Christopher Martin’s, located on 860 State St., is both a pub and a restaurant. The pub portion is far superior to the restaurant (a failed attempt at high class Italian dining), and it’s the perfect spot to go with a few friends on a mellow Monday night, as I found myself doing this past week. Red Sox, Patriot and Celtic fans, Christopher Martin’s is your dream come true. Inside, there are two flat screen TVs and a projector screen TV, all for your athletic enjoyment. At our round table in the center of the room, my bros and I were each able to watch a different screen.
Christopher Martin’s offers a good selection of beers, available both by the bottle and pitcher. They offer draught beers from some of America’s smaller mass-market breweries like Sierra Nevada and Sam Adams, as well as the popular imports Pilsner Urquell and Guinness. For $13.50 per pitcher, the Pilsner and Guinness are a great deal.
Our food came out just as the Patriots neared kick off. The first plate was a piping pile of nachos smothered in cheddar cheese, jalapenos, black beans and tomatoes, with salsa and sour cream on the side, followed by shrimp and scallop ceviche. The nachos were delicious, a perfect ratio of topping to chip. Our only complaint was that the cheese was overcooked, cooling to a crisp rather than the preferred gooey goodness. We approached the ceviche with caution, but luckily, we were not unpleasantly surprised. The lime and red chili aioli marinated the shrimp and scallops nicely. The seafood, however, did not taste particularly fresh, and the texture of the tostada cup in which it arrived was a little too reminiscent of graham cracker crusts. When the 2nd down and 10 rolled around, we had demolished the nachos and ceviche: it was time for the wings. The hot buffalo wings with bleu cheese dip were finger-licking good — spicy enough that my mouth tingled and exactly what you imagined good bar food should be. All these dishes were reasonably priced and were less than $10 each.
Since I felt particularly inspired by the roaring men in white tights on the screen, I also ordered a CM’s burger, a classic at Christopher Martin’s. It came with cheddar cheese, grilled onions, mushrooms, lettuce and tomatoes, all sandwiched in a Kaiser roll. I chose a side of onion rings, and that, my friends, was single-handedly the best decision I’ve made since coming to Yale. These were not the clumsy, bready onion rings of A1 or Yorkside, hastily unfrozen and thrown in oil. No — these onion rings were a different thing altogether, not to be compared in the same breath. Each ring was a thinly sliced piece of onion, coated in airy batter and fried fresh to order. The result was a feathery-light nest of curls, perfect with an extra sprinkle of salt, no condiments necessary. The burger itself was good, well grilled, but not mind-blowing.
The overall ambiance of Christopher Martin’s is what pushed it from being an ordinary pub with average bar food (but killer onion rings!) to a great dive that we will be frequenting again some Monday night in the future. It attracts an older crowd of locals, which can be a nice change of pace from the Yale-infested restaurants and bars in the Theater District. I’ve heard that it fills up with roaring fans on the nights of big games, but there were only a few couples and a cowboy watching the Patriots-Broncos game with us that night. The waiters were great — casual, but attentive. Our water glasses were kept consistently full, napkins helpfully supplied during dip debacles. Soon enough, we had whiled away three hours, and it was too late for the twenty-minute walk back to campus. We called the minibus and rolled happily back home, the perfect end to a Monday night.
Christopher Martin’s is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner, and the pub observes normal bar hours.