NEW BEDFORD — About a month ago, I waited outside Pub 6T5 for its grand opening. Elected official after elected official spoke at a podium in front of the restaurant. Classic cars from Ford Falcons to Pontiac GTOs lined the parking lot to christen one of the city’s newest restaurants.
The hoopla outside distracted from anything happening inside.
Last weekend, I went back to the restaurant to experience what I missed at the grand opening.
I discovered that everything within the walls of Pub 6T5 matched every ounce of hype created a month ago.
Allyssa and I visited the restaurant at the corner of Ashley Boulevard and Park Avenue — formerly the Sixth Bristol Club — on a Saturday afternoon.
One step into the restaurant and we were immediately impressed with the decor. A sign directed us to the back where someone would find us a seat. It provided us with an opportunity to see the entire restaurant.
Later in the meal I told Allyssa it felt like the space could be rented out for a very classy wedding reception.
A bench bordered the walls of the establishment with a tasteful fabric pattern providing support. The ceiling featured a tremendous tin pattern plated ceiling that had been whitewashed. Recessed lighting provided ample lighting in a very cool way.
Four flat screen TVs hung on two of the walls and flashed images of the Bruins, Celtics and Big 12 college football championship game. It never felt like a sports bar, though.
I had seen pictures of the inside online, but they really don’t do the decor justice.
The atmosphere made me all the more excited to dive into the menu.
Owner Rick Trapilo greeted us in the back beside a bench that was made out of a barrel. It caught my eye, but luckily not too long to notice the day’s specials which included a chicken Parmesan sandwich, a fried haddock sandwich and a Portuguese chicken dinner.
Trapilo walked us around the corner and allowed us to choose any open table we desired. His energy and passion for his new place transferred to the both of us. The same excitement appeared with each group he seated. Throughout our meal, we saw him check in on every table numerous times and organically start up conversations.
At around 2 p.m. the restaurant was slightly less than half full.
Allyssa picked a small table in the corner back wall from where we entered in the front.
We scoured through the food options but forget to look at the drinks. Our waitress came over soon after we sat down, but we realized we needed more time.
Allyssa celebrated a birthday last weekend, so we agreed drinks should be in order, even on an early Saturday afternoon.
I landed on the Pub 6T5 ($9) cocktail — Crown Royal whiskey, tonic, blackberry syrup and muddled lemons garnished with a fresh blackberry. It immediately caught my eye but other drinks like Cruisin’ the Ave.($9) — Tanqueray gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, splash of soda with orange slice — had us already discussing a second visit.
I enjoyed my choice, as the fruit highlighted the taste but a hint of whiskey reminded you it was an alcoholic beverage.
Allyssa ordered a Downeast Cider off tap.
We turned to food options and we each landed on the Pub Chili Mac ($12.99) which mixed the house chili with queso sauce and cavatappi noodles. We considered splitting the chili mac as an appetizer, but I eventually deferred and looked for my entree.
The House Brined Rotisserie Half Chicken with “whipped taters and Rick T’s Slaw” ($15.99) caught my attention but I wasn’t sure I could take down half a bird for lunch. It led us to ordering the BBQ Chicken Chips ($10.99) for an appetizer, though, which contained pulled rotisserie chicken along with bacon, queso sauce, pico de gallo, jalapenos with a barbecue drizzle.
Since chicken would open our meal, it allowed me to look elsewhere.
The menu also offered hand-made pizzas baked in a “Marsal Old World” brick oven. A large cost $14.99, a small $11.00 and gluten-free option was $13.99. The menu offered many gluten-free options.
The 6 Bristol — cheeseburger, bacon, tomato and green onion with BBQ sauce — tempted me. The family beside us ordered a buffalo chicken pizza which looked enormous. They recommended it to a friend that later stopped in.
I couldn’t remove from my thoughts the specials I saw when I first walked in. I decided to go with the fried haddock sandwich, which came with rosemary French fries.
The BBQ chips arrived not long after ordering and they didn’t disappoint. The chicken was tender with a smokey taste that blended well with the sauce. The jalapenos and pico were fresh. The chips, homemade and deliciously crunchy, were seasoned with just enough salt.
The dish caught the eye of the family sitting beside us and they ordered it because of what they saw.
I couldn’t help but hear, “Oh my God, the chicken is amazing.” when their dish arrived.
The entrees arrived at the the perfect time, just as we were finishing the few remaining chips.
One’s eyes offer the first taste to any meal. Allyssa’s dish matched the intrigue of the nachos. The chili mac was covered with coating of baked cheese. Small bits of chili split through.
My shoe string fries arrived in a thin metal basket, which was a nice touch. They tasted even better. They were seasoned perfectly. The rosemary transformed the French fries from dish afterthought to competing for the spotlight of the dish.
The sandwich’s appearance didn’t match every other aspect that we had come across.
The bun looked squished, which took away from its presentation. The taste made up for the lackluster appearance, though. The seasoned bread added to the crunchy fried fish. The amount of tartar sauce on the fish was generous. I’m usually one that always runs out. This sauce had a nice taste to it as well, that differed from most tarter sauces.
Allyssa really enjoyed it too. Midway through the meal we switched dishes as the chili was a bit spicy to finish the entire serving.
From my perspective, the marriage between cheese, noodle and spice was perfect. The cheese was gooey. The spice added a nice kick after the initial taste.
Like the nachos, one bite led to another and another.
At the start of the meal, we thought of each ordering a dessert. As always, I eyed the brownie sundae. She looked at the chocolate chip sundae, which came with fresh baked cookies.
In the end, we split the brownie sundae, which the owner delivered saying if we like brownie sundaes, we’d love this one.
Two small scoops of ice cream sat on two good-sized brownies. The ice cream may have started as a more generous portion but the brownies were very warm. The spoon cut through them without any trouble. The warm fudge brownie went extremely well with the vanilla ice cream and whip cream.
The bill came in at $61.97 before tip, which we thought was a great value for three courses and two alcoholic drinks.
Dine Out's reviewer visits restaurants unannounced and at his or her discretion. The newspaper pays for the meals reviewed. The reviews merely reflect one diner's experience. Ratings range from 1 to 5 stars.
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