Finally got in to try a brand new (as of July 5th) Wrentham restaurant – Connie’s Rustic Kitchen and Tavern. Overall, for a brand-new place, we were pleased with what we found.
The accommodations are definitely Tavern-like. A bit worn around the edges, but overall comfortable and homey. It was quiet on the evening that we dined, but I can imagine, it must get fairly energetic with a crowd.
Our server was very sincere and eager to please, albeit a bit young and inexperienced. I am chocking this up to the newness of the restaurant. Our waitress was incredibly accommodating, but needed to check almost all our questions with either the bar, or the kitchen before answering.
Next, the bar. As someone who dives deep on cocktails and wine, I can be overly critical of bar service. I always have a few test drinks that I use to gauge service. In this case, a Negroni was not possible because of a lack of key ingredients – Campari. I was a trifle dismayed that the barkeep failed to recognize the cocktail by name, but he seemed like a nice enough guy that had he the ingredients, he could have rolled a decent cocktail. The wine list is short and simple, with very modest pricing.
Visiting the link above, brings you to a Facebook page that has some mouth-watering pictures, which are what drew us in. The menu offers gastro-pub cuisine with specials that aim for a notch above. We tried a variety of items – base menu and specials to get a sense of the quality, etc.
Appetizers were divided. The Fried Calamari was very nice, with a light batter that was not oily and a good quantity of rings and tentacles.
The special Caprese Salad was a disappointment. The tomatoes were under ripe and lacked taste and the mozzarella was rubbery, also without much taste. The drizzle of balsamic was tasty but could not make up for the blandness of the other ingredients. To me, a special should be exactly that – special and probably based on the availability of exceptional ingredients. In this case, the ingredients were lacking.
Entrees were again divided. The Chicken Involtini was very nice with a seductive wine sauce and a mouth-watering stuffing. The Chicken and Broccoli over pasta was disappointing and bland. The chicken was flavorful, but the sauce was thin and way too garlicky. A little more creaminess and a little less garlic would dramatically improve the dish.
Only one dessert is offered and it changes weekly. At our visit a huge, homemade ice cream sandwich was on offer. Visually stunning and very tasty. While we were told that the cookies were chocolate chip, we all agreed that the taste suggested the presence of oatmeal… confirmation with the kitchen came back as chocolate chip…
As previously noted, overall, we were pleased and given the newness, need to return to make further inroads. Everything appears promising and despite some missteps during our visit, nothing was so egregious to dissuade us from returning. We love local, so we will be tugging hard for Connie’s to succeed!