At Union Square’s new Bronwyn, beer and würst are a family affair
Though Bronwyn, the buzzed-about new restaurant and biergarten in Union Square, is a German establishment, its name actually has Welsh origins. The restaurant is named after chef Tim Wiechmann’s wife and business partner who, as general manager, hoofed the couple’s popular Huron Village eatery T.W. Food, and thusly earned the right to lend her name to their second restaurant.
While T.W. Food unites classic French cuisine with locavore principles, Bronwyn’s menu reflects a marriage between the recent trend in butchery and the home cooking of Wiechmann’s ancestral Germany. Bronwyn’s heritage includes some German, but her book-loving mom was inspired by classic literary heroines and named her for the fabled Celtic goddess of beauty.
Bronwyn’s design is Bavarian Gothic, replete with heavy gnarled wood benches and tables in the bar area and quaint fairy tale-reminiscent chairs in the dining room. Once seated, it’s Bronwyn’s würst that has people flocking to Somerville in droves — the place has been packed since opening in mid-May. The menu’s offering extend far beyond fat, juicy sausages and Riesling flavored sauerkraut, however.
Just as garlic and parsley are staples on the menu at T.W., two pervasive elements wind through Bronwyn’s dishes. There’s smoke: soft shell crab paired with braised chestnuts and a sweet sauce has deep, sooty flavor; pierogis come stuffed with aromatic, lightly smoked kale. And there’s mustard seed: biernudeln, a wide flat dark beer flavored noodle, is tossed with chopped artichoke hearts and bathed in a creamy blue cheese and whole seed mustard sauce; a big, chewy salted Bavarian pretzel is served with a roasted apple mustard for dipping. This latter order is perfect for pairing with a mug or two from their extensive bier list.
Bronwyn admits that the couple is, happily, very busy now. “We’re dog parents,” she tells us. “The restaurants are our children, so it’s fine. But we do enjoy our days off.” Days spent off, we suspect, with a cold stein of bier in hand.