Atmosphere: One step down from stained-glass chic. Hours: Lunch, Monday through Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.; dinner, Monday through Thursday, 5 p,m. to midnight; Friday and Saturday nights, 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. Closed Sundays. Price Range: Sandwiches, $2.95 to $3.60; entrees, $4.50 to $7.75. Reservations: Helpful for large parties. Credit Cards: Visa and American Express. Special Facilities: Front room is accessible to patrons in wheelchairs; no booster seats; parking on street.
We found Tiffany Tavern one Saturday night when we were out with friends in search of bluegrass music in an uncrowded, relaxing atmosphere.
Tiffany Tavern, which features live music on Friday and Saturday nights, had the Grass Menagerie on hand, putting out its special bluegrass sound on a stage that ordinarily would be a store-front window. Patrons were seated at tables or at the bar in a long, narrow front room or the more spacious dining room in the back.
It was so pleasant -- there was not a heavy, smoke-filled, beer-sloshing anbiance -- and the prices on the menu looked so reasonable, we decided to come back one evening with our children.
Since the music starts at 9 p.m., we planned dinner for 8. With children in tow, we thought the front room, dominated by the bar, was not quite right. We grabbed a table at the entrance to the back room where we could hear the music and see the stage as well.
The dining room, like the bar area, has an exposed brick wall as well as walls paneled with a rich, rough, dark wood. There are bright tiffany lamps and stained-glass panels to brighten the atmosphere. Someone must have run out of decorating money or ideas when it came to tables and chairs. The tables are an unattractive, dinette-style formica, and the banquette booths in the back room are covered in a very unattractive pink tweed plastic.
But on to more important points: the food, the service and the music. The menu offers sandwiches, omelets, salads and entrees. With the exception of a steak at $7.75, the entrees were all in the $4.50 to $5.50 range -- veal cutlet, crab cakes, sea food platter, broiled flounder, London broil. Entrees came with soup and salad and a choice of vegetable or "super spuds,"
We started off with that new rage anong appetizers, potato skins, $1.25. Tiffany Tavern serves them as cup shaped halves with the inner potato barely scraped out. The skins had been deep fried and were accompanied by sour cream. Our son, a new convert to vegetarianism, wanted his own order. My husband, daughter and I shared two orders, each with four potato skin halves. It was much too much of a good thing.
For dinner, our son had onion soup, $1.10, which the waitress assured him did not have a beef broth base, and a house salad, $1. The other salads -- spinach, $3.25; Greek or chef, both $3.50 -- either had meat in them or were not to his liking. He -- and we, his fellow tasters -- found the onion soup boring but edible. It did not have a crust of cheese nor an inner larding of bread. The house salad was fresh but ordinary.
My husband ordered veal cutlet parmesan with spaghetti for $4.50 but was not pleasantly surprised. The veal was a thin patty of reprocessed veal, encased in a thick crust and covered with a slab of cheese; the cook had made only a half-hearted attempt to melt the cheese.
Our daughter was luckier with her hamburger, $2.95. It was plump and juicy and cooked to order, medium rare. It came on a good hard roll and with a large serving of super spuds -- thickly cut French fries with their skins on.
My dish, London broil, $5.50, also turned out well. It featured a generous portion of sliced meat served with gravy. The salad that came with it was, like my son's, fresh but uninteresting. The dressings weren't anything special, either.
Our tab for dinner for four -- the food plus two glasses of milk and two beers -- was $28.42 including tax. There was no cover or minimum for the music.