Over the years, the establishment that is now known as Bowman’s Tavern has operated under a myriad of different names. Just prior to Bowman’s, it was known as Revolutions Tavern, a place we dined nearly a decade ago. Suffice it to say, we were NOT impressed, to say the least, with the food, service or ambiance.
Located outside of New Hope, PA, the restaurant is situated close to infamous Washington’s Crossing, where George Washington crossed the Delaware River on Christmas Day during the Revolutionary War in 1776, and pretty much turned the tables on the Hessian forces and the outcome of the war. While my retirement dinner was no historical affair, it does one good to seep yourself in a bit of history every now and again.
With the launch of Bowman’s a few years back, it seems to have struck a more successful chord. The combination of the fun piano bar and variety of menu items apparently has the locals coming back again and again. We have often passed the building once it’s name was changed and have heard from friends that it’s worth another try. With a hefty gift card in hand—compliments of my coworkers as a retirement present—we made the trek to see for ourselves.
Our venture was on a Tuesday night, and Russ exclaimed, “No need to make a reservation on a Tuesday.” Famous last words! We got the last spot in the parking lot and were told the dining room was completely full but we could choose a table in the bar or on the deck. Seeing as how it was in the 90’s and oppressively humid, we opted to sit on a hammered tin hi-top next to a window in the air-conditioned bar.
Both popcorn lovers, we enjoyed the small bucket of fresh, salty popcorn they brought to the table while we scanned the menus. And to toast the occasion, we selected a bottle of Pinot Noir. The hectic waitstaff seemed a little dazed and confused because two different folks swung by several times and asked us the same questions. Plus, Russ saw our appetizers whizz by nearly ten minutes before they were brought to our table with flustered apologies. Oh well, we were in no hurry…
For starters I selected their hefty Heirloom Tomato Salad composed of baby arugula, buffalo burrata, basil oil, malden salt, and a 25-year aged balsamic. It was good, but not over the top. Russ on the other hand, opted for Cornmeal Dusted Fried Virginia Oysters (a fave of his) floating on a bed of tarragon aioli, with toasted garlic, lemon zest, and a sprinkling of pine nuts. Not a fan of oysters, I did however try a swipe of the aioli which was fabulous!
While they do offer burgers and sandwiches, we wanted to celebrate with special entrées. So after some careful thought, Russ zeroed in on the House Roasted Porchetta with kohlrabi puree, roasted heirloom baby carrots, spring onion, and a chimichurri. The only disappointment here was the undercooked baby carrots, charred on the outside, but hard on the inside.
For my dinner I ordered the Seared Scallops which came plated with six plump and juicy scallops atop local sweet corn grits with a topping of sautéed wild mushrooms, fresh herbs, and a luscious white truffle oil. I loved it, even though most of it went home with me for another day.
Although there were a few missteps, at least the food was very good, so we will definitely make a return trip—this time with reservations!