SOMERVILLE – When it comes to sports bars, this place is definitely rookie of the year. With brand new locations in Somerville and Burlington, Tony C’s covers all the bases. It’s equal parts restaurant, bar, and man cave.
“Tony C’s is that place you want to go and meet your friends, have a great meal, and a great time,” said Executive Chef Sean McDonald. He leads the team back in the kitchen, where the menu is a roster stacked with large portions of American comfort food favorites.
While the food is fantastic, it’s the atmosphere that really gets the crowd cheering.
“I get the wow factor all the time when people walk in,” Sean said. “We offer state of the art TVs; there’s one in every view from any seat in the building. We have a jumbotron in the center of the bar which you can see from any seat, and it gives you that feeling like you’re at the game.”
Since this place is so serious about sports, here are some numbers for all of you stat geeks out there. The Somerville location is 11,000 square-feet, with capacity for 521 people. There are 90 state of the art TVs and 40 draft lines at the bar.
The most important number is the giant 25 spanning the dining room ceiling, because that was the number worn by Red Sox legend, and Revere native, Tony Conigliaro, who is immortalized in pictures and memorabilia all over the restaurant.
“It’s a local museum to Tony C,” Sean said, “but the food is great and the energy is amazing.”
Phantom settled in among the big screens, and stepped up to the plate to find the Perfect Meal.
Leading off with appetizers, there are all kinds of delicious options, like cheesy garlic Focaccia with gorgonzola dipping sauce, Buffalo Chicken Taquitos with ranch, Saucy Creole style New Orleans Shrimp, and a big bowl of fresh made Chips and Dip. Out of all the appetizers, the one you’ve got to order is the Philly Cheese Steak Wontons.
“The wontons come out, they’re piping hot, and there’s nothing better than taking the wonton, breaking it open, maybe sharing it with a friend, loading it with our Tony’s secret sauce that we serve the wontons with,” described Sean. “It’s got some smoky elements. It’s got some creamy elements. It’s rich. It’s got a little sour cream, a little chipotle flavor, but it is a secret, so I can’t give you the rest of the ingredients.”
Tony C’s sandwiches are a handful and a mouthful. There’s a Rueben with corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss, and homemade Thousand Island, on griddled rye. Or try their Lobster Roll loaded with knuckle and claw meat on buttery toasted brioche. But the MVP has to be the loaded Number 25 Burger.
“We got the bottom bun, we got the lettuce, the tomato, the burger. We got the pork belly, the fried egg and of course our sesame seed bun top, which holds it all together,” described Sean. “Make sure you finish it while you’ve got it in your hands, because this isn’t one you’re gonna be able to put down.”
When it comes to entrees, the Teriyaki Steak Tips are marinated for three days, and served with roasted garlic mash. There’s Orecciette tossed with Italian sausage, broccoli, spinach, garlic, and parmesan cheese. But since you’re dining at Tony C’s, it’s the Chicken Conigliaro that is a must order.
“A traditional Chicken Scallopini. We finish it with a scampi pasta with white wine, butter, garlic. It’s a great dish,” said Sean. “Tony loved Mom’s cooking, and Chicken Conigliaro is the best way to represent home cooking.”
Before heading for home, the towering Red Velvet Cake with cream cheese frosting is a good dessert, and the warm Brownie Sundae is even better.
“Nothing better than eating a brownie when it’s warm, topped with ice cream. It’s even better when the ice cream melts, and you’re finishing up the bowl with the brownie chunks, and you’ve got the walnuts. It’s amazing.”
Philly Cheese Steak Wontons. The Number 25 Burger. Chicken Conigliaro and a Brownie sundae. That’s the Perfect Meal at Tony C’s.
You can find Tony C’s at 699 Assembly Row in Somerville and 17 Third Ave. in Burlington. Their website is tonycssportsbar.com.
Watch Phantom Gourmet on Saturdays and Sundays at 10:30 and 11 a.m. on myTV38.