The Colonial Inn Concord, MA Restaurant
5-Star Restaurant (our ratings)
Traditional and modern cuisine in a setting with real history – and historical re-enactors!.
Based right in downtown Concord is a historic building dating from 1716 that has been a hotel since 1889. Not only can you eat at their famous restauant, if you come at the right time (for example, brunch) you’ll get to meet a historical re-enactor to teach you about history. Now that’s creative. I had the pleasure of meeting manager Shay Hoos and sampling some of the food.
The prices are upscale but the experience and food is unbeatable. Let’s start with the venue itself, which while renovated carries that dark wood feeling of colonial times, with lanterns along the walls. It’s easy to feel the presence of Henry David Thoreau, who spent two years there while a student at Harvard. Other have indeed claims to see actual ghosts on site — but not in the dining room! The place is large and brightly lit. It’s an upscale, comfortable atmosphere but not a stuffy one. After all, travelers pass through here in whatever state of fatigue. So you won’t feel left out in casual clothing. Soft jazz music plays, so quiet as to be almost audible.
While you wait for your order, free bread, including corn bread, which is fantastic, with just the right level of sugar and mouth feel. I found the brie appetizer a touch too cheesy, but definitely unique, with its balsamic drizzle. The pear salad was just the right kind of exotic: interesting, unusual, but still accessible. It comes with cream cheese and pine nuts!
The restaurant often serves specials, such as their Thanksgiving buffet, which has a prime rib and turkey carving station. Oh, Colonial Inn. You had me at “turkey carving station”. (Actually you had me a lot earlier at Louisa May Alcott.) They serve some real colonial classics, such as pot pie at pot roast, and their most popular meals include a tomahawk veal chop, rabbit & quail, and the Boston strip steak. The veal chop is called “tomahawk” by the axe head way it looks when it is cut and served.
The strip steak, had a wonderful mouth feel, with that meat chew that I crave even more than the meat taste, and not stringy at all. The pot roast melted in my mouth, perfectly soft, and served with mashed potatoes that were not too fatty or rich. The clam chowder was also unusual, seasoned strongly, delicious, not too thick, and not too milky.
I’m hardly a soft touch, but the experience at the Colonial Inn can only be described as perfect. The atmosphere and service were luxurious, and each meal came with that hard-to-find combination of unique, but delicious and accessible — not too strange or so full of sweet and fat that you can’t finish. I am glad to give Concord’s Colonial Inn a full 5 out of 5 stars.
48 Monument Square, Concord MA