The owners of Highland Tavern have perfected the art of the neighborhood pub. Longtime friends and business partners, Brian Sommatino and Andy Stutz, pride themselves on making everyone feel at home and having a vast group of regulars that they know on a first name basis.
Being in the neighborhood for over 12 years, they have seen numerous changes. “One of the main things we have noticed is that the standards for bar food have changed. Customers’ palates are more refined and accustomed to high end quality food. Our full service scratch kitchen has been doing a great job to cater to this,” said Andy.
I had the pleasure of meeting with the General Manager of Marcella's Dain Cooke. To hear the story behind Marcella's located off 1801 Central Street was truly a joy. Marcella's is a concept from Cameron Mitchell who also has the restaurant Ocean's Prime.
One of the best take away pieces from our talk was Marcella's focus on the employee’s families. This in turn makes for a healthy work environment, and that positivity is passed along to their patrons.
Dain also wanted to emphasize their enthusiasm about the restaurants ability to be booked for private parties. Given the restaurant itself doesn't open until 4pm every day they are well-equip to host parties from 20 to 100 people. There is no rental fee on the room, there is a set menu decided on beforehand, and all nonalcoholic beverages are included.
In the old Patsy's Inn location sits the new and groundbreaking restaurant Acova. This space was available for quite some time. Both Patsy's owners Ron and Kimmie were extremely selective on who was to take this space as they wanted whoever was in it to honor the neighborhood.
Now sits the amazing restaurant Acova, sister restaurant to The Hornet off Broadway. When asked to describe their menu Misty Acova's Marketing Director said, "It is a step up from comfort food". Some of the local favorites are the Lobster Bacon Mac and Cheese, their Gnocchi, the Ahi Tuna Polenta Cakes (which I had and are amazing), and their wine slushies.
Not many places in the area have a place for the children to go play, while the adults chat away. Acova has an outdoor kid play area that is so unique, and is a must see for all families.