The social media feeds had been buzzing with anticipation over the newest kid to the culinary scene in Worcester. That new establishment resides where the old Ritual used to be on Main Street and has a brand new look from front to back. Greeted by the open windows of the front of the restaurant, the space is split in half by the centrally located bar, with an open view to the kitchen; where you can watch some of deadhorse hill’s best prepare your meals for the evening. The space was bright and vibrant, being classy and industrial at the same time, painting the tin ceilings a contrasting color than the walls to pop and using tall, hanging lights to adorn the bar. The bar seats add additional character as no two are alike.

Southern Fried Chix Thighs from deadhorse hill on Main Street in Worcester, MA

Southern Fried Chix Thighs from deadhorse hill on Main Street in Worcester, MA

Being that this is a relative specialty restaurant that features local ingredients and a menu that changes depending on the offerings of the day, the menu is small…5 or 6 “small choices” and roughly the same amount of “large” dishes. Having anticipated the evening, I did not eat much during the day. I was famished. I decided to order a “small dish” of southern fired chicken with hot sauce and honey ($16). Expecting a couple of small drumsticks or a wing as a starter, I was taken back when I was served two massive deep fried chicken thighs. The chicken was coated in a crispy, brown and perfectly seasoned batter. The addition of the honey with the hot sauce made for a sweet departure from the spiciness of the sauce. The chicken was moist and made me wanting more. As if this starter wasn’t enough to make me call it quits for the night, I decided to order the smoked duck sausage ($24), which came accompanied with cranberry beans and greens. The cranberry bean is also known as the borlotti bean, and is not cranberry-like in nature. Rather, the name is derived from the color of the bean’s pod and the bean itself, which tends to speckled with maroon, however lose their bright color during the cooking process. The sausage had a slight game bird flavor to it, as you would expect any duck meal would. The natural casing of the sausage added a nice snap and texture to the dish. The flavors were rich and fully developed. The beans were cooked nicely and had a smooth texture to them. The green’s bitterness helped cut through the richness of the sausage. I love duck and whenever I see it on a menu, I have to order it. You will not be disappointed with this rendition.

The wait staff at deadhorse hill was very attentive and energetic. They lent their knowledge of the menu to the table and gave suggestions when it came to ordering. Our waitress was very friendly and outgoing and always seemed to have a big smile on her face. While she was not the hovering type, she seemed to always be around when you needed something, like a drink refill or your dishes cleared. At an establishment that seems to pride itself on everything having to do with the customer, it does not surprise me that the wait staff excelled at their duties this night.

I was pleasantly surprised with the final product that deadhorse hill was able to deliver. Nestled next to the Palladium and City Hall, it gives you a reason to go to Main Street in Worcester, when otherwise you would attempt to avoid it at all costs. With the emergence of restaurants like Armsby Abbey and deadhorse hill is proof that the food scene in Worcester is catching on. I would definitely recommend deadhorse hill to anyone looking to get a perfectly cooked meal with a little class and a slight flare. Being on the pricier side of the spectrum, it would make for a perfect date night or anniversary site for you and your significant other. The charm, atmosphere, spirits and food would be enough to bring me back again. Whether you’re sipping on your ‘Gansett from a Grimace glass or tearing up the $110 huge dry-aged prime ribeye, you will be happy with whatever you choose on the menu!

Christmas shopping for fine art collectibles and inspiration at Vaillancourt Folk Art in Sutton, MA