An insider's view of the Connecticut dining scene
Feb 26, 2014
09:17 AMThe Connecticut Table
New Gastropub, Avro Kitchen & Bar, Debuts in New Haven
Mara Lavitt/New Haven Register
The IPA mussels special: local IPA beer, mussels, hot cherry peppers, roasted garlic, finished with butter and white wine.
Truth be told, I really liked the New Haven Meatball House, which served delicious food at unbeatable prices.
Open for lunch and dinner, the core dinner hours were packed with happy, satisfied patrons, but the location was just a wee bit too far for lunch to be that busy as well. Blink, you might have missed the transformation in early-February from the Meatball House into a dinnertime gastropub named for a World War II British airplane, Avro Kitchen & Bar. The meatballs have been upsized into full-fledged burgers, the sides still full-flavored, and the drinks creative in look, taste and name.
Owner Bob Potter has always been interested in aviation. Avro is a longtime British manufacturer of planes, with the Lancaster being its most famous, WW II heavy bomber. His Scottish father was in the Royal Air Force and trained in Avro planes during the War. When it was time to rethink the Meatball House, Potter chose a gastropub theme and then did a bit of private word association, connecting gastropub to pub to England to his interest in British warplanes. In honor of the Avro, there is a chalk rendition of the Lancaster on wall.
Avro is still in the early days, and an executive chef will come on board soon to continue to shape the menu. Currently, the emphasis is on flavorful burgers and craft cocktails. (Right, the Avro burger: private-label blend of beef brisket, chuck and sirloin; bourbon-poached pear, pancetta, caramelized onions, brie on a sweet-potato bun. Served with sweet-potato fries.)