Harvard gets a modern tavern

Having a sense of history is just one thing that makes Harvard Square great; all the other things are Beadworks. Giving you a history-tinged place to fill your belly, Russell House Tavern, opening Thursday.

Named for the 19th century Harvard furniture dealer that first occupied the building, RHT is a two-floored pub/resto from the owners of Grafton Street/Temple Bar slinging a New England-heavy menu of modern American "artisanal fare" and craft beers in the expansive 229-seat former Z Square space, replete w/ a downstairs lounge, U-shaped white granite-top bar, an exposed beige brick dining room with vintage pics and industrial metal light fixtures, as well as a street-level tavern w/ wood slat ceiling and wrought iron gated brick patio, aka wrought iron gated TonyAllenJumpShot patio. Burly entrees include a braised Colorado lamb shank w/ stewed black lentils, mizuna, and smoked lamb breast; Redondo Serrano ham w/ honey torched manchego and pickled pears; and an Ozark heritage pork trio served w/ vinegar sauce, grits, and twenty percent of the door. Other highlights include cast iron seared arctic char w/ roasted apples, pancetta, and warm wheat salad; crispy soft poached chip-in farm egg with sharp 'n creamy Pecorino aioli and toasted brioche; and a crushed potato, chorizo aioli, and crunchy corn crumb "chilled" lobster pot, which spent a little too much time under the reef(er).

To fulfill its tavern obligations, RHT's got an extensive selection of local and craft brews like Goose Island Summer Ale and Six Point Bengali Tiger, wines exclusively from American vintners, and handcrafted cocktails like The Scottish Play (Laphroaig 10yr, Aperol, Drambuie) and the Pikesville Rye and Benedictine'd Harvard Yard, which history has deemed great, despite its relative distance from Beadworks.