Don Hall's Tavern at Coventry

5745 Coventry Lane
Fort Wayne, IN 46804

I had personally heard many wonderful things about the Tavern at Coventry. So when the "3 L's" decided to go there tonight I was pretty excited (though, I must admit I was a bit bummed that our first choice was closed - more on that later). The night we patronized The Tavern was a night when 6" of snow fell, temperatures were quite cold, and the winds were blustery. Happy we had arrived safely on poorly maintained roads, we found the freshly plowed parking lot to be a welcomed sight. I'm not sure how impressed anyone should be about a plowed parking lot, but given the weather conditions and how well the lot was cleared off, it was a great first impression. I tried to take a picture of the picturesque scene - freshly falling snow, old fashioned tavern building, snow covered evergreens, but it was just too snowy. So just trust me - picturesque!

We entered and were greeted and seated in the bar side. At first there were only 2 other people in the section. As the night went on, more and more people were seated not only in the bar area, but at the table immediately all around us. Why not give us some privacy? Was it really necessary to stick every patron at a table immediately adjacent to us? It was really not that big of a deal - just a small pet peeve of mine.

Jennifer was our server and was quite pleasant. The 3 Elles have learned one thing from our many adventures - service makes or breaks the experience. It could be pretty terrible food, but if the server is fun and engaging then it's not a completely wasted evening. We've also learned the food could be fabulous, but poor service could ruin the entire evening and keep one from returning. Tonight's service was about average - we've had better, but we've had a lot worse. I'd give Jennifer a "B".

Martinis . . . for those of you who are loyal readers, you know that we enjoy a good martini. Jennifer consulted Clancy, the bartender, and reported back that the top 3 sweet martinis are: electric lemonade, key lime, and strawberry cream. So what were we suppose to do?????? Of course, we tried them all. They were delicious! The electric lemonade (Wells L) was sour at the start of each sip but finished off sweet. The key lime (Allen L) tasted exactly like key lime pie - if you like key lime, this is a MUST have. The strawberry cream was probably the best (leave it up to the Adams L to get the best one). It tasted much like a strawberry daiquiri, but different enough to keep it interesting. Martinis were $5.50. Later, we needed a second round - what did Clancy recommend???? Jennifer reported a pomegranate or sour apple martini were the next sweet choices. The Allen L got the strawberry cream and I went with the pomegranate (Thanks Adams L for driving). I was disappointed in the pomegranate martini. Although I've never actually tasted Windex, I think it would be similar to this martini. We all agree these are not the martinis to drink, no matter what variety, if you are interested in consuming alcohol - we didn't notice any. I'm a VERY light weight and they had zippo effect on me. One recommendation to The Tavern staff. . . why not have a martini list???? Don't want to sell martinis? We would have preferred to "study" a printed martini list (check with Club Soda or The Aboite Grill if you aren't sure how to make one)

Appetizers - OHHHH YES!!!!!!!!! The spinach stuffed mushrooms were a HOME RUN!!!!!!!! I honestly haven't had anything as beefy and delicious. It's a pretty big appetizer and should be shared (which we did - except Allen L who hates mushrooms) or they would make a delightful dinner. For $6.99 they were a bargain! I would return to The Tavern just to enjoy these again. We shared an order of crab cakes, which most of you know is one of the appetizers we typically try wherever we go. They weren't fantastic - pretty ordinary actually. I love crab cakes so I enjoyed them, but they weren't full of flavor. The other L's thought the sauce was too spicy - wimps. I wouldn't waste my money ($8.99) on them in the future. Frequent readers know I prefer the crab cakes at The Brickhouse Grill (Huntington), Baker Street (FW), Club Soda (FW), or Marcos on 2nd (Decatur). I would be remiss if I didn't mention the bread. The thick slices of a pumpernickleish/dark brown bread were par - sometimes bread make someone go to a place over another - this would not be the case - unremarkable would be our description.

Entrees -
Adams L: Cobb salad with grilled chicken and the house honey-lemon dressing on the side ($8.49). She thought the salad was very good and the dressing was very light and delicious. The Adams L said the salad compared to other places like Triangle Park. Her salad came with a cup of soup. Tonight's soup special was a type of wild rice, orzo, and chicken. The soup was served hot and was very good, according to the Adams L.

Allen L: Pecan Breaded Chicken Salad with a sesame type dressing ($8.99). She said it was fantastic and is looking forward to eating the other half for lunch tomorrow. There were large blackish colored (the lighting was set on "romantic" not "bright daylight") things in her salad. We all thought they were olives until she bit into them and said, "Oh, they're grapes." In writing this blog, I reviewed the menu and noticed that olives nor grapes are listed, but rather sun dried cherries. Mystery - what were those things? Grapes? Cherries? Sounds like you'll have to try it and find out for yourself. Either way, she thought the salad was good and would get it again.

Wells L: Fillet Sliders ($9.99). Honesty, they were pretty boring. The steak was very delicious and I would definitely order a fillet in the future because of how delicious that part of the meal was. The 3 sliders were mostly bread and nothing really that went "POW!". They were served with the most excellent french fries I have ever eaten (or at least right up there in the top 3). They had a very subtle batter that really made them special. Jennifer allowed me to try one onion ring and honestly - it was FANTASTIC!!!!!!!!! It would be a difficult choice between fries or rings in the future.

Dessert -
I took home a piece of snickers pie. Skip it - it's good, but it's not fantastic. It's delicious, but not worth the calories.

Decor -
It was quaint and charming. The "old time" looking glass was special. The lamp by our table was made out of an old-time telephone atop a stack of old books. The framed magazine covers surrounding the bar area were spot on with the other decor. A housekeeping note to The Tavern staff: above our table was a rusty vent and next to us was a very large cob web (paint and dusting, anyone?)

Restroom -
The walls of the stalls could really use a wipe down. They looked as if there had been a sponge that wasn't rung out just tossed up on them and the dirty water allowed to drip. I think it could have been cleaned a bit better. They did have foaming hand soap - LOVE that!

I personally would not put this on my "must go to again" list. I do think I would like to return in the summer and enjoy a burger and fries . . . or rings on the patio. I don't think it warrants all the hype I had heard, but it was acceptable as a second choice on a snowy night. It's worth checking out . . . at least once.

Until the next bite -

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