April 27, 2010

Ivy Tavern

Ivy Tavern
758 Hope Street
Providence, RI

The Ivy Tavern is the best kind of neighborhood pub - one with great food that is genuinely welcoming to all, locals and non-locals alike. Located on the East Side of Providence in what is colloquially referred to as "Hope Village," the small storefront is easy to pass by, but tables in this small establishment are worth the wait if need be.

Ivy Tavern is known for its hamburgers and garlic fries, but before ordering our pub grub we focused in on the beer list. For a small neighborhood establishment, Ivy Tavern offers a, while limited, impressive selection of brews. My dining partner and I opted for two favorites from the bottled list: Chimay Red (Belgium) and Allagash White (Maine).

Since Ivy Tavern has been recognized as having "the best burger" for multiple years, we decided to try two varieties: the traditional cheeseburger and the "Accidential Purist," an innovative homemade veggie burger. For a minimal additional charge, we were able to upgrade our side (choice of fries, coleslaw, or pasta salad) to the Ivy Tavern's infamous garlic fries. In addition to burgers and sandwiches, Ivy Tavern also offers a tempting assortment of appetizers and entrees.

Both burgers were exceptional. Perfectly cooked and full of flavor. The garlic fries were addictive and numerous enough to take home and enjoy the next day (they reheat well on a pizza stone in the toaster oven).

Our waitress was extremely friendly and happy to tell us the story behind this unassuming neighborhood gem. The owner, Dave, opened the tavern seven years ago after moving to Providence from Block Island. He had run a successful place there and brought his clientele with him to the East Side. Ivy Tavern has developed a reputation as a great neighborhood bar with huge portions, great burgers, and friendly, loyal staff. Ivy Tavern does great business even in bad weather when locals opt for a night out within walking distance.

On your next trip up Hope Street, definitely stop in to Ivy Tavern for good pub grub and an "everybody knows your name" atmosphere.

Chimay & Allagash White Bottles
Chimay Red and Allagash White.
Veggie Burger & Garlic Fries
"Accidental Purist" - a veggie burger with grilled apples, caramelized onions, brie, tomato marmalade, and mesclun - and garlic fries
Burger & Garlic Fries
Cheeseburger with garlic fries
Delicious Burger