By Angelique Roy
TEWKSBURY -- Even as the first frost covers the greens at Tewksbury Country Club, its tavern stays open yearround to the public offering a warm and family-friendly dinner experience.
Plush brown leather couches are set around the large stone fireplace at the Tew-Mac Tavern, near a baby grand piano that is played by local musicians on the weekends.
The windows at the rear of the dining room look out onto the course's ninth green (the Tavern mainly draws a crowd of golfers, naturally, who stop in for a bite after nine, or on the turn. Local professionals make up another major part of its clientele). Patio seating for 100 is set outside during the warmer months on the course's brick patio.
The restaurant, named after the former airport the country club was built on, expanded its space earlier this year to add a dozen more tables to its dining room.
"The runway was right where the guy is golfing," said Bob Leo, general manager, pointing out to the ninth fairway. Before and after photos of the property hang on the restaurant's wall, near the kitchen doors.
The starters, like all dishes on the Tavern's menu, are considered "comfort food with a signature twist," Leo said. The Hoisin Chicken Wings, a new edition to the Tavern's offerings, has emerged as one of the most popular appetizers. The wings are pungent, but not too spicy, and are served with a ranch-parmesan dressing, Leo said. Buffalo fingers can be made upon request.
The Tavern offers daily specials, with recent features including Acorn Squash Bisque, Coconut Chicken Salad (mixed greens tossed with cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, roasted corn, roasted red peppers, coconut chicken, and balsamic vinaigrette), Scallops and Tortellini, and Stuffed Pork Loin (stuffed with apple stuffing and topped with apple demi).
The White Bean Turkey Chili is a hearty starter at the Tavern, and was added to the menu to expand on its healthy options. "We give the people what they want," Leo said, adding that gluten-free dishes were also added to the menu in response to customer demand.
"We have healthy choices ... but don't sacrifice flavor," he continued.
A "sandwich board" lunch menu is offered daily, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., as a supplement to the Tavern's full dinner menu, which boasts only a handful of sandwiches. The sandwich board can change on a whim, but recent offerings included a French Dip, Italian Panini (cappicola, pepperoni, salami, buffalo mozzarella, roasted red peppers and balsamic reduction).
Flatbread pizzas are also a new edition to the Tew-Mac Tavern menu, which debuted on Oct. 1, and were the brainchild of executive chef Henry Wallace. Among the restaurant's specialty flatbreads are the Steak and Cheese (grilled steak, onion jam, sautéed peppers and melted cheddar), and the traditional Margherita (spinach, garlic, tomato, basil, buffalo mozzarella and extra virgin olive oil).
The Chicken Pot Pie at Tew-Mac Tavern is as fresh as they come. The in-house made crust is infused with herbs and isn't "the run of the mill cardboard crust," found on other pizzas, Leo said.
All menu items at the restaurant are cooked to-order. "We are a 100 percent scratch kitchen," Leo said, noting that all ingredients used are fresh. "Our food might take a little longer but it's definitely worth the wait," he added.
Tew-Mac Tavern at Tewksbury Country Club
1880 Main St., Tewksbury, 978-640-0033, tewksburycc.com/tavern
- Hours: Sun.-Wed., 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Thurs.-Sat., 11 a.m.-10 p.m. The restaurant is open yearround.
- Parking: Lots of spaces, shared with the country club/function facility.
- Reservations: Accepted.
- Menu: Comfort food with a twist.
- Price range: The cost of entrees ranges from $14 to $25, sandwiches and flatbreads from $8 to $17.
- Atmosphere: Casual, warm, and family-friendly.
- Try this: Pear & Blue Salad, Angel Hair Pasta in White Clam Sauce, Seared Scallops (served with Three Cheese Potato Croquettes, sautéed spinach, butter sauce, and basil oil), Chicken Pot Pie, Hoisin Chicken Wings.