This convivial pub, brewery, and restaurant, located in a former mill building, takes its roots seriously. Owned by David Boynton and Josh Henry, two local residents, it’s named after the city of Dover, the seventh oldest non-indigenous settlement in America. The establishment also tries to hire locally, to re-use local supplies (the restaurant windows, wood accents, and bar top come from old Dover mill buildings), and support area farmers, using close-to-home ingredients for their farm-to-table dishes.
It’s been a little over a year since they opened, and it looks like their strong local ethos has struck a chord with the community. Walk into this lively eatery any day of the week and you’re likely to find a diverse crowd, including young couples at the communal table and high tops, singles perched along the long, wooden bar, and families gathered at the tables in the back dining area. The restaurant has a stylish, industrial warehouse feel, with high ceilings, large, street-facing windows, and brick and wood accents. The location in downtown Dover, with easy parking nearby, is ideal for a quick and satisfying lunch.
Even if it’s midday, you’ll want to start with one of their small batch beers, like the full-bodied, hop forward Mr. Nice Guy Imperial IPA or the equally bold 1623 Brown Ale. Fortunately, the food lives up, too. Tots, nicely seasoned potato fritters with a side of house-made horseradish aioli, are a great starter nosh, as are the beer-brined Settlement Wings; we like these with the ginger cider glaze but you can get them hot, too. You can also share small plates like the Green Chili Pork Tacos served with a tasty green poblano chili and the aptly-named Loaded Basket, a gooey pile of fries smothered with chili, cheddar curd, and chopped onions. In winter, the bubbly Beer Cheese Fondue is a welcome comfort dish, accompanied with a rustic, house-made boule; it’s a nice, warming dish to share on chilly days.
All the sandwiches on the menu are prepared with house-baked breads; favorites include Abigail’s Melt, with smoked molasses bacon, aged cheddar, and grilled cider apples, and the Cocheco Reuben, a clever take on an enduring classic, made with house corned beef, pickled cabbage, and their own version of Thousand Island sauce. But, our go-to order is often their BBQ Pork Sandwich, a fork-tender pile of braised pork shoulder topped with pomegranate BBQ sauce and an apple-celeriac slaw.
The flatbread pizzas are popular lunch dishes and enough for two to share. The Pistachio Flatbread is a standout, with pistachio pesto sauce, mozzarella, parmesan, shallots, and arugula. The house Chorizo Flatbread is a close second, featuring house-cured sausage, spicy red sauce, and oven-roasted tomatoes, complemented with sharp cheddar cheese.The blackboard specials change daily and showcase Chef Brent Hazelbaker’s and Chef Taylor Miller’s best work. Recent offerings included pan-fried Monkfish served with a tender braised pork belly alongside polenta, and a vegetarian offering Cavatelli Pasta with seasonal vegetables, dressed in a parmesan and roasted garlic cream. The burgers, both on the main menu and the changing blackboard menu are rightfully popular, made with cooked to order heritage beef. The best-selling Settlement Burger comes topped with smoked bacon and aged cheddar. Perfect with a frothy glass of Oatmeal Stout.
It’s hard to imagine that you’ll have room for desert, but don’t pass it up. We craved a second helping of the Ale Apple Cobbler with warm caramel, long after we left the restaurant. You’ll always find a seasonal Crème Brulée, with a perfectly toasted sugar crust, and the smoky sweet Chocolate Bacon Cake, smeared with bacon frosting and dusted with pistachios, has become a signature dessert.
47 Washington Street