Sapsuckers - Huntington
Went for an early dinner on Sunday. Overall, the food is very well prepared by a chef who is clearly making the effort to elevate pub food. I had quibbles with some of the dishes, but keep in mind these ARE quibbles; the food was quite good.
Started off by splitting apps of pierogies and mac/cheese. The pierogies were pan fried and potato filled, served with nicely caramelized onions and sour cream. It needed a fair amount of salt, but once that was taken care of, it was delicious. The mac and cheese had an interesting cheese flavor, and the pasta was nicely al dente. The sauce, however, was too thin for mac and cheese. Not soup, but not clingy/gooey.
My wife had a veggie burger, which she loved. It was very different from the run of the mill veggie burger; the vegetables were in distinct chunks, rather than ground into a paste (which is typically done to approximate the burger texture). It looked like it was conceived more along the lines of a vegetarian crab-cake than a vegetarian hamburger. The dish also came with some perfectly cooked shoestring fries.
My daughter had fish and chips. Standard batter dipped preparation, but they did a good job. Fish was fresh cod and the it stayed crisp throughout the meal. My son had buttermilk batter fried chicken. He wasn't blown away by it, but it was just what it should have been, albeit could have used a sprinkle of salt before being sent out. It had a touch of drizzled honey, as well, which was a good touch.
I had a special "duo of pork"; a pork chop and pulled pork, with hash and sauteed apples. The pork chop was relatively thin and accordingly cooked just a tiny bit past done, rendering it slightly dry. Still good, just not perfect. The pulled pork was tasty, though my suspiscion is that the pork got it's smoke flavor from the sauce; didn't seem like the meat itself was smoked. The accompanying hash was well prepared and had a nice mix of onions, peppers, etc..
All in all, very good food and prices were very reasonable. Except for the soda!. $2.50 sodas which came in pretty tiny glasses, and refills were NOT free. It is annoying enough in this day and age when refills aren't free (sure, it's their choice, but most places do free refills on soda) and aren't announced as such, but the least they could do is serve your expensive non-refillable drink in a big glass. We now have to add this to our mental list of "tell the kids water only."
Okay, we finally got there, only sampled a couple of dishes. One was good, one not so much. I wasn't really hungry, husband was, so we split a Cobb salad and a burger with cheddar and bacon. Burger was great, fries sort of limp despite being nicely browned and potatoey tasting. The burger was cooked perfectly to order, pink inside, nice slight char outside. Lots of cheese and very good bacon on it. Wouldn't hesitate to eat a burger here again; server, who was very efficient and well informed, says they grind the meat same day, in house.
The salad. What can I say? It was kind of a mess, visually and preparation wise, compared to any other Cobb I've ever had. A messy bowl with lots of romaine lettuce, one single, large, unattractive hunk of avocado, several sticks of gruyere (liked the larger pieces, even though non traditional), sort of matchstick bits of chicken strewn about, and small chunks of blue cheese and bacon mixed in. Dressing tasted fine, was not too heavy. But it was the single most unattractive and non composed cobb salad I've ever been served, had much less food to mere lettuce proportionally than I've ever seen on a Cobb salad, too.
I asked for a pepper mill and the runner seemed surprised that I thought they might have one, since they had a shaker of pre ground pepper on the table, which she helpfully pointed out to me. ;-) No fresh pepper in the house? Really? Huh.
Since food and drink quality seems to be a priority here, I'm going to reserve overall judgment and hope that someone new and inexperienced made that unappealing salad without proper supervision and maybe it was a one time thing. Only thing is, it was so not good, I'd hate to take a chance on ordering it again. I don't send things back unless they're inedible, and didn't complain for the same reason.
It sounds as if our experiences were similar, a split between hits and misses. I thought the wine pour was small for the price, but not obscenely so, wouldn't be a deal breaker.
The beer list was terrific, a major point score for connoisseur husband.