I pulled a sly trick on my husband last week. He’s not a fan of brunch, but I am, so I made a reservation at Tavern on State in New Haven for 2pm. I figured I could almost pass it off as dinner. And guess what? It worked. The guy rode his bike for fifty miles that morning, so he was more than ready for a hefty meal!
I’ve been dying to get to this new spot in East Rock, but it ain’t easy prying us out of Lyme in winter. But brunch on a warmish February Sunday was grand! The big lure? Their signature dish of Tater Tots and Caviar with Red Onion Crema and Dill. Frankly, I’m hard-pressed to think of a better brunch offering. A scrumptious pile of tots (big enough for a table share) showed up, tossed in red salmon roe and black caviar that we easily demolished. Our waitress assured me that the Shrimp and Grits were on the lighter side, a dish I routinely order when available. The Tavern version is a buttery, soupy, peppery bowl of plump shrimp and lovely chewy grits. My husband was equally pleased with a generous platter of rosy steak and eggs drizzled with chimichurri. He couldn’t resist the fresh-baked “Big As Your Head” Cinnamon Bun, which though warm and yummy, was overkill, and a better idea for a group. We’ll most definitely be back for dinner, which includes their famed Tavern Burger and a Rib-Eye for Two with Truffle Fries and Creamed Spinach.
It’s a cozy spot, with barn wood and white brick walls, hanging planters of philodendron (that look cool again!), black banquettes, and a bustling bar. An innovative cocktail menu plus a curated selection of beer is offered. See image below for dinner menu as it’s not available online.