selections. The overhead lamps were dimmed to create an intimate atmosphere although I found it a bit intimidating since I had to fight the gloom to peruse my options. While we waited, a young, weary server came to take our drink orders. While most of my party chose to have water and cola, I usually relax with a glass of wine while I’m trying to make up my mind between surf and turf. My cabernet was delivered in a large goblet with the required four ounces, but the liquid seemed lost as it sloshed around at the bottom of the glass, much like a child whose pants are too big. I compensated by taking tiny sips.
My husband ordered sea scallops, my son the chicken wings and French onion soup, and my sister-in-law chose the drunken chicken, more intrigued by the name than the actual desire for fowl. I asked for the fish and chips. While engaging in some before meal chit chat, we noticed a parade of casually dressed, bearded musicians carrying various instruments. Since they headed toward the pub area, we assumed that the real action was in the bar, our suspicions confirmed by the raucous laughter coming from behind the wall to which our booth was attached. While we languished in the rather Spartan, dark dining room, there was quite a party going on in the next room. You are probably wondering why we didn’t join them. Well, we are not party type of people; we just listen and live vicariously through the good times of those around us. But then, we were lured to look around the corner and take a peek at the teeming mass of celebration seekers before the server came with our food. I should add here that we were invited to the next comedy show that was coming up and reminded via a chalkboard that they do feature karaoke on occasion, but I couldn’t get anyone in my party interested. As a public service, I myself, do not sing.
My husband and son declared their dinners quite satisfactory while my sister-in-law raved about the virtues of her intoxicated hen. She claimed that the meat rolled off the bone for easy consumption. It was served with mashed potato and a small mound of seasonal squash and zucchini. I wondered how she knew which of the three offerings she was actually eating in the shadows.
My fish and chips I would say met the “all right” standard. They weren’t bad, but then the breaded triangles of cod have been done better in other places. The chips were thin, deep fried potatoes that were again “all right,” although my husband seemed to enjoy the same fries that were on his plate with the scallops.
This is a good place to go for fairly priced dinners in an atmosphere that is muted both in noise and light (unless you go beyond the pub wall), perfect for marriage proposals or hiding from law enforcement.