By Nancy Brumback, Contributing Writer
West Boylston??”Last spring, the owners of The Manor decided their restaurant needed a new look, and they completely renovated both space and mood, creating a bright, casual restaurant with a focus on draft beers and good food.
The Draught House Bar & Grill opened late last summer. In the former dining room, a new, horseshoe-shaped granite bar around the array of over 30 beer taps takes almost half the space, and flat-screen televisions above the bar and elsewhere in the room allow customers to watch their favorite sports.
Large windows on one wall are reflected in mirrors on the opposite wall for a bright, expansive dining area with both tables and booths, all done in warm wood to create a true pub atmosphere. A fireplace anchors the wall opposite the bar.
Adjacent to the pub is Pete's game room, with a smaller bar and pool tables, dart boards and lottery games. Wednesday nights frequently feature a dart league competition. The room can be reserved for private parties, as can the restaurant's smaller dining room, which is open on weekends.
Katerina Fotiadis-Rajotte and her brothers, Savvas and Antonios Fotiadis, own the Draught House and the companion Manor function facility. The name comes from the British word “draught” for a drink drawn from a cask, and is pronounced “draft.”
“Every few years we try to freshen up the restaurant. The pub part of our former restaurant was popular, so we decided to expand it. The Draught House has been very well-received by both our regular and new customers,” Fotiadis-Rajotte said.
When my husband and I visited the Draught House, we took along a friend who enjoys beer.? The three of us started by ordering beer samplers??”four 6-oz. glasses for $6.99. You could try different brands of the same beer, such as four IPAs, or four beers from a one brewery. We just asked our server to have the bartender pick. We ended up with 12 different beers, and had a great time passing them around to find new favorites. It's better if no one in your party has a cold.
The excellent bread basket, including an olive sourdough loaf, and olive oil seasoned with feta cheese, was great with the beers. We also ordered a Greek sampler platter, $9.99, to share??”stuffed grape leaves, spanakopita spinach turnovers, slices of feta cheese, pita wedges with hummus, olives, and cucumber and tomato slices. It is delicious and would easily serve four.
For dinner, I opted for a half-rack of baby back ribs, $13.99, at Fotiadis-Rajotte's suggestion. They were exactly as advertised??”fall-of-the-bone tender and covered with a smoky sauce. Perfect pub food and perfect with the beer.
My husband chose one of the specials, chicken bruschetta, $15, tender strips of chicken breast in garlic, parsley and parmesan cheese sauce with tomatoes, all over angel hair pasta. It was also very good, the sauce accenting, not smothering the chicken.
And our friend picked seafood arabiata, $16, a combination of mussels, shrimp and scallops in a spicy tomato sauce served over rice with feta cheese. The dish had a nice kick to it, but not so spicy that it overwhelmed the seafood.? This might be my choice next visit.
The menu offers a wide range of appetizers, soups and salads, and the entrees include both Greek and Italian specialties, as well as steaks, prime rib, seafood and chicken choices. Dinner entrees start at $12.99 and top out at $18.99, and include two sides. Burgers and flatbread pizzas are also available, with the option of gluten-free versions.
Of course we had no room for dessert, but when our waitress brought over the tray??”two kinds of cheesecake, tiramisu, and homemade baklava??”we decided to order one wedge of baklava and three forks. Just enough for a sweet end to our dinner.
The Draught House welcomes families. We saw several tables with children, and a dad and his son shooting pool in the game room. It's also a good spot for friends to gather at the bar to watch a game.
The Draught House is located 42 West Boylston St. (Rt. 12) in West Boylston. The restaurant opens for lunch at 11:30 a.m. daily, and is open until 10 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and Sunday, 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, with the bar sometimes open longer. It is closed Monday. For more information, see the website, www.thedraughthouse.com, or call 508-835-4722.