Millennial-ish Cuisine: Oak Haven Table & Bar
Don’t blink or you’ll buzz right past Oak Haven Table and Bar. And you won’t want to do that. Why? Crostini! Crusty grilled bread with a shmear of whipped mint-fennel-pollen goat cheese, sprinkled with sliced strawberries, and finished with a drizzle of cherry red wine and local honey reduction. Or the Herbavor Tempura: lightly fried veg du jour complete with a sweet chili dipping sauce. If all this sounds a tad hipster, it’s because Oak Haven is on the forefront of Elm City’s Millennial-ish dining movement: local farm-sourced food in small casual spaces, with inspired wine lists, serious mixology, and the prerequisite craft beer.
The menu, segmented into snacks, small plates, medium plates and large plates (appetizer, main course, dessert are so yesterday), along with cheese and charcuterie boards, is dependent on purveyors finds and local sourcing.
On one visit, the freshly caught swordfish, grilled with just picked cherry tomatoes, garlic, sliced potatoes, and bok choy was simply beautiful. Another night we tried the chef’s experiment: salmon jerky served with a cucumber dipping sauce. Let’s hope it goes on the menu.
Imbibers beware. The impressive cocktail and wine list have an equally impressive price tag. The food is reasonable, so it does even out, or I’m just rationalizing the bill. Either way, if you like to live on the frugal side, you can make a meal out of the small and medium plates. Or head over for an interesting take on Sunday brunch offering up both sweet and savory choices. From the savory side, the breakfast risotto: cheddar cheese, crispy bacon, poached egg with toast points, works well with the OHTB Bloody Mary. I’m partial to anything that includes a bacon strip and a cornichon. An example from the sweet side: birch beer and maple mini waffles. Yes, MINI WAFFLES!
However you experience the place, you won’t be disappointed. Street parking is easy, the service is casual and the chef is passionate. Chances are you will see me there during Happy Hour enjoying $8 cocktails… and that Crostini!
oakhaventableandbar.com 932 State Street