Last week we enjoyed a brief visit with our friend Betsy, who was visiting on her way to L.A. for a conference. The three of us decided on dinner at The Dickens Tavern in downtown Longmont, the downstairs eatery for the recently-remodeled Dickens Opera House.
We started our meal with a couple of appetizers, beginning with the featured Blue Crab Deviled Eggs, which came out in a really cute heated egg dish.
The menu describes the eggs as seasoned with jalapeno pesto and parmesan, and the warm, filled eggs did have a slight bit of heat as an afterbite. The creamy filling had a light but distinctive crab flavor and a hint of cheese. We all enjoyed these, but wanted a little more zip.
The carnivores also tried the Black Bean and Smoked Pork Queso Dip, which came with blue corn tortilla chips, but was lacking the promised house-made salsa (there was a rather random pile of salad, seen below, which was odd). This was densely cheesy and had a light smoky flavor from the pork, but lacked the heat and flavor I would have imagined it would gain from the salsa.
At a previous dinner we sampled the Warm Mushroom Duxelle, which was really delicious. A dish of earthy minced mushrooms with a liberal addition of cream, it is something I will definitely order again.
For my entree I sampled the Beer Battered Fish Tacos, which were tasty and nice but not especially memorable. They were served with a fresh-tasting slaw mix and the fish was crispy and hot.
Betsy went with the The Dickens Pie, which offers a base of shredded beef, carrots, onions, and what appeared to be some random red peppers, topped with mashed potatoes and cheese. The beef was flavorful but she felt that the filling was a little too soupy. Note that this is the “light” portion pictured:
Harrison had the misfortune of ordering the star dish of the evening–misfortune because we all hogged it. The dish has the unassuming menu title of Fried Polenta, but this was a really delicious dish, with perfectly-cooked grilled eggplant slices and a balsamic glaze. It was a standout:
For dessert the three of shared the Banana Bread Pudding, which was custardy, delicious, and studded with sliced banana. It was surrounded with a sauce that was described on the menu as a cinnamon-spiced rum cream sauce, but those flavors did not come through. Otherwise this was delicious. At a previous visit we sampled the highlighted dessert of Raspberry Coconut Cake and were highly disappointed. Stick with the Banana Bread Pudding.
The Dickens Tavern is lovely and the service is good if uneven, as is the menu. There seems to be some conflict between the desire to serve good pub food and the desire to go with more upscale offerings. On the whole, it is a lovely place to have a meal, and some of the dishes are good enough that you will want to return for them again and again (those Duxelles are calling my name…). We will definitely go back to sample more of the menu.
Thanks for reading,