Fall Fun at The Iron Frog Tavern
I received the food and drinks detailed below free of charge. This is not a compensated post. My opinions are my own.
Though I work in Simsbury, I had never been to The Iron Frog Tavern (located in the same Connecticut town) aside from once when I first started my job…and that was for a glass of wine. My co-workers seem to have a love-hate relationship with the place…some are obsessed with certain menu items (I’m looking at you, fellow Sales Department employee with a mac-n-cheese obsession) and some are turned off by bad service they’ve received in the past. All were curious as to what my opinion would be after visiting this past Wednesday evening for dinner.
I won’t keep you in suspense – I had an awesome experience and would definitely return The Iron Frog. Kat and I (oh and of course Penelope) were invited by owner Pam Paydos to try out the new fall menu. The chef situation at this restaurant has recently changed and though I hadn’t tried the food under the previous chef’s “reign”, I know that what I tried on Wednesday was excellent. Tyler Anderson, owner and exec chef of Millwright’s, is even a fan!
Our waiter – Hazen – happened to be a guy who had waited on me a couple of times in the past at Rooftop120 – what a small world! He was very attentive and didn’t hesitate to be honest with me about which cocktails I’d enjoy, after I explained my tastes to him.
Pam totally spoiled us. Not only did we order dinner, but she also sent out a couple awesome samplings of some menu items she thought we’d enjoy. Based on what she selected, I could definitely tell that she had read my blog – and that’s so nice to see! Sometimes I’ll be asked to check out a restaurant or event that just isn’t me at all, and it’s a bummer because it can indicate that whoever invited me didn’t bother to check out my blog first (not that I am not appreciative of any invite I receive!)
I love a good veggie burger but am hesitant to order one out unless I already have someone with me to vouch for its quality. This sample was no-risk but I’d for sure go back and order the full-size version again. Though it didn’t stay together very well, the greens made it easy to just plop the patty’s remnants on top and turn it into a mini-salad (salad slider?)…I loved how chock-full of black beans this patty was. Definitely home-made, no doubt about it. The hummus as the condiment was a nice addition!
I know tater tots are not the healthiest thing in the world, but the five year old in me agrees that they do taste delicious. The Iron Frog’s new “thing” is the Tots section of the fall menu, which offers a wider variety of takes-on-tots such as Southern (BBQ pulled pork, coleslaw, cheddar), Breakfast (corned beef, swiss, fried egg…I want this one), and Tot’chos (pepperjack, jalapeno, tomato, sour cream).
I had eyed the Tyler Tots during my pre-visit menu-stalking; they were definitely at the top of the list of which variety I’d want to try first. Again, Pam showed she knew what I’d want! I’m not surprised they were inspired by Chef Tyler, since he served up something similar (except with potatoes) during Kat’s and my first trip together to Millwright’s.
As we finished our apps we also finished our drinks, so Kat ordered another pumpkin martini and I went with another bourbon drink. This one had had muddled orange, and tasted even better than my first! I had to get a posin’-pic with it.
By the time our food came out we were already almost full, but we did sample a little of each meal before asking to have it wrapped up. My pan-roasted sesame-crusted salmon tasted amazing and I finished almost all of the Brussels sprouts…obviously. Their soy ginger glaze had a little bit of a maple taste to it that felt perfect for a fall menu item. I froze what I didn’t finish of the fish and am actually going to have it with dinner tonight…looking at this photo is making me excited!
Kat was going to stick with the roasted beet salad (spinach, roasted beets, orange segments, pistachio, goat cheese tossed, sherry vinaigrette) sans protein, but Hazen convinced her to go for it and add steak (his recommendation) since she could take home what she didn’t finish. Plus, her hubby Mike would surely want to try some of that red meat!
The salad tasted great but I thought the steak was a little bit chewy. I’m sure I would have enjoyed it with a salmon or shrimp addition! It was definitely plenty big enough to be called a dinner.
Despite the fact that we had our entrees wrapped up, Hazen still brought out a dessert – the Sticky Tots (sweet potato tots, cinnamon, sugar, marshmallow, caramel sauce). After I snapped a photo, we had it wrapped up immediately for Kat to bring home to Mike. I definitely didn’t have room for dessert, but that also isn’t the kind of dessert I enjoy. I’m just not a fan of sweet potatoes with marshmallows or other sweet additions. I love to make them taste more savory, not sweet! Still a fun dish that I’m sure many sugar fanatics would enjoy 😉
Despite the fact that the weather that evening was similar to a hot summer night, Kat, Penelope, and I still had plenty of fun tasting The Iron Frog’s new fall menu. The changed kitchen leadership is definitely doing an awesome job. Though I don’t have a previous meal to compare my experience to, I definitely know this meal will become a previous meal, as Kat and I have plans to bring in her husband and my dad (super-bro tot lovers) to sample ALL the tots.
Many thanks to Pam for being so generous and spoiling us with all the delicious things, and thanks to Hazen for being a great guide to the menu. His passion for his job and The Iron Frog’s food and drink was evident!
Now Penelope has some questions for you…
Which food/drink item we sampled looks best to you?
Are you a fan of tater tots?
Is it too early for fall-inspired dishes and drinks?