Foodies for Fun
The creative minds behind Chelsea Tavern believe in bold flavor, good taste and some culinary wit. It’s a winning combination.
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All of this fried, salty and fatty goodness serves a purpose, and that’s to sell more beer. It turns out to be a welcome manipulation, since Chelsea opened with a scary-good beer program that was immediately one of the city’s best. In addition to great micros such as Rogue’s Dead Guy Ale and Southern Tier Hop Sun, Chelsea boasts two exclusive beers: Chelsea Brown Ale, an Indian brown ale brewed by Dogfish Head, and Chelsea Lager, brewed by Victory Brewing of Downingtown, Pennsylvania.
There are some lighter suds (like Saison Dupont’s Farmhouse Ale) and a decent wine list that pairs best with McNeice’s more sophisticated dishes, such as Hudson Valley foie gras with sun-dried cherries and cherry gastrique. Dishes like the foie gras and a tuna flatbread starter reveal the kitchen’s considerable finesse. The grilled flatbread, also made with the Belgian dough, set a warm backdrop for piquant truffle dressing, wilted spinach and wasabi-infused goat cheese. Draped over the top were thin sheets of succulent tuna carpacchio that was so tender, it tore apart with a bite instead of sliding off in one huge mass.
Another uptown calling card is the kitchen’s duck confit, which it deployed in three separate dishes—on a pizza, on a salad and in a corndog. McNeice must like his shellfish purveyor, too. The menu features four versions of moules frites, pan-steamed in either mushroom duxelles cream sauce, in Sauvignon Blanc and garlic, in chorizo and wheat beer, or in plum tomatoes with white beans and basil.
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