Canton's Portside Tavern has returned to its culinary roots. It recently brought in a crack chef team, who is preparing a variety of soups, salads, appetizers, steak frites, and, a specialty, Prince Edward Island mussels, pictured, served six different ways.
"We felt there was a lack of places here in Canton Square serving dinner to guests," explains Portside's owner Steve Roop. "We want to be a neighborhood bar with great food."
When Portside opened eight years ago, it offered a bar atmosphere downstairs and dining in its upstairs space. "The bar grew faster than the restaurant," Steve says. "We went to pub fare."
Portside's new chefs, Freddie Melgar and Sergio Prada, have been imported from the Mad Hatter in D.C. and are turning out impressive fare, including these mussel preparations:
Blue: Gorgonzola crumbles, pork belly, shallots, spinach, white wine, and lemon.
Jalfrezzi: red pepper, onion, garlic, curry, tomato, and coconut milk.
Baltimore: Old Bay, garlic, herbs, and local IPA beer broth.
Mostard: spicy bison sausage, leeks, Dijon, and thyme broth.
Champignon: mushroom cream and herbs.
Marinière: white wine, garlic, and herbs.
And a special Irish mussel dish with Jameson whiskey and Guinness will be offered from March 9-17 for St. Patrick's Day.
Now, that the menu has changed, Steve wants to get the word out. "It's a matter of changing people's perception of what we do," he says.