It’s no secret that you can get award-winning tasty brews and satisfying pub grub at the Southampton Publick House. But did you know that the village staple microbrewery, now happily ensconced at its new home on busy Jobs Lane, also serves up quite a bit of food-forward and health-conscious fare? Well, they do. And it’s pretty darn delicious!
I popped in for lunch on Friday afternoon and had a supremely enjoyable experience. My server, Sam, was knowledgeable, friendly and attentive in that way I, who waitressed and bartended my way through college and a bit beyond, found especially pleasant.
She recommended the Potato Ale Cheese and Bacon soup on the daily specials menu as her very favorite soup so I tried it. Boy oh boy, I’m glad I did. It was velvety creamy, savory, and with just a pop of crispness from the finely diced potatoes. The taste and texture reminded me somewhat of my aunt Vera’s chicken and dumplings back home in Indiana, in a slightly more elevated way. The homey and hearty soup was so yummy I found myself making “mm mm mmm” noises. Oopsy.
Owner Don Sullivan also stopped by for a visit, which was nice. He told me that the move from Bowden Square to Jobs Lane has added a terrific new life to the restaurant, with lots of walk-in traffic from tourists and added patronage by his fellow village merchants, which he said he greatly appreciates. Additionally, the space (which formerly housed The Driver’s Seat) really fits with the idea of the Publick House in its improved incarnation. I, for one, prefer the bright airy location (with a great back deck and bar!) to the more darkly solemn and woodsy-type interior of the microbrewery’s former self. I also like that there’s an ATM downstairs if you’re in need of some quick cash.
Don also pointed out some of his lunchtime favorites, which include the Sesame Crusted Ahi Tuna starter, Flat Iron Chimichurri in the “classics” selections, the Grilled Chorizo in the “pub favorite” category, the special Salmon dish, and the Steak and Gorgonzola or Vegetarian Quinoa Cake salad choices. It was on this recommendation that I try one of his “protein and greens” menu choices. So I did.
But first I consulted again with Sam, who after her soup recommendation really could do no wrong. She promised me that I’d be happily surprised if I ordered the Vegetarian Quinoa Cake salad, which she said that one of the chefs had come up with on his own as an addition to the changing palates of today’s diners who are often disappointed with limited vegetarian options.
I was a bit skeptical, I mean, how good could something like that be??? The words “quinoa cake” do not normally inspire excitement. But I figured I’d take one for the team since I was working and reviewing and not out lollygagging about for my own satisfaction and experience. I’m glad I did because it was fanfreakingtastic! Seriously.
In addition to the actual taste of the grill-seared cake, which was reminiscent of a crab cake in taste and texture, I was most pleased to see the whole ingredients in every bite. No mush there, but instead a crispy exterior and an inside packed with flavorful mouthfuls of lightly seasoned quinoa, black beans, corn, zucchini, carrot, onion and celery. It’s clear that this was a quinoa dish made by someone who would actually want to eat it. Well done! The delicious cake was atop a bed mesclun greens tossed with a house-made white balsamic vinaigrette and accompanied by fresh (and yes, it was actually fresh!) avocado and grape tomatoes and onion slivers. I enjoyed it so much that I’ll order it again when I come back on my own steam. : )
For those who don’t know it, or need to be reminded, Southampton Publick House is one of the most award-winning breweries in America, ranked in the top 20 for GABF medals won by a brewery in the last 10 years, and awarded Top Brewpub in 2003 by Beer Advocate Magazine and ranked #8 Specialty Brewery in the World by RateBeer.com in 2004
Even though the restaurant has moved, it’s still got its old spirit. Decked out for the upcoming holiday, the eatery is celebrating Halloween with its annual costume party on Saturday October, 29, beginning at 10 p.m. The evening will feature DJ Dory Seymour who will be spinning tunes all night, $5 pints of Pumpkin Ale and $5 drink specials. There will be a costume contest for guests to enter with Anthony from WEHM and BEACH Radio as the judge. There will be prizes for first, second and third place and winners will be announced at midnight. There will be a $10 cover at the door.
The Southampton Public House is open 7 days for lunch and dinner: Monday – Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 12 a.m. and Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. For further information visit www.publick.com or call (631) 283-2800.