A different kind of craft is happening these days at The Beamhouse, the New American restaurant at Glastonbury’s The Tannery residential complex.
A century ago at the site on New London Turnpike, Herman Roser & Sons produced leather from pig hides to be made into shoes, handbags, belts, gloves, wallets, watch straps, clothing, saddles and luggage, according to Courant archives. Now, in the former “beamhouse” space where hides were prepared to be tanned, the restaurant offers what it calls “finely crafted fare” highlighting local ingredients and seasonal flavors.
The Beamhouse is “kind of the last piece to the property,” says restaurant partner Jonathan Lynch of the “destination lifestyle community” that opened in the fall of 2017, which offers 250 apartments and amenities like a fitness gym, heated saltwater pool and patio and pet spa.
Bill Driggs, whose other restaurants Birch Hill Tavern in Glastonbury and 2 Hopewell and Sayulita in South Glastonbury have become area favorites, partnered with Lynch for the new project at the town’s upscale living space. The restaurant and bar opened Aug. 1, offering a mix of small sharing plates, entrees and flatbreads along with craft beer and cocktails.
FEATURED/NOTEWORTHY DISHES: The Beamhouse’s menu, with “thoughtfully sourced” ingredients, is “constantly fluid,” Lynch says. “It’s not going to be a new menu every night, but if there’s inspiration, if there’s something cool locally, ingredient-wise, we can use … We just kind of feel like local is the right thing to do.” The restaurant frequently brings in produce from nearby spots like Rose’s Berry Farm, Draghi Farms, Gutt Family Farm and Beckett Farms.
Chef Nick Souza, formerly of the Golden Lamb Buttery in Brooklyn, which closed at the end of 2017, brings a wealth of farm cooking experience to The Beamhouse. Along with him, a loyal following of northeastern Connecticut residents have made the trek to Glastonbury for his food, Lynch says.
“He’s incredible, super talented, super creative, a really positive worker, really involved.”
A recent menu featured small dishes ($10 to $19) like a chef’s cheese plate, with local selections from Arethusa and Beaver Brook Farms; crispy pork belly with sweet and spicy sesame glaze, a blistered grape salad with prosciutto, feta, baby spinach and roasted pistachios; crab mac and cheese and seared tuna with wasabi-avocado mousse. Flatbreads ($12 to $15) range from classic margherita to a unique “orchard peach” presentation, with prosciutto, caramelized onions, arugula, goat cheese and blackberry balsamic.
Best-selling large plates ($16 to $32) include pan-roasted halibut with sugar snap peas, grilled marinated Yukon potatoes and thyme beurre blanc, and roasted duck with sesame-grilled bok choy and mushroom spaetzle. There’s also a Beamhouse burger with mustard ale cheddar, bacon and onion rings; maple-glazed Bomster scallops, steak tips, oven-roasted half-chicken with orange, cumin and coriander rub and house spinach fettuccine with zucchini and cherry tomatoes.
Lunch, served Tuesday through Sunday, offers flatbreads, sandwiches, salads and dishes like shrimp pasta, seafood cassoulet and steak frites. Items are $7 to $20.
THE ATMOSPHERE: The Beamhouse is flooded with natural light, melding rustic reclaimed wood, exposed beams and brick with modern touches. A hallway leading to the main dining room is lined with old wooden beer barrels, which serve as small tables.
The space that greets diners at the entrance is The Beamhouse’s taproom-style tavern, a nook with a bar and 22 seats. It’s a casual dining area with its own menu of bar bites (a cheese plate, bison meatballs, crispy ricotta gnocchi and a handful of flatbreads) and six rotating local beers on tap. The Beamhouse often partners with breweries for tap takeovers, bringing a slew of beers from local standouts like Lasting Brass of Oakville and Fox Farm of Salem. Guests can also have growlers of beer filled to go.
THE BAR: In addition to The Beamhouse’s beer focus, with six drafts in its tavern and another six in its main dining room, bar manager Anthony DeVito draws upon seasonal ingredients for craft cocktails ($9 to $13.) Recent features include the Mo’Momo, with Akashi whiskey, dry curacao, rucolino liqueur and peach kessler and the Drunken Bunny, with vodka, Barrow’s ginger liqueur, Cynar 70 amaro and organic carrot juice.
LOCATION AND HOURS: The Beamhouse is at 917 New London Turnpike in Glastonbury. It’s open Monday from 4 to 10 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday, 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. 860-430-6922, thebeamhousect.com.