Town residents watched with interest as the Inn at Brunswick Station, a 52-room hotel, went up last spring directly across from the historic and prominent First Parish Church and just steps from the Bowdoin College campus. How could the edifice possibly fit into the small lot at this major intersection where a senior center stood?

Well it does, and attractively so. The three-story white clapboard building’s shallow front porch even holds a few rockers. To reach the restaurant, The Tavern at Brunswick Station, which serves food all day, enter through the inn lobby. Here you’ll find a convivial milieu of comfortable armchairs, a gas fireplace and historic photos of downtown. The restaurant decor mixes New England details such as barn-like rafters with contemporary dark wood tables and taupe walls. It feels warm, restful and uncluttered. The dining room is divided in two, a smart design move that makes the 80-seat restaurant feel cozier. A single TV quietly glows over the bar.

We dropped into the Tavern for dinner on a Sunday night and were seated at a large booth, which gave three of us privacy and room to spread out. The hostess, who doubled as the bartender and our server on this slower night — the weekend had been extremely busy, she said — was friendly and gracious throughout our stay.

Because my friend had her heart set on the duck sliders she spied online, we asked if we could order from the bar menu, usually served earlier in the evening. Our server confirmed that the kitchen could accommodate. Between that and the dinner menu, we had a good variety of conventional food, from pub fare to elaborate entrees, to choose from.

And those sliders ($13) were quite good. Three ground duck patties came served on little brioche rolls, with bacon, lettuce, tomato and basil oil helping to keep the four-bite burgers moist and appealing. Homemade potato chips — thick and crispy bites that leave a film of oil on your fingertips — were delicious, but one hesitates to indulge in too many, given that generous oil saturation.

Fresh mesclun greens, crumbles of feta, candied pecans, plump high-bush blueberries and a honey-balsamic vinaigrette that managed to convey the honey flavor without being cloying, combined for a well-balanced salad ($9).

A thick and bland pumpkin/curry soup of the day ($4 cup/ $7 bowl) lacked much of either flavor. The focaccia was fresh, light and spongy with a good dousing of olive oil.

The next dish elicited a muted exclamation of happy surprise from the three of us, because we suspected we’d found a new spot for killer crab cakes. Two substantial patties were dense with Maine crab and bore an unexpected lightness and a perfectly crisped crust ($15 or market). An accompanying Cajun remoulade was so mild that you wondered where the Cajun went.

This being an inn that caters to out-of-staters, one can order a Lazy Man’s stuffed lobster at the Tavern ($31 or market). We passed, but the opportunity to get another hit of that crab cake, the dish’s stuffing, did intrigue.

Parmesan-crusted baked hake ably stood in. The delicate white flesh of this locally caught variety was moist, sweet and covered in a savory, crumbly crust ($24). Sides were not an afterthought: Excellent skin-on roasted potatoes, warm pickled pearl onions and sauteed snap peas rounded out the plate.

An inch-thick sirloin burger ($10) came on a brioche roll, with several options for additions. You could order it with one of six cheeses (for an extra 50 cents), or add bacon or an egg ($1) or even a duck slider patty or pan-seared scallop ($2). I went with mushrooms. I would have liked to see more of the sauteed mix of portabello, crimini, button and porcini, but for 75 cents a scant portion was about all I should expect. Suggestion to the kitchen: Smother the sandwich with ‘shrooms and up the fee to $2.

We ordered the burger medium, which pulled out a lot of juices. The sirloin flavor was rich nonetheless. We asked for a vegetable substitute for the house-made chips or fries and got a mound of delicious al dente haricots verts sauteed with garlic, a nice side dish for no extra charge.

An entree of grilled vegetable risotto ($15) missed the mark. The rice grains stuck together, giving the dish a gummy texture. On this night, it was the only vegetarian option on the dinner menu aside from salads, of which there were four.

The kitchen offered two dessert choices, and we chose a limoncello marscarpone confection ($9). Two delicate layers of sponge cake were sandwiched between the creamy cheese. The dessert was tart and sweet at once, a luscious and sunny finish.

Despite the many hats she wore, our server was professional and hospitable. She did not hover over us — she had enough else to do — but nothing flagged either. Water and coffee got filled by other staff, and food was delivered efficiently. We felt well-treated and warmly welcomed from lobby desk to finish. Despite a couple of dishes that didn’t resonate, there was plenty of good food and ambience to more than satisfy. The Tavern at Brunswick Station, open since June, seems to be hitting its stride.

Nancy Heiser is a freelance writer.