Best Gastropub - 2009
Newstead Tower Public House - CLOSED
Ask a dozen food types to define a gastropub and you'll get a dozen different answers. They'll probably agree on two things, though: 1) it's a silly term; and 2) it has nothing to do with snails and slugs. Like pornography, you know a gastropub when you see it — or, in the case of Newstead Tower Public House, taste it. There's nothing snazzy about the menu from owner and executive chef Anthony Devoti and his right-hand man Cory Shupe (see also Best Service in a Restaurant, which lauds the pair's work at the estimable restaurant Five, on the Hill). Just good ingredients from area farms prepared simply and deliciously: roasted chicken, housemade pâté, Welsh rarebit, a kickass burger, steamed mussels, fish and chips. You know, the things that you actually want to eat while enjoying a local craft beer or a glass of wine and talking with friends. Heck, Newstead Tower could probably turn snails into comfort food. (Probably not slugs, though.) That's why you shouldn't bother to define gastropub. Just head over to Newstead Tower and ask to see the menu: It's the only dictionary you'll need.