Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Eating up the Hill: Going down the Rabbit Hole

There are a handful of pubs on Sparks Street opposite my office building and, frankly, none of them stand out. There is a newish player on the block though as the Farmteam Cookhouse and Cellar closed awhile back and, after a lengthy renovation, the Rabbit Hole opened in its place. I've been there now for lunch and dinner, and can share my thoughts.

It seems to be aiming for a midpoint between nearby pubs like Brixton's and the Bier Markt, and the swanky Riviera down the street. It has a pricy-ish wine list with a higher end selection you wouldn't find at a pub, and a range of entrees. It markets itself as specializing in cocktails, oysters and pizza, although I had none of those in either of my visits.

My first visit a few months back was for lunch, and I had the steak frites. Incidentally, that's what I also had at my first (and, so far, only) lunch) at Riviera. For $27 I got a small steak (maybe 6 oz, I'd guess) with roasted carrots and fries. It was cooked appropriately and tasted OK but, frankly, was nothing to write home about. I'd like it more at $20-$22. Some mushrooms would have been nice.

More recently I was back for dinner and ordered the special. It's been a few weeks, but I recall it being called spaghetti with braised beef, at somewhere around $18. This represented better value than the steak frites, the portion size was reasonable, the beef was a nice meaty alternative to ground beef, and I liked the tomatoes and herbs. But it could have been served hotter, and I would have liked some sauce -- it was a bit dry.

Two decent meals, but neither were home-runs. And if they're trying to set themselves up as a gastro-pub or something above a regular pub, they need to do better.

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