Somerville and Chef Tony Maws Introduce The Kirkland Tap & Trotter

Red Chile Salmon Head

Red Chile Salmon Head

Photos by Michael Piazza

This fall, a new kind of eatery has come to Boston’s Somerville area. The Kirkland Tap & Trotter opened its doors on September 16, and is boasting a nontraditional and unrivaled menu.

Grilled Seaweed and Fennel-Crusted Chicken

In conjunction with the cozy neighborhood atmosphere, The Kirkland Tap & Trotter’s owner and Chef Tony Maws can be found making recipes he often cooks for family and friends at home. The menu is what one would expect from the award-winning chef, featuring dishes such as braised veal ribs with bacon and cabbage, braised pig’s trotter Lyonnaise topped with chanterelle mushrooms and red curry rubbed and grilled skate-wing with cherry tomato and arugula stew. At the same time, the eatery is relaxed enough that customers should not feel the need to consider it a “special occasion only” place; Maws’ original vision was for the restaurant to function as a public house and bistro.

“The Kirkland Tap & Trotter is an ‘every night of the week’ kind of establishment, where guests can feel comfortable enough to eat with their hands and hang out with their friends. It’s very fun and casual, but still focuses on serious food and drink,” says Maws.

Maws, no stranger to acclaim, has been recognized for his innovation and culinary excellence several times, winning the James Beard Award for Best Chef Northeast in 2011 and a Food & Wine Best New Chef in 2005. His first restaurant, Craigie on Main in Cambridge, has been described as the Northeast’s culinary gem, and he is hoping to experience similar success with The Kirkland.

Aside from a wide selection of rich, unique dishes, The Kirkland is home to an expansive drink menu including a large beer list, a wine-by-the-glass list and a sizeable cocktail menu that was created through a partnership with Patrick Sullivan and Misty Kalkofen of Revolution Cocktails. The drinks, which are “mixed right, shaken right, served right,” are as uncommon as the food with options like the Green + Grain with cucumber and chartreuse or the City Line Soda which uses a piña celery soda.

The bistro-like feel of the restaurant is communicated across all mediums and especially evident in the décor. Peter Niemitz, a designer who also contributed to Craigie on Main, helped Maws’ neighborhood vision come to life by including elements of British gastropubs and watering holes in The Kirkland’s layout. A chiseled stonework entrance leads guests into a rustic, British-like space, complete with a 12-seat bar and a wood-fired grill. Original brick walls and exposed wooden beams convey both the rustic and homey environment Maws’ envisioned, and small touches such as the mismatched chairs and silverware complete the look.

The Kirkland Tap & Trotter is located at 425 Washington Street in Somerville, Ma. For more information about the restaurant, visit www.kirklandtapandtrotter.com