May 2013

Tavern 46

Author: Rebecca Edwards

Do you remember the characters Sam Malone (Ted Danson), Norm Peterson (George Wendt), and Woody Boyd (Woody Harrleson)? Do you remember their happy hangout, Cheers? And their thematic song, “Making your way in the world today takes everything you’ve got. Taking a break from all your worries sure would help a lot…You wanna be where you can see, our troubles are all the same… You wanna go where everybody knows your name.”

Well according to Marceilla Veltri of Tavern 46, “We’re like Cheers with 15 HD televisions. We like to tell people, ‘This is your home when you’re away from home.’”
Located at 16 Kittie’s Landing Road in Bluffton, Tavern 46 replaces what was Montana’s. “The owners are still the same, but they decided to bring it home,” Veltri explained. “They decided to make the restaurant more of a sports bar and really give Hilton Head and Bluffton a great hang out spot.”

The bar comprises 70 percent of the restaurant, and its wood detail is a visual feast. Warm hues give Tavern 46 an intimate feel; yet subtle soft lights brighten the space creating a modern pub feel. Veltri laughs, explaining that though many things have changed since reopening, “we just had to keep signature elements like our waterfall wall and Grizzly Bears out front.”

Another big difference is the menu. Tavern 46 makes every effort to pour and plate friendly fare that puts the “u” in pub. Of the 34 draft beers they serve, 27 are handcrafted and many are from South Carolina.

Tavern 46 also brought in Chef Thiago Cunha. According to Veltri, “Chef Thiago’s Brazilian heritage brings an exciting flare to his food.” Thiago studied at Johnson and Wales in Rhode Island and has worked under such culinary talents as Chef Barbara Lynch, owner of B&G Oysters and the James Beard Award-winning restaurateur who is regarded as one of Boston’s and the country’s best, and the late Brazilian Chef Sergio Abramof, who had a successful 30-year career at Sergio’s in Cleveland.

When it comes to food Veltri said, “We are redifining Lowcountry cuisine. It is not necessarily fried food and big portions. The ingredients are what’s important. And more to the point, local ingredients are what’s important. We make a big effort to be as local as possible with fresh produce and seafood; that’s why our menu changes seasonally.”

It is the commitment to tasty, thoughtful food that makes choosing your meal so difficult—you just want everything on the menu. Let’s begin with the starters. You can’t pass up Thiago’s tuna two ways with seared ahi tuna sliced thin and tuna tartare with lime, cilantro, onions and green pepper marinated with a soy infusion.

There’s also the baked brie, which is wrapped in pastry dough, drizzled with balsamic reduction and served with green apple slices. And if you want to make friends at the bar, get the pulled pork nachos with tender shredded BBQ on top of crispy tortilla chips with cheese sauce, diced tomatoes, jalapeños and fresh salsa.

The soups and salads are also crowd pleasers. You can choose from French onion with provolone and toasted crostini, lobster bisque with chunks of lobster and lobster foam, or the soup of the day. Pair your soup with a fresh salad like the pecorino cucumber salad with arugula, red onion, tomato and lemon vinaigrette or the buffalo mozzarella with sliced tomatoes, red onions, fresh basil and a EVOO and balsamic drizzle.

The sandwiches and burgers are two-handers and piled high with goodness. The steak and cheese comes with shaved steak, sautéed onions, mushrooms and mozzarella stuffed into baguette bread. The featured burgers include the breakfast burger with provolone, mushroom, bacon and an over-easy egg; the free range turkey burger comes with baby Swiss, arugula, grilled tomato and onion; and the Tavern burger is a half-pound beef brisket patty smothered in homemade BBQ sauce, apple wood bacon and cheddar cheese. Yum. Last but not least are the pizzas and entrées. The tequila white pizza comes with tequila marinated tomatoes, garlic, oregano, mozzarella, parmesan and cream cheese drizzled with EVOO; the seafood lovers comes with homemade tomato sauce, marinated shrimp, crab, mozzarella and parmesan drizzled with a balsamic reduction. Thiago’s culinary culmination is his paella with saffron rice, corn and peas served with clams, mussels, scallops, shrimp, chicken and chorizo sausage. Double yum.

Every night is a good night at Tavern 46 because of the restaurant’s fun nightly specials. Monday is Pint and Wing Night. Tuesday is Taco Night and we’re talking “nacho” ordinary taco—remember Thiago is from Brazil so his pico de gallo is pico-delish-o. Wednesday is Wine Night—complete with wine sipping music by Mark Bonds or Zach Stilner. Thursday night features prime rib and entertainment by Deas Guyz. Friday night is Ladies Night with lobster and martini specials and live music. Saturday is Pizza All Day, and chilling in front of the tube is not only an option, but encouraged. And Sunday is a nod to the hard-working servers, bartenders and cooks out there with F&B Night and a crab leg special.

To learn more about “taking a break from all your worries” and a place “where everybody knows your name,” visit tavern46.com or call (843) 815-2327

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