By Jano Tantongco
Bucks and does alike will bask in the hearty American cuisine at S.T.A.G.S. Tap House (308 Main St., Huntington). Stepping into the recently-opened establishment, one discovers a game-centric eatery celebrating the finer points of pub fare.
The cuisine, designed by Executive Chief Adam Goldgell, is prepared with locally-sourced and sustainable ingredients. The pub also stocks 40 beers on tap and 20-40 bottled beers, including IPAs, stouts, seasonals and more.
The Grilled Cheese Tomato Soup Bites ($9) are served as a hearty appetizer with the double gloucester cheese, en carozza. The chewy cheese bites pair well with the sumptuous, slightly sweet, tomato bisque. Hints of rosemary and basil give the starter herbal undertones that are sure to delight the palate.
The Vegetarian Tacos ($7) feature local produce, sweet potato, honduran cheese and argan mole. The fried chayote adds a crispy, juicy texture that complements the soft, crumbly corn tortillas, which are made in-house.
The Duck Breast Pastrami Mini Reubens ($10), made with sprout kraut and weinkase lagrein cheese may be an appetizer, but it is certainly a mini entree of its own. Here, the duck pastrami shines through, embraced by a gougères bun that’s fluffy and savory. It’s paired with a bach mustard that introduces a bold flavor that balances the richness.
The Montauk Fish and Chips Madras Tempura ($17) steps up the traditional favorite, with an upscale spin. The rotating fish selection featured porgy, a mild and lean variety that served as a welcoming canvas for the Korean mayo, blended with sriracha sauce and cayenne pepper, producing a sweet finish overall. The accompanying curry fries were generously cut with skin, popping with an earthy spice. A side of mushy peas added a sweet reminder of home cooking.
As for the Grass-Fed Strip Steak Diane ($32), it is topped with a full-flavored, diane sauce topped with mixed mushrooms. Prepared medium, the tender steak gives way easily to the knife, leading the diner to the center of the steak, which swings with peppery accents. It sits next to boulangère potatoes which carry just a sliver of spiciness.
And don’t forget the burger, which is served with fries and house-made pickles. The 10 oz. slab of ground beef comes on a Kaiser-style roll, and is flavorful enough on its own. A choice of toppings include pork belly, pimento cheese or – our choice – mixed roasted mushrooms, blue cheese and brown gravy. Simple, yet sophisticated, it’s a winner.
S.T.A.G.S will host an Autumn Release Party on Sept. 12 at 7 p.m. to introduce new dishes and new beers at the establishment. The six-course, 10-beer pairing, event will cost $60 plus tax and gratuity.
S.T.A.G.S Tap House
308 Main St.
Atmosphere: Rustic Gastropub
Price: Moderate to Expensive
Hours: Monday-Thursday 5-10 p.m.; Friday-Saturday 5-11 p.m.; Sunday 5-9 p.m.