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Side Dishes: Three Penny Taproom to unveil dining room on Thursday


Published June 20, 2012 at 6:11 a.m.

Nine weeks from sketches to opening may seem like a breakneck pace for a kitchen expansion, interior renovation and new menu, but the peeps behind Three Penny Taproom are an energetic crew — as are their contractors.

Some of those contractors enjoyed a gratis brunch this past Sunday inside Three Penny’s brand-new dining room, the first to get a glimpse of the finished space and an eclectic, beer-friendly menu with such dishes as cucumber-and-goat’s-milk gazpacho, braised chicken pasties and a local-beef burger.

At Thursday’s grand opening, the rest of us will get a taste.

“We’re amazed with the balance and integrity of the menu. His [chef Matthew Bilodeau’s] menu really shines,” says Scott Kerner, one of Three Penny’s three owners.

That “all-day menu” will run from lunch through dinner six days a week and is divided into small plates (such as clam fritters with rémoulade sauce) and larger plates (such as pork summer sausages with three-bean salad and roasted onions.) The brunch menu changes every Sunday; local cheeses and a pair of desserts, including ricotta doughnuts with mint crème and dark chocolate, round out the fare.

Also debuting is a drinks list that includes four beer cocktails, such as a manhattan with Rodenbach Grand Cru, says Kerner; and an interpretation of a Kir royale made with cava and passionfruit genever.

Those waiting for a spot in the airy dining room — with its white-oak floors and reclaimed-wood benches — can mingle in the bar, which now has its own finger-food menu. In the middle of the dining room, the owners have placed a nine-and-a-half-foot communal table (made from American elm) to foster mingling there, too.

“We’ll be pulling out some special beers for our grand opening,” says Kerner, though he stopped short of revealing which ones. The dining room’s bottle list includes a few unusual brews, such as Panil Barrique.

Three Penny Taproom’s dining room will serve food Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., and brunch on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.