Berret’s Seafood is located in the heart of Williamsburg’s Merchant’s Square…a quasi high-end shopping experience and community gathering place. The best thing about summer in this city is Berret’s open air Taphouse Grill. While it seems to mainly attract tourists, there are occasional locals who find there way to the bar stools. An abbreviated menu is available with burgers, crab cakes, and barbeque. There are a number of specials that rotate on a regular basis.
The greatest asset of the Taphouse Grill is that it's outside! Instead of a tropical water view, however, you overlook the adjacent parking lot where drivers circle endlessly to find available spaces. In spite of this, a real sense of energy is present amidst the Jimmy Buffet tunes and the perspiring tourists decked in Hawaiian shirts, madras shorts, and Topsiders.
There has been a growing attempt to include a number of good local and regional beers in addition to the tooty-fruity tropical drink list that might be found in a Duval Street dive. Tonight's $45 tab (+$10 tip) included a shared order of garlic sauteed blue crab clusters, a barbecue sandwich, with sides of corn and cole slaw and several beers. There are no OMG moments with any of the menu items (the crab clusters are a poor excuse for not serving whole steamed crabs and are a waste of time and money). The most memorable aspect of the experience was simply the experience!
Since the restaurant is primarily geared to the tourists, most of the servers are seasonal, college students who have an unusually wholesome countenance. No tatooes or piercings are seen which would indicate a more bohemian attitude that I feel is necessary for a truly committed food and beverage experience. In spite of the very conservative appearance of the staff and management, Berret’s is a great way to spend a warm, muggy evening in one of Williamsburg’s busiest parking lots.