By Tes Silverman
Sapsuckers Hops & Grub at 287 Main Street, Huntington is a gastro-pub with flair.
Owned and operated by Nino Antuzzi and Kelley Danek since September 2010, this venue has been attracts diners looking for burgers, beers and unique fare.
In keeping with the menu, the ambiance inside Sapsuckers makes diners want to stay for a while. Walking in, diners will notice a long bar that can accommodate around 18 patrons, either for drinks or meals.
Sapsuckers’ decor is minimalist, yet interesting, from the copper tin ceiling to the Audubon bird lithographs that line the walls. Even a wooden Sapsucker, or yellow-bellied woodpecker, is prominently displayed at the bar. Warm hues of browns and dark wood gives the place a relaxed ambiance, certain to put any diner in the mood to explore what Sapsuckers has to offer in a dining room that seats 26 diners.
Under the direction of Executive Chef Orlando Garcia, diners can dive into appetizers like Pupusas or corn tortillas ($12), Berkshire Baby Back Ribs ($13), Potato Pierogi ($13) and Mac and Cheese ($12).
The Pupusas are crunchy and made with pulled Berkshire pork, mozzarella, vinegar slaw and tomato cilantro sauce. The crunchy texture of the tortillas combined with the tender pork and creamy mozzarella, makes the dish a medley of textures.
The baby back ribs are smoky and so tender that the meat falls off the bone.
The homemade potato pierogi are fried but not greasy. The filling in the pierogi is creamy and served with caramelized onions and sour cream. This appetizer is sure to whet some appetites.
For mac and cheese lovers, Sapsuckers’ version will not disappoint. Made with elbow pasta, four types of cheeses (cheddar, parmesan, gorgonzola, and fontina), cream, truffle oil and topped with herbed bread crumb crust, the dish is a rich and creamy casserole perfect for any child, or child at heart.
Sapsuckers’ gastro-pub menu offers a wide array of choices, but The Mallet Burger ($17) and Blackened Catfish ($20) are two great entrees.
The Mallet Burger is made from organic beef, and served with tomato, lettuce, red onion on a brioche bun. The burger is juicy and, for those who want to be adventurous, additional toppings like a fried egg ($1) can be added.
As for the Blackened Catfish ($20), its mild flavor has a slight kick enhanced by the blackening and Cajun seasoning. Served with salsa fresca, potatoes and green beans, it’s a great option for diners looking for a healthy option.
To compliment the meal, Sapsuckers offers a variety of craft beers, as well as craft cocktails. Some of the go-to beers include the Saps Suds ($6/15 oz-glass) and Estrella Damm Daura ($6/11.02 oz.-bottle). Saps Suds is a premium lager from New England that is light and crisp. Estrella Damm Daura, from Spain, is a gluten-free lager that is light and has a smooth finish.
Moving on to dessert, the bread pudding ($7) is a great choice that’s not too sweet. Made with raisins, cinnamon and caramel sauce, it’s a the perfect ending for a comfort food fest.
Antuzzi and Danek’s vision of Sapsuckers is to provide a venue where diners can have comfort food in a relaxed setting.
Danek said, “We would like our guests to feel like Sapsuckers is their local place- to meet with friends, relax with really amazing beer and enjoy good comfort food.”
Sapsuckers Hops & Grub
287 Main St., Huntington
Hours: Sunday-Thursday Noon-10 p.m.; Friday-Saturday Noon-11 p.m.