Williamston’s newest eatery boasts culinary combinations like no other I am salivating just thinking about it. I have found a new place to adore. Borrowing from its website, Williamston’s Tavern 109 has many comforting favorites with surprising discoveries. Their food is “packed with so much creativity and energy, you can taste it!” I love being able to choose something off a menu that is divergent of the traditional. Don’t get me wrong, we need those. A solid, dependable dining choice is like your best friend from elementary school. You don’t want to lose that security. However, sometimes something new and vivid is offered and it is so much fun to expand your culinary circle. Tavern 109 has some of both. Let’s begin our journey with the appetizers. First up were the french fries. Yes, french fries. Do you want yours with truffle oil and sea salt or braised beef and cheddar? I had mine with root beer glazed chicken and cheddar. They were so swanky and yummy I held my pinkie up while I ate them. Next up was the Shrimp and Grits. Can we have a moment of silence? The shrimp was tender, the grits creamy, but the sauce …. oh the sauce. It was bright and tangy with bacon, white wine, tomatoes and more cheddar (remember that naughty boyfriend of mine, cheese? Dang him.). I actually told the manager that I either needed bread to sop up every last iota of sauce or I would humiliate myself and lick the bowl (she offered to get me a slice of bread, but I had to save room for more goodies). Okay, the salads look good. They have a solid burger selection — the “Bacon Plus” gets wild with bacon, brie and caramelized onion. But we went for the pizza. Shocker. We have discussed that this column and those who contribute to it (Editor Emily is my consistent partner in crime, as she was this particular day) may seriously need a pizza intervention. However, I would gladly face incarceration in a Betty Crocker rehab if my last “hit” was Tavern’s Pear Pizza. I am tearing up just thinking about it. Roasted pears, walnuts, blue cheese, bacon, “cracked” black pepper (see!?!) and olive oil. Man, if you want your mouth to be attacked by an onslaught of tastes and textures, hold on to your bar stool (they have chairs too). The pizza had this amazingly sweet, caramelized stickiness to it. Then you get punched with the salty blue cheese and bacon combo. The pears were silky and tender, the walnuts substantial in their crunch. Wow. It may have been my all-time favorite pizza ever. It for sure secures the top spot for an alternatively-topped pizza. That was it. That was all we tried. The Lobster Macaroni with its chipotle pepper béchamel, three cheeses and truffle oil will just have to wait for my next visit. The salmon sounded amazing with its mandarin oranges, cashews and peanut vinaigrette. Wait! I better not forget mentioning the Pineapple “Donuts” and Saunders Cream Puff Sundaes that are offered as well. I don’t know though, next time I may just order a second pear pizza for my dessert too. Besides the amazing food, Tavern 109 had great things going for it. First, the atmosphere is great. It is casual yet pretty with lots of shiny wood contrasting with exposed brick walls. The dining and bar areas are separated, but flow nicely. Speaking of the bar, they have beer and wine flights and 12 craft beers on tap. Not bad to round out their great menu. So as a recap, Tavern 109 is fantastic. I hope you think so too. We (and our taste buds) are lucky to have so many great restaurants opening up in the capital area! Tavern 109 is at 109 E. Grand River Ave., Williamston, Mich. For details (517) 655-2100.
Colette Evangelista sells certified organic, non-toxic beauty, health, baby and home products at www.healthandhopeorganics.com. Twenty percent of her profits go to Ascending Above Autisim, a charity that helps parents pay for autism treatment.