Recession Relief: Webster House

One of the best Happy Hour deals in town can be found at Webster House, the historic building — which opened its doors in 1885 as the Daniel Webster Elementary School — that now serves as a combination antique shop, gift salon, interior decorating business and restaurant. Who knew?

I certainly didn’t until I was taken for a nosh yesterday afternoon by my friend Georgina (who barely forgave me for telling a story with such enthusiasm that I knocked her vodka gimlet right into her lap), Happy Hour is served in the cozy little Library Bar, which only seats 30 people. On busier nights — Happy Hour is only offered Wednesday through Saturday, 4:30-6 p.m. — another room is opened up for the overflow crowd.

“Wait until you taste the little plates they offer,” Georgina said. “They’re delicious!”

Nine small plates — created by the restaurant’s executive chef, Charles D’Ablaing — are all priced at $3. Georgina, Lou Jane and I shared a few, including a variation on the cheese dip theme, here called Webster House Gorgonzola Cream and utterly delicious, served with a mound of home-made potato chips. I insisted on having the 8-ounce grilled steak burger, served on a brioche bun with melted Emmenthaler cheese and a slice of tomato, all to myself. The chef makes two tiny versions of the burger for fussy Georgina. I only wish the burger hadn’t been cooked to well-done, but no one asked me what temperature I preferred.

Lou Jane and I were entranced by a “hash” made from grated sweet potato and crab, served with wilted chard and shaved watermelon radish. The braised veal cheek was tender and surprisingly hearty and the petite shrimp “Po’ Boy” sandwiches and equally tiny Croque Monsieur, both served on brioche puffs, were excellent.

Categories: A&E, Dining