We have been eagerly awaiting the opening of Rye Tavern at The Pinehills in Plymouth and are happy to report it has certainly been worth the wait. There are a few ways to get to this farmhouse style restaurant but we entered down a seemingly remote dirt road with lush woods on either side providing a tranquil drive that led to a beautiful country home surrounded by herb and vegetable gardens. Inside, the traditional New England style main dining room (complete with wide pine floors) has a center fireplace and intimate separate bar area. The restaurant does become loud when it is filled to capacity, which is quite often, given the talents of Culinary Director Laura Henry-Zoubir and Chef Joanna Farrar. The inventive cocktail list here is also to be commended with a great selection of draft beers such as Dogfish’s 60-minute IPA and Racer IPA along with fun summer drinks like the Vanity cocktail made with Absolut Ruby Red vodka, orange liquer and fresh grapefruit. When there is a movie screening on the green at Pinehills, they create a cocktail in honor of the movie. The night we visited, they were offering an “Up” aviation martini in honor of the movie “Up.”
The evening we visited, our friendly server, Kelly, told us the appetizer special was the deliciously fresh sesame seared tuna served over a crisp garden cucumber salad with wasabi vinaigrette, which we were happy to start off with. We moved on to the pan fried ravioli – three delicious pot stickers arrived filled with confit chicken, asparagus and creamy farm cheese. The clam chowder is where Henry-Zoubir (winner of The Food Network’s show “Chopped”) and Farrar’s talents really shine. This is not your average bowl of chowdah but rather a heavenly masterpiece in its own right – a hearty bowl of creamy chowder arrived atop a creative combination of bacon mashed topped with fried whole belly clams. Don’t miss the brie and crostini served in a small warm pan topped with port wine.
The entrée specials of the evening included grilled flat iron steak with heirloom tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, garden basil and barley salad and an heirloom tomato and goat cheese tart with a spinach and olive salad. We opted for the savory slow roasted half chicken with barley risotto, mushrooms and asparagus. The perfectly pan roasted scallops were just as addicting served atop risotto with asparagus, crisp pancetta, corn, tomato and drizzled with aged balsamic. Be sure to share a side of the truffle fries dusted with parmesan cheese – you’ll thank me later.
Desserts here, like the main menu, are seasonal and may include the likes of banana beignets with rum caramel and vanilla ice cream, a flourless chocolate-espresso torte and whiskey pear and cranberry crisp. We loved the baked chocolate chip cookies, which provided the perfect end to a wonderful dining experience.
Rye Tavern is located at The Pinehills in Plymouth at 517 Old Sandwich Road. Dinner is served nightly with brunch available on Saturdays and Sundays. For reservations or more information, call (508) 591-7515 or visit www.ryetavern.com.