Enjoy Live Local Celtic Music Impromptu Style – Tuesday Nights @ John Harvard’s in the Square
Join accomplished Celtic musicians Emerald Rae and Flynn Cohen as your hosts every Tuesday night from 9 p.m. ’til midnight for a traditional music jam session at the popular pub/restaurant John Harvard’s Brew House in Harvard Square (directions). Ms. Rae, a former U.S. National Scottish Fiddle Champion, specializes in the area of Scottish and Cape Breton folk music and is an avid Cape Breton style stepdancer as well. This composer/performer is known for her great rapport with the audience and has appeared with such international recording stars as Natalie Haas, Alasdair Fraser, and Natalie MacMaster. She, along with her co-host, currently performs with the local band Annalivia. Acoustic guitarist Flynn Cohen is best known for his work as an accompanist for traditional fiddlers. He has also performed with Irish accordion great John Whelan and the well-known dance band The Sevens, amongst others. In addition to Annalivia, he also plays with the local fiddle trio Halali. Currently a member of the music faculty at Keene College in New Hampshire, he conducts numerous workshops, and participates as a visiting lecturer on the subject of traditional music.
Aside from being treated to your hosts’ personal performances, as a member of the audience you will also get to hear local Celtic musicians from the area as they join in on the fun. If you want to participate in the session, you can call John Harvard’s at (617) 868 – 3858 or fax or email them. Even if you’re just a beginner, fear not! They welcome players of all instruments with any level of experience.
O.K., in my opinion, the music is always the best part, however while your listening you can indulge yourself in some pretty tasty fare at this eatery as well. John Harvard’s offers a lot of the standard pub fare you would expect, including some really great “comfort” food, as well as some inventive dishes with an international flare. I would suggest that you checkout their full menu here, but I’ll give you a few hints as to what to expect. For starters, there’s a hummus platter (with pita bread, feta cheese, tomatoes, parsley oil, and Kalamata olives), yummy New England clam chowder, or Buffalo tenders (boneless chicken tenders tossed in Buffalo sauce, with bleu cheese dressing, cucumbers and celery). Then for a main course they offer some pretty interesting looking sliders (mini-sandwiches) including pulled pork (house-smoked pulled pork, chipotle BBQ, and pineapple salsa), BLT (crisp pancetta, tomato, lettuce, and a lemon garlic aioli), and ale-marinated steak and cheese (ale-marinated grilled flank steak, Roquefort cheese spread and roasted red peppers) selections. And here’s an example of more of that “comfort” food I mentioned, grilled meat loaf (with BBQ sauce, garlic mashed potatoes, steamed asparagus spears, red wine sauce, and crispy fried onions). Their sinfully scrumptious desserts include a chocolate cobbler (triple layer of chocolate delight served warm, topped with vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of house-made raspberry sauce) as well as butterscotch bread pudding (a chef’s special, served warm with vanilla bean ice cream and caramel sauce).
Last, but by no means least, I must point out their home-brewed ales. They are of course their biggest trademark! I myself do not drink beer, but a friend of mine assured me that they are indeed a cut well above average. On the evening that we were there, we found the place to be packed, which attests to it’s popularity. I must say though that, even if they are well-known for their brews, still the food and the casual laid back atmosphere alone would be enough to attract a crowd to John Harvard’s. I know that I intend to go back- and of course, make that on a Tuesday night!!!