photos by Phantom Gourmet
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When the temperature drops, there’s nothing like a toasty fire with an ice cold beer, a roaring oven roasting cast iron skillets of comfort food, and a warm welcoming atmosphere of customers that start off as strangers and end up as friends. And it’s all happening right here at The Horse Thieves Tavern.
Named for the historic Society in Dedham for Apprehending Horse Thieves, The Horse Thieves Tavern provides a cozy neighborhood nook to Dedham Square. Owner Laurence Wintersteen and his team set out to make a meeting spot where anyone and everyone would feel comfortable.
“We wanted to create here really warm, welcoming atmosphere. And we thought a New England old style Tavern with a wood burning fireplace and communal tables would really fit. And we also developed a menu to be an old New England Tavern menu, but with a modern twist. We believe that putting together great food, great atmosphere, fun cocktail menu, and a wood burning fireplace really brings back that sort of living room atmosphere into our tavern.”
So Phantom made himself at home in search of THE PERFECT MEAL.
Starters at Horse Thieves Tavern range from complementary popcorn, made right in the dining room….
To the crispy cauliflower, tossed in a zippy buffalo sauce and served with a side of bleu cheese for dipping. And then there’s the Lamb Meatballs spiked with harissa and presented in red sauce and yogurt. The perfect snack for sharing on a cold day.
“It’s sort of a cozy, cozy food. And we have a cozy atmosphere. So it really fits with our menu and our atmosphere.”
There’s ultra creamy burrata served with heirloom tomatoes with a balsamic vinegar that is sure to please.
But nothing quite compares to the Horse Thieves Skillet Cornbread.
“Skillet cornbread is is really simply prepared. It’s actually gluten free. And we put it in the cast iron pot, and we put it in the oven and wait till it rises. We have a reputation for excellent cornbread and some people come in and we’re we sort of encouraged them to have it because we’re very proud of it.”
Entrees cover every appetite whether you prefer seafood, steak or chicken. There’s a Grilled Butchers Cut Steak topped with a flavorful bleu cheese butter. And something called “The Spicy Burst Tomato Chicken”.
“That is one of the crowd favorites. It’s bone in chicken. And we put it in the oven and surrounded with fresh heirloom tomatoes and comes out of the oven. The tomatoes burst and a little bit charred, and the mixture of the tomatoes and the chicken. It’s just fantastic. And so actually people who order that always come back and order it again.”
Seafood lovers will want to try the Oven Roasted New England Cod served in a cast iron over local sweet corn and cream. But the entree that’s truly a must is the Prince Edward Island Mussels swimming in a tongue tantilizing white wine garlic broth.
“PEI mussels are considered some of the best and we prepare them very simply with a big hunk of bread from Nashoba Brook bakery. People take the big hunk of bread .and they dip it in into the remaining flavor of the mussels. Most of the times they asked for more bread and we’re happy to bring it for them.”
If you prefer your meal between the bun, Horse Thieves Tavern has a tremendous selection of sandwiches. There’s a Grass Fed Burger presented on a potato roll and cooked the way you like it. And a mouthwatering meatloaf sandwich sliced thin and served on toast with lettuce, tomato and mayo. But your tastebuds will thank you if you order the Fried Korean Chicken Sandwich.
“The Korean chicken sandwiches is delicious. It’s a breaded chicken breast…with some special spices on a beautiful bun. It’s really crunchy, flavorful. And it’s a great item for lunch or dinner.”
Once you’ve cleaned your plate, dessert is a must. If you’re looking to get loose and of legal age, the Bourbon Cherry Vanilla Ice Cream is the sweet ending for you.
“If any people under 21 we have the ice cream. We need to card them because there is a significant amount of bourbon in it. But it’s delicious. And you really get that cherry flavor in the ice cream.”
And for something the whole family can enjoy, get the nostalgic Cast Iron S’mores.
“The cast iron s’mores is one of my personal favorites, having a serious sweet tooth. It’s not just for kids. Adults come in huge groups of adults come in and they’ll share the smores so we have a three piece cast iron tray and we put in Hershey’s chocolate marshmallows and graham crackers and comes out bubbling. And then we add the graham crackers and people share it and it’s for its communal eating basically.”
A Korean Fried Chicken Sandwich
with Cast Iron S’mores make for the PERFECT MEAL at Horse Thieves Tavern