2010-03-10 / Restaurant of the Week

Woodhaven House Welcomes You

S tep into the warmth and coziness of Woodhaven House, an upscale pub that exudes Irish hospitality, along with a top notch menu. Woodhaven House sits regally on the corner of Woodhaven Blvd. and Fleet Court in Rego Park and promises

a memorable meal for all. Owner

John Cregan meticulously renovated and decorated this authentic pub seven years ago with beautiful details that include etched glass, stained glass, antique tile floors and lots of polished, dark wood. The massive bar has carved details and wraps around the two sections of this eatery which include a more casual side for cocktails and quick meals, and a more formal, softly lit, quiet dining room. The stately, elegant atmosphere harks back to a time when men were gentlemen and ladies were ladies. The clientele here reflects that sentiment and it's lovely to see couples, friends and families of all ages enjoying expertly prepared dishes made with care.

Woodhaven House mixes up great cocktails, such as the spirited Cosmopolitan, mojitos and classic martinis. As you would expect, a variety of quality beers and ales flows all night from the taps. The best selections in fish and seafood, meat, poultry and even thin crust pizza are available. I really appreciate one-page menus, which usually ensures superior, consistent execution of each dish, and allows for nightly specials that are truly special. The seafood stew appetizer special contained mussels, scallops and shrimp in a fragrant saffron broth that was swiftly soaked up with the warm rolls brought to your table. From the menu come pan-fried crab cakes with mango relish, served on mixed baby greens and sweet corn with a dollop of tartar sauce ($11). They are redolent with sweet crab meat and perfectly seasoned. Plump sea scallops are wrapped in smoky bacon then finished with a teriyaki glaze ($9). Mussels are available two ways; with roasted garlic, olive oil and white wine or with the chef's zesty marinara sauce ($8/16 entree). You'll be surprised at how good the barbecued baby back ribs are, made with Woodhaven House's own bourbon sauce. You can order these tender ribs as a first course or an entrée. Chicken quesadillas are perfect for sharing among friends. House made soups and fresh salads will also start off the meal well, with my favorite being the arugula salad topped with warm goat cheese, crumbled bacon and herb balsamic vinaigrette.

The entrées include a very impressive rack of double-cut New Zealand lamb with a crispy crust of pancko breadcrumbs and Dijon mustard which was cooked to perfection. Another perfectly executed dish is Osso Bucco, a hefty veal shank slowly cooked for hours in a reduction, served with root vegetables and garlic mashed potatoes that were out of this world ($21). French cut chicken breast is a nice twist on classic comfort food, served with baby spinach, whipped potatoes and garlic sauce ($19). Classic steak frites grille is a pub favorite, prepared au natural or topped with peppercorn sauce and crispy fries ($20). The same is true for the certified black Angus sirloin, 12- ounces of high quality steak, cooked to perfection, with or without peppercorns.

The fish special of the night was mahi mahi with spinach and red roasted peppers. On the menu is Atlantic salmon, prepared as you like: blackened, broiled or barbecued with mixed baby greens, citrus vinaigrette and fried onions ($21). A mound of al dente linguine is topped with fresh shrimp, scallops and little neck clams in white wine, lemon and butter sauce. The service is excellent and polite, and Maureen tended to us with efficiency and a smile.

Take advantage of an economical Prix Fixe menu for just $23 served Monday through Thursday from 3:30 to 11:00pm. You'll choose either the soup of the day or a salad to start and one of the evening's special entrées, followed by dessert and tea or coffee. Weekend Brunch is served Saturday and Sunday from 12pm to 3:30 with fabulous selections such as Eggs Benedict, smoked salmon with eggs, quiche du jour, Belgian waffles and your favorite omelets. For something more like lunch, try a juicy burger, grilled chicken Caesar salad or chicken quesadilla. Speaking of lunch, stop in and make your workaday special with burgers, sandwiches and some of their dinner entrées, served in smaller portions at reasonable prices.

Save room for dessert because they serve Junior's impossibly creamy cheese cake, house made apple crumb pie, served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and warm brownies a la mode. Woodhaven House has live music on Friday and Saturday nights and is a perfect spot for a private party up to 75 people.

A very special St. Patrick's Day celebration is planned for the 17th so do stop in for a pint and some fish and chips or Guinness Shepherd's pie and lots more from the convenient Bar Menu. There will be live music at 6:00pm and a d.j. at 10:00pm.

Woodhaven House is open seven days a week for lunch, dinner and weekend brunch from 12:00 – 3:30 Saturdays and Sundays. Dinner is served until 11pm and the bar stays open until 1:00am with a Bar Menu. Visit Woodhaven House for top notch meals served with warm Irish hospitality…. Slainte!
63-98 Woodhaven Blvd.
Rego Park • 718.894.5400

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