Restaurant review: Five Horses Tavern

Five Horses Tavern South End Outside ViewThe second location of Five Horses Tavern at 535 Columbus Avenue in the South End opened a little more than two weeks ago, and this past weekend I stopped by for lunch.  Extensive renovations by Owner Dylan Welsh, GM Sarah Hanson and Chef Aaron Parsons have transformed the space. With the kitchen now in the basement, Five Horses Tavern can seat 74 inside and 20 on their patio in good weather.

The redesigned space will give you pause upon entry. You’ll first notice the new bar featuring 40 taps that seats 11 followed by a comfortable dining area filled with tables and booths. The decor has rich colors like hunter green walls, dark brown molding and exposed brick. The large windows facing Columbus Avenue helps to make the space feel open so the effect is more cozy than cramped.Five Horses Tavern South EndThe menu is exactly what I would like to see more of in the South End (and especially in SoWa). It is filled with comfort food created with a twist that makes it distinctly their own and priced so one can visit again and again. The menu’s most expensive item is $19 but most items range between $11 – $18.

Chef Parsons has some favorite ingredients that reappear through out the menu. Leveraging the abundance of lobsters in Boston, he has four plates that include this crustacean. Pork belly, avocado and spicy ingredients like chilies and jalapenos also appear repeatedly on the menu.

Five Horses Tavern South End Grilled BrieWe started with the Grilled Brie ($10), served with frisee, pomegranate seeds and honeyed almonds sprinkled with togarshi for additional flavor. The brie nicely spread over the lightly toasted bread, and I layered the frisee and almonds with the cheese to enjoy all the flavors and textures this plate offered.

Five Horses Tavern South End Fried Chicken SammySergio ordered the Fried Chicken Sammy sandwich ($12) with a side of cheddar jalapeno mashed potatoes (as shown above). The sandwich was very satisfying and the potatoes lived up to their hype, but the wilted greens under the chicken and the bland bun could be improved upon.

Five Horses Tavern South End Tuna TacoI opted for the Tuna Tacos (3 for $16) served on flour tortillas with greens, jicama, avocado, and a blood orange chili glaze. These proved to be addicting. Upon biting into the taco I first tasted the blood orange glaze but the flavors of the seared tuna and shichimi dusting quickly follow. I loved the tacos and will definitely order these again.

Five Horses Tavern is a neighborhood pub that serves some delicious (and affordable) food with a friendly and knowledgeable waitstaff. Our server, Richelle, proved to be very helpful which only enhanced what turned out to be a favorable first visit to Five Horses Tavern. I’d suggest giving the South End’s newest restaurant a try.

Five Horses Tavern – 535 Columbus Ave. – 617.936.3930

 Five Horses Tavern on Urbanspoon

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