Worcester’s restaurant renaissance has received a lot of media attention the past few years, and rightfully so, as we have always noted. But let’s face it, Worcester isn’t the only area taking their restaurant game to the next level. And as a group, the Worcester Foodies are always up for a new adventure.
The Reunion Tap & Table in Grafton, MA opened a few months back to many rave reviews. Newly built, it is the brainchild of the Briggs brothers, Josh and Shawn and their business partner Sargon Hanna. If the Briggs name sounds familiar, it may be through their other business, Wicked Twisted Pretzels. Wicked Twisted Pretzels are distributed to many local and national grocery stores, restaurants and breweries. For good measure the team brought on food veteran Gary Benacquista, to run operations.
So, what are two pretzel-making brothers doing opening a full-service restaurant? As Josh explained, “We thought the area was a bit underserved and we could bring a new experience to the area. And we thought it would be fun…,” he added.
The experience, as described by the owners “is a place to relax, enjoy great American comfort food that is prepared fresh every day, with a menu of “elevated American Fare”. We were anxious to give it a try!
Walking into Reunion Tap & Table, the first thing you notice is the design and décor with warm rich wood, distressed metals, and exceptional tile work. The contemporary design is open and provides clean lines throughout with lots of attention to detail that really catches your eye. As Stephanie commented, “The interior was really beautiful, rustic yet refined with the coziness of a log cabin”. Evan found it “comfortable…a modern rustic chic that makes you feel at home”.
Entering the restaurant, the dining area is set to the left and lounge area to the right. These spaces are separated by a service walkway that creates two distinct spaces to enjoy.
The menu is subdued offering a variety of choices but not so many options that it is overwhelming. There are choices to satisfy any mood, from light and casual salads, burgers, comfort classics such as Bratwurst and Fish & Chips, to a Roasted Red Pepper Cavatelli or all out with a NY Prime Sirloin or Maple Brined Pork Chop.
We all arrived and were seated immediately as our server began the process of taking drink and app orders. Shawn, one of the owners came over and introduced himself. He chatted about how the restaurant came to be, told us a bit about Wicked Twisted Pretzel and thanked us for coming.
Soon drinks and apps arrived. As a table we shared the Fried Calamari, a well-appointed Cheese Board, a warm, soft Wicked Twisted Pretzel and the Pork Belly Poutine. The tartar aioli on the calamari was a big hit that Steph commented was “amazing, tangy, with a bit of heat that was very enjoyable” Evan was particularly fond of the Pork Belly Poutine announcing “the large chunks of juicy pork belly helped throw this dish over the top. I was actually so captivated by the pork belly that I ordered the Jumbo Mac and Cheese with an addition of pork belly for my meal”. Wine, beer and cider came to the table to help round out the beginning portion of our meal.
The table ordered a variety of main courses, all looking impressive and well plated when arriving at the table. David said, “The Lamb Gyro was made with freshly marinated lamb which came in a large pita with a generous portion of Mea and toppings. As a side, I opted for the salad which was a nice accompaniment to the Gyro”.
Stephanie enthusiastically offered “For my entree I settle on the Prime Sirloin. While it was the priciest option on the menu ($27), it was well worth it. The 10 oz steak was cooked perfectly and paired great with the heaping pile of mashed potatoes and mushrooms. This was no small meal! I will say for me personally, this was a tougher cut of steak than I’d like as I normally prefer something a little fattier like a ribeye, but that being said, it was seasoned great and very hearty”.
Julie ordered the Caesar Salad topped with Grilled Salmon. “The salad was large and fresh accompanied with an authentic dressing. The thick cut salmon was cooked perfectly, you could tell the fish was fresh.”
Personally, I had the Reunion Burger which was am 8oz. chuck patty topped with Tillamook cheddar, bacon and pickles. It was perfectly cooked and served with house-made chips that added the perfect amount of salt to compliment the cheddar and pickles of the burger. This was one of the best burgers I have had in a while.
For dessert, we shared the Black & White Chocolate cake and the Citrus Cheesecake. Both were plentiful and the perfect ending to a great meal.
Overall our experience at the Reunion Tap & Table was excellent with many of us making plans to revisit! Reunion Tap & Table is located at 198 Worcester Street (Rte 122) in Grafton MA.