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“Outstanding!”

The Old Bull Tavern
Ranked #2 of 161 Restaurants in Beaufort
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $3 - $18
Cuisines: Gastropub
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Bar scene
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Description: The Old Bull Tavern is a modern day Gastropub serving old world recipes prepared with care and where possible with locally sourced ingredients. The beverages offering includes craft cocktails, regional beers, and a comprehensive wine list.
Raleigh, North Carolina
Level Contributor
32 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Outstanding!”
Reviewed March 8, 2013

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!

  • Visited March 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank td193
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
marshalljohn1, Owner at The Old Bull Tavern, responded to this review, March 9, 2013
td193,
In a small place with a nonexistent advertising budget, your review means a great deal to us.
From Matthew and Ryan (your bartenders), and indeed the whole staff at the Old Bull Tavern,
a heartfelt thank you.
Best Regards,
Chef John Marshall
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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932 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Baldwinsville, New York
Level Contributor
122 reviews
70 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
“You'd Never Expect Food Like This in a Tavern”
Reviewed February 25, 2013

The name and exterior of this Beaufort, SC eatery belies the culinary treat awaiting inside. We dined there on a recent weeknight following a recommendation from our days golfing partners. The darkened storefront windows which also display the diminutive painted sign seemed to fit a typical bar setting during the daylight hours. As my wife exited the car to look at the small posted menu, an employee emerged with a sheet listing the days fare. Each menu is dated and numbered, giving you the first hint that this was not your typical southern juke joint. In fact the menu is revised frequently based upon seasonally available produce, seafood and the chef's latest creations. A quick study of the menu revealed a mouth watering selection of appetizers, salads and entrees. We made a reservation for the evening and were glad we did because the place was jumping when we arrived.
While the inside has somewhat of a tavern setup with a large bar taking up one side of the establishment, it seemed most welcoming. The main dining area adjoins the bar with a series of tables backed up to a banquette that runs the length of the room. The adjoining tables are only a couple of feet away resulting in little privacy and much overheard conversation.
But the food was the main event. We shared a mixed cheese with toast points appetizer and the yummy Wine Makers salad. My wife had the duck breast entree which she said was the best meal that she had during our month-long stay in Beaufort. I had the braised beef which turned out to be more of a stew ( served in a bowl with carrots and mashed potatoes). The dining experience far exceeded our expectations and was very reasonably priced compared to some of our other dinners out. They had a small seating area outside with a portable fire pit which we used to take a FaceTime call from our granddaughter. We will return next time we're in Beaufort.

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank rhornad1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
marshalljohn1, Owner at The Old Bull Tavern, responded to this review, February 26, 2013
Dear Orangefan,
Thank you for joining us at the Old Bull Tavern and please thank your golfing partners for sending you our way. We look forward to seeing you again on your return to Beaufort.

Kind Regards,

Chef John Marshall
ps I was the employee that delivered you the menu outside.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orlando, Florida
Level Contributor
30 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Excellent dinner!”
Reviewed February 16, 2013

I took my kids and nieces to dinner on February 15, 2013. We were very happy with the food and service. This was the second time for a few of us and the first for the others. Most of the kids ordered burgers, which they loved. My daughter order the Ricotta Gnocchi and I had the Moroccan Beef. Very, very good! A gentleman who lives across the street had brought marshmallows to the fire outside and shared with the kids. A great ending to a fantastic dinner!

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank mickeymousemommy13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
marshalljohn1, Owner at The Old Bull Tavern, responded to this review, February 26, 2013
Thank you for returning, bringing some new guests with you, and taking the time to review our place. I am happy you enjoyed it. Nice to hear you finished up with roasted marshmallows by the fire. We look forward to serving you again.

Best Regards,
Chef John Marshall
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Beaufort, South Carolina
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Rapidly Becoming Beaufort's Best (Food and Bargain)”
Reviewed February 10, 2013

My wife and I have dined here a dozen times over the past few months and we have never been disappointed. In fact, the experience gets better each time. The winemaker's salad is more than generous in size and is simply the best tasting salad I've ever had in a restaurant. Last night my wife ordered the pork cutlet and what I was able to steal from her was heavenly. I had the fettuccini bolognese and it was as delicious as it was steaming hot. The bread is baked daily by the chef and it is a treat in itself. We finished the night by dueling with spoons over an incredible chocolate mousse.The service, as always, was outstanding. If you are looking for an intimate experience, make a reservation in the back corner table for two.

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank billZ54135
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
marshalljohn1, Owner at The Old Bull Tavern, responded to this review, February 11, 2013
I was very pleased to read your kind review and I know I speak for everyone at The Old Bull Tavern when I say, thank you for your continuos patronage. We do strive to get better each day as our restaurant matures. So glad to hear you enjoyed dining in " the booth, in the back, in the corner, in the dark".

We look forward to seeing you again very soon.

Best Regards,

Chef John Marshall
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Beaufort, South Carolina
Level Contributor
87 reviews
76 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
“Will be back!”
Reviewed February 9, 2013

This was a first visit so we did not know what to expect. We were very pleased. The service was outstanding. We loved everything we ordered. I had the tomato soup which was yummy. The salad was good too and not your typical green salad. 2 of us got the beef which was very tasty. The salamon was outstanding. The lamb shank was fall off the bone tender. I thought the prices were quite reasonable given the quality.
The only draw back was that is was nosiy especially as it got later. The fire pit outside was a nice touch too and it was quiet out there!
Thanks for a great experience. Next time we will try dessert.

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank lovinsc_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
marshalljohn1, Owner at The Old Bull Tavern, responded to this review, February 10, 2013
Lovinsc_11
Thanks for your recent visit, and kind comments. I am so happy you enjoyed your meal.
Glad you had the opportunity to sit by the fire after dinner and enjoy each others company.

We'll keep the fires burning in the kitchen and the fire pit and look forward to your return.

Best,

Chef John Marshall
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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