Karvers Grille is an upscale gastropub that is almost-literally a hidden neighborhood gem. Since November of 2014, it has occupied a hidden corner in an ordinary-looking strip mall — ordinary except for its own façade of weathered, wooden peaks and arches housing Karver’s signature “K” logo. The rustic-industrial look is carried inside with stone floors and sliding barn doors that were custom built on the premises allowing the dining room to be closed off for private parties.
Owner, John Kouimanis, proudly explains that it took over eight months to renovate this space. “It was underutilized and we took our time deciding what we were going to do with it,” he says.
Taking time meant smart choices like booths that generously accommodate larger parties and space to enjoy the casual gastropub menu — and maybe a seasonal pint of a dozen local craft beer choices on tap (you can sample before deciding). Don’t worry if beer isn’t your thing, their list of specialty cocktails offers unique twists like the “His and Hers Iced Tea,” which is basically a spiked sweet peach tea (Ciroc Peach, sliced peaches, and mint in sweet tea) served in mason jars.
Details — that’s what makes Karvers distinctive.
Beyond the appeal of the décor is what matters most – the food. You have your expected pub appetizers: wings, calamari and nachos. More unique options include Bavarian pretzels or Prince Edward Island Mussels. The weekly chalkboard specials offer finer dining options like Grilled Swordfish along with a number of other inventive entrees atypical of pub grub. Even pub staples, like burgers, are derived of the same careful attention to detail as the individual wooden boards on the walls. The meat is custom blended and delivered fresh by a local butcher. The seafood — supplied by a fisherman from the East End. The seasonal vegetables are locally sourced and hand selected by Kouimanis, himself, who tells me, “It’s about the relationships you form with other small business owners.” He’s proud to serve the freshest quality food available, because he reiterates that it takes time and attention to be successful.
The Karver fries are a departure from the ordinary; a generous portion cooked in oil, garlic and parmesan served with garlic aioli. There’s several (yes, several) types of fries to choose from such as the Disco Fries — a layered trifecta of fries covered in gravy and smothered in melted mozzarella. If you are less daring, or perhaps have a younger guest dining with you, the potato chips are hand carved and made in-house. The children’s menu has an extensive list of favorites – but be warned the mac n’ cheese you find here is gourmet (sorry kids, it’s not from a box). They come with healthier options too such as side salads or veggies and is continuously being expanded.
When asked what his future vision for Karvers is, Kouimanis says he hopes to soon have curbside delivery and outdoor seating.
“We really are part of the neighborhood,” he reflects.