The Tavern at Quarry Hills
A Splendid Destination
The Tavern at Quarry Hills is a splendid destination for anyone seeking a fine meal in an incomparable setting — just minutes from Boston. The Tavern s found at the Granite Links Golf Club, a 27-hole links course in its 12th year. It has already made Golf Digest’s “100 Best Courses in America.” The Tavern sits within the shingled Nantucket-style clubhouse, as does the 500-seat ballroom, where floor to ceiling windows provide breathtaking views of the Boston skyline and harbor. Over 100 weddings take place here each year, as well as civic and corporate events galore.
The Executive Chef overseeing this vast enterprise is David Todisco, who opened the Tavern eight years ago. Todisco had decided upon his culinary profession by the age of 14, and was named an executive chef at 23. “To say that I am self-taught is only partially true. My father is Italian, and he taught me all the basics. I just love to create with food.” The chef changes the menu at the Tavern on the first Thursday of every season. “In the fall, I like to feature comfort food and use as much local produce as I can get my hands on.”
For example, in the Roasted Beet Salad, beets share billing with butternut squash, Vidalia onions, candied pecans, Gorgonzola, baby arugula, crisp tortillas and cider vinaigrette. And what vegetarian wouldn’t love Eggplant Napoleon, in which layers of grilled eggplant, zucchini, summer squash, tomato, spinach, Mozzarella, jasmine rice and tomato sauce are topped with a balsamic-port drizzle. Brie Fondue is served with local apples, candied pecans and crostini for dipping.
Todisco grew up near Boston, and he knows his demographic. “What’s familiar is what sells here. We keep it simple with traditional classics, and a few trendier selections added from time to time. One of our runaway menu favorites year-round is our Shrimp Cocktail. It’s actually a loss leader. For $11, we tuck 12 jumbo shrimp in a martini glass with a grapefruit/tomato cocktail sauce. We sell 100 orders a day. The best-selling entrée is fresh haddock. We bread the fish with Ritz cracker crumbs and serve it with a Lobster-Sherry Cream Sauce, seasonal rice and asparagus.
“Our Thanksgiving celebration is spectacular,” said Todisco, who lives in Plymouth, just ten miles from the site of the very first Thanksgiving in 1621. “We serve at least 600 tableside turkey dinners in the ballroom each year. Each table gets a whole turkey, stuffing, potatoes and gravy, vegetables and pumpkin pie. As a bonus, we send our guests home with a to-go box filled with fresh leftovers.” Who doesn’t love Thanksgiving leftovers?
Just like his father before him, Todisco has passed his love of the industry on to his 17-year-old son. Josh Todisco is already Kitchen Manager at Crossing Nines, the club’s “turnshack” at the junction where the three nine-hole courses cross paths. Golfers and other guests linger over cocktails here, perched in Adirondack chairs to watch the sun go down. After sunset, a blazing fire pit provides the glow. The menu offers apps, pizza, salads, sandwiches, plus a raw bar with oysters, shrimp, littlenecks and lobster — after all, this is Boston.
The Tavern is open all year, while the Crossing Nines closes after Thanksgiving.