Last week, my work friends and I decided to take a rocket to Venus.
Well not an actual rocket, but we visited the bar/restaurant Rocket To Venus (3360 Chestnut Ave) in Hampden for a few Friday night cocktails.
This was my first visit to Rocket To Venus so I didn’t know what to expect. I pulled up to a grey and black corner building with limited parking. The parking wasn’t an issue, because most of the places I visit in Hampden are in residential neighborhoods, so I was already prepared to walk. Once inside I concluded that Rocket To Venus is a neighborhood bar with a rocket-themed interior.
There are about six u-shaped large booths along the right wall and on the left side of the restaurant is open-table seating with about six tables and a bar with high-top seating. The windows in each booth are small and round resembling that of a rocket ship window. The ceiling above the open seating area has circle-shaped cones that look like the bottom of rocket or space shuttle. Some of the windows in the booths have terrariums on display and for sale.
We got there around 5:00 pm and grabbed the booth closest to the bar. I went up to the bar to ask about the happy hour specials. The bartender advised me that “call drinks” were $5.00. I ordered a whiskey cranberry with a splash of apple pucker and my two friends ordered wine.
A waiter come over to our table and gave us two menus, a food menu and a cocktail menu. The food menu had daily specials on the left side and the regular/winter menu on the right. I was a little disappointed that the rocket theme didn’t extend to the menu, there were no rocket or space themed items. I ordered the clam chowder from the specials menu. It was cold outside and I wanted something to warm me up. I was a little hesitant because everyone doesn’t know how to make good clam chowder.
I was pleasantly surprised with my clam chowder order. It was hearty and full of clam, potatoes, celery, spices and arugula. I dare to say it was one of the best I’ve ever tasted.
We also ordered two appetizers for the table, the Vegan Spring Rolls and the Pierogies.
The spring rolls were crispy and full of rice noodles, cabbage, tofu and peanuts. They were actually pretty big for an order of two. The pierogies were pan-fried and filled with sauerkraut, mushrooms, chives and topped with caramelized onions and served with a horseradish sour cream. I especially liked the pierogies because it was my first time tasting them. I thought it would be like a dumpling but it was a little different – I googled the difference.
The food at Rocket To Venus was delicious, but the service wasn’t that great.