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Bites Nearby: Rye Tavern

History, homegrown vegetables and herbs and distinctive menu offerings combine to form a unique dining experience in a secluded part of town.

Plymouth residents and visitors alike can take a trip through time, if only for dinner, courtesy of the recently opened Rye Tavern off of Old Sandwich Road. The establishment is located in a building dating back to the 1700s, the Wright Tavern, and is adjacent to what was once known as the Rye Field, as Chef de Cuisine Joanna Farrar explains. She said that Boston politicians would stop here for drinks on their way to Cape Cod, making it a popular watering hole.

A similar atmosphere continues today, as the tavern strives to be an "everyday restaurant," without a dress code and open to all, who may stop by for a beer, cocktail or meal.

The tavern, which opened for business in June, seats 50 inside among fireplaces and wooden beams and 30 on the patio outside.

Adding to the history of the building is the rural location and the garden on the premises. Dishes are prepared with what is grown there. Currently cucumbers, yellow beans, summer squash, zucchini, tomatoes, eggplants and herbs, are in the garden and in the dishes, Farrar said. Local farmers and companies also provide the tavern with their products, furthering the farm-to-table approach. The menu is "seasonally fresh and inspired," Farrar said, and the aim is to change it every four weeks.

That menu has "comfort food with a twist," Farrar said, adding that everything is made from scratch, down to the sauces and dressings.

For appetizers, she highlighted the pulled chicken ravioli with asparagus and farm cheese and the "deconstructed" clam chowder with bacon mashed potatoes surrounded by the broth and fried whole belly clams. Salad offerings include a heirloom tomato, watermelon, fresh mozzarella and spinach with basil vinaigrette and a mixed greens with roasted pear, gorgonzola, walnuts and Zinfandel vinaigrette.

For entrées, there is a summer vegetable risotto with pan-seared scallops and an aged balsamic drizzle, and a grilled pork tenderloin with peaches, red peppers, ricotta, arugula and fingerling potatoes. A peach crisp, made with whiskey and orange juice and a oatmeal brown sugar crust, topped with vanilla ice cream and a toffee sauce, and a butterscotch crème brulée are two of the desserts.

On weekends, brunch featuring omelets, pancakes, salads and sandwiches is offered, the chef added.

While there is no children's menu, the tavern can accommodate the younger set, Farrar said, as well as large groups. For couples, it makes a great date night.

Rye Tavern is owned by Dramshop Hospitality, which also owns the Union Fish Seafood & Raw Bar on the Plymouth waterfront, Church restaurant and club in Boston and The Regal Beagle restaurant in Brookline.

Farrar said she hopes guests enjoy the comfortable, homey and rustic atmosphere of the tavern.

Rye Tavern is located at 517 Old Sandwich Rd. The bar opens at 4 p.m. and dinner begins at 5, daily. Weekend brunch is from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. Limited reservations are accepted. Call 508-591-7515. 

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