Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Haven Gastropub - February 4th, 2011

Fitting that our first stop on this adventure would be a place with "gastropub" in the name. Yes, it has been pointed out to me and I know that "gastropub" is a category and not a restaurant name. Nevertheless, the Haven lives up to its name and did not disappoint. We dined on a Friday evening at about 6:00 pm and the place was humming even at this early hour (reservations recommended). The open, airy seating lends itself to a vibrant atmosphere that leans toward loud. However, despite some difficulty in conversing, we found the buzz to be contagious. We started with the housemade potato chips with garlic aioli which were crispy and delicious. The sauce did not outlast the chips, but our server graciously brought us a refill which also served as a great dip for the Pommes Frites as well. The next course consisted of the Honeycrisp Apple Salad which was copious enough to allow us to share. We then delved into a main course of jumbo prawns and the Haven burger. Both of these entrées exceeded expectations in terms of both portion size, presentation, and flavor. The housemade ketchup was a bit sweet, but we appreciated that it does not come from a plastic bottle. The only disappointment was the strawberry dessert that caught our eye on the menu was not available (and has since been removed), so we substituted the apple strudel which did not quite live up to expectations. All in all, a thoroughly enjoyable evening and a place to which we would eagerly return. Hopefully the next stops on our journey are as rewarding as Haven in downtown Orange.

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