On a getaway to Beaufort last weekend, we wanted some place that was relaxed with good food and drink for our Friday arrival night. After looking at many reviews on TA, we decided to hit The Old Bull Tavern, and we are glad we did! If you keep your search limited to Bay Street or the waterfront, you’ll miss this little jewel which is on a side alley off of Bay.
A nice cozy place inside with classic, dark wood décor, we chose to sit at the bar and start with a couple of cocktails. I asked the bartender for his recommendation on a libation and he suggested the Purgatory. Now Purgatory is typically a Rye drink, but this was made with Silver Petron Tequila, fresh squeezed grapefruit juice, honey syrup and a slice of habanero pepper. It was shaken over ice and served in a rocks glass. WOW! This was the best cocktail I’ve tasted in a long time. It has that perfect mix of sour/sweet and the little hint of the habanero pepper is a real nice finisher. You could probably enjoy it without the pepper if you don’t like a little kick, but I’d advise you to try it as is. The heat is certainly not overpowering.
We ordered the chicken liver pate appetizer to split. It was served with toasted French bread and it was just outstanding. You can’t go wrong with this if you like liver pate. For the meal, my husband ordered the cheeseburger with goat cheese. I know what you’re thinking – a cheeseburger – really? Well, yes. Its fresh ground Angus beef and is not flattened to smithereens on the griddle. The goat cheese makes a really nice change to the usual cheese options you get in most restaurants.
I’m a duck lover, so I could not pass up the duck confit. It was served on a bed of creamed sweet potatoes and it was very tasty. Crispy skin on the outside, delicate duck meat on the inside, and just a hint of sweet in the puree. It was extremely good.
And did I mention the staff? Well, they’re all excellent and had the right mix of pleasant conversation and attentive service. Another good sign to a great restaurant? The staff knows the menu – even the bartenders. Oh yeah, I almost forgot - the prices are extremely reasonable. Great value for the quality of food, drink and service you receive. You can’t go wrong here – if you can get in. It’s not a huge place, and as the night went on it got more and more crowded. There’s a good mix of locals and tourists. That was fine with us as we were looking for a good gastro pub experience that night. We got just that!
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