Chef Brian MacMenamin infuses Post Road Ale House's gastropub menu with clues to his own history and the nation's fine dining legacy, while embracing contemporary culinary touchstones. In the grand tradition of American chophouses, servers prepare salads tableside on a rolling cart before bringing out pastas and the classic cuts of beef, pork, and lamb MacMenamin honed at his now closed, eponymous grill on Cedar Street. A daily raw seafood bar suggests a similar narrative, revisiting a benchmark of dinnertime decadence and nodding to the time the chef spent at the Larchmont Avenue Oyster House. 1950's nostalgia is balanced by seasonal ingredients as MacMenamin wryly innovates low-brow bar snacks, culls side dishes from the Caribbean and the Pacific Rim, and includes options for kids whose primary ingredient is not regret. Furthermore, MacMenamin cultivates a lively atmosphere by hand-picking spirits for public tastings and hosting local bands every Friday night.
The restaurant's semi-formal atmosphere plays with this tension to invigorating effect, with bare brick walls backing a very well stocked, 25-seat bar that accounts for about a third of the room's capacity. The lofted ceiling exposes I-beams and ventilation ducts, under which two rows of sleek leather banquettes abut tables dressed formally in white linen ties and tails.