Posted by: Sean Carter | April 13, 2012

#58: Sports Page Restaurant & Bar

Exterior

What with the NHL playoffs kicking off I thought it would be a good opportunity to check out the new Sports Page Restaurant & Bar that went into the glass-domed building by Century Theaters on Eureka late last year.  This location seems to have some sort of a curse on it since not a single business has had any success there.  I know my first reaction to hearing about this new restaurant was to think “I wonder how long they’ll last.”  I’m pretty sure I ate there once back when it was either River Rock or Town Lounge, but I don’t remember anything about it.

Entry

I arrived on Thursday afternoon at about 4:30 right as game 1 of the Blues & Sharks got started.  There were maybe 6 other customers there, spread out around the bar area, so I had my pick.  Seeing my hat, the bartender confirmed I was there for the Sharks game and put one of the larger TVs on to the right channel.  I sat at the end of the bar closest to the TV and got situated for a long stay.

Bar

Side Bar Area

Central Dining Area Under the Dome

The Sports Page has 5 distinct sections, a room off to the far left with a jukebox and pool table, the central dining area under the big glass dome, the bar next to that center area, another section of bar with additional tables on the far right and the patio.  I was in the 2nd bar section, and this is the side that seemed to be the busiest all night.

Moylan's Irish Red Ale

I wasn’t really hungry yet after having a big lunch earlier in the day, so I just ordered a Moylans Irish Red Ale to start.  This is the first Irish red ale I’ve had since the Smithwick’s at the Boxing Donkey last October.  It was smooth and just as good as the Smithwick’s.

Draught Beers

Beer list 1 Beer List 2

They had a pretty good selection of beer on draught, and a decent wine list as far as I could tell from my brief glance at it.  It didn’t seem to be advertised anywhere but all my beers were $3.50.  This may or may not have been a happy hour price.

Customers

Soon I had some company around my end of the bar to watch the game, including a Bruins fan who was also rooting for the Sharks.  He seemed to be a regular and sampled a couple beers before settling on the Rogue Dead Guy Ale, a German Maibock.  The bartender seemed to be very knowledgeable and described a few of the beers on tap in detail to help him make a decision.

As I mentioned earlier, when I arrived the place what pretty quiet.  Only the TVs in the bar area were on.  Once people started showing up though the rest of the TVs in the main dining area lit up and the whole place kind of came alive.  About an hour in it was almost half full and the conversation level was a little loud.  I imagine at full capacity it would be very loud and difficult to have a conversation.

Late in the first period was when the crazy thunder-hail storm hit and the satellite signal was lost.  I was worried I might have to cut it short and head home for the rest of the game but luckily it came back about 5-10 minutes later when the worst of the storm had passed.  It was cool to look up at the big glass dome in the center and see the hail just pouring down in every direction around you.  I went outside to get a little video of the action.  Even right up against the door I was getting soaked so it’s a super short clip.

Once the 2nd intermission started I was ready for the next round.  This time I went with a Lost Coast Great White witbier.  While I enjoyed the Moylan’s, this is a little more up my alley.  It was refreshing as always.  Into the 2nd intermission at around 6:15 is when Sports Page was at it’s peak.  It was about 1/2 to 2/3 full and some additional bartenders were now working and staying on top of everyone pretty well from what I could see.

Lost Coast Great White

I noticed at some point that the Bruins game was playing on a TV on the other side of the dining room and mentioned it to the fan to my right.  He asked someone working, who may have been a manager or even the owner, if he could put it on the other smaller TV right in front of us.  He was able to put it on, but it took some effort, and I only mention this because I feel he kept at it longer than most people would at other bars until he had the right TVs showing what everyone wanted (the one he was changing seemed to be mirroring what others were showing so he had to split them up).

Happy Hour Menu

Stuffed Mushrooms

I realized I was running out of Happy Hour time and ordered the Stuffed Mushrooms, because I’m always a sucker for stuffed mushrooms.  In addition to a rosemary reduction the stuffing consisted of a blend of spinach, feta cheese, mozzarella cheese, and one or two other items I was unable to hear when I asked the bartender about them.  They were pretty good, definitely cheesy and the reduction was delicious.

Leinenkugel's Sunset Wheat

For my third round, as the third period got going, I ordered a Leinenkugel’s Sunset Wheat (a creamy, citrusy witbier).  I’ve had this once before.  It’s a pretty decent beer and the most interesting thing about it, which I had forgotten, is that it tastes like it has been infused with fruity pebbles.  No kidding, it’s really weird but in a good way.

Scrumptious Spinach Salad

Finally, I decided I was ready for dinner, and had my first serious look at the menu.  Aside from the bar-like appetizers, they have salads, burgers and sandwiches.  Normally I would have been fine with ordering a burger or sandwich, but they all sounded pretty heavy.  Even though I was now finally hungry, I wasn’t ready for another big meal that would sit with me for hours, so I took that path I rarely choose and ordered the Scrumptious Spinach salad.  This salad was made up of baby spinach with tomatoes, bacon, feta cheese and onion straws with a warm bacon vinaigrette.

It was pretty appetizing when it showed up, and after I took the photo I dug right in.  The vinaigrette was absolutely delicious, and at the time I was eating it I didn’t realize the description had said “bacon vinaigrette”.  The bits of bacon were clearly visible so I thought that was where the flavor was coming from, but obviously it was in the dressing as well.  The feta cheese was plentiful and strong, I ended up leaving a good amount of it in the bowl since there was a lot more than needed to have a little in each bite.  The onion straws added a nice crisp and the spinach itself was of course fresh and tasty.  Overall it was amazing, very rich with the bacon vinaigrette though a bit  heavier than I anticipated which I mentioned to the bartender (at this point I’m beginning to think she was the manager as well).  She agreed with me on that and told me that they were going to lighten it up a bit for the summer.

Lost Coast Tangerine

I had my last beer during the first period of overtime, a Lost Coast Tangerine, which is one of my favorites.  Similar to the Great White but with a sweet punch of tangerine flavor.  Eventually it was clear the game was going to 2nd overtime and I decided I would close my tab and head home for the rest.  For 4 beers, a salad and the appetizer I was pleased to see my bill was less than $25!  The Bruins fan next to me didn’t have anything to eat but drank about the same amount, in addition to shots he bought for the bartenders and himself, and his bill was about the same as mine (which I only know due to a mixup in which he nearly paid my tab over).

Shots Bruins Fan and Waitress

Overall the service was pretty great all night.  Sitting at a bar and watching a game for several hours isn’t something I do very often but I’d definitely come back here to do it again.  They already have events scheduled for May on the patio when the weather isn’t freak thunder-hail, so that should be nice to check out.  I’m far more optimistic about this business than I was before I came in, and I think they may actually have a decent shot at sticking around.  One major thing I would say is that I think they need to flesh out the menu some more.  It’s a good start but I found myself flipping it over several times in hopes that more options had appeared on the back while I wasn’t looking.

Events

Oh yeah, and the Sharks ended up pulling off the win early in 2OT, yeah!

See this and more food I find at Foodspotting.com

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Responses

  1. Nice review, complete with the word ‘reduction.’ Food and prices look decent, and that is a nice beer selection on tap.

    I used to go here frequently with work cohorts when it was River Rock. I think you may have hit upon why businesses don’t do well in there – you can’t really carry on a conversation in there once it fills up because of the din. Lots of hard surfaces, and I swear that dome, while attractive, might applify the problem.

  2. Hey, a River Rock popped up down here several months ago, but it’s probably unrelated. I like that your hat made it into a couple shots.


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