Hubs and I walked in, a bit early for our dinner date with friends. They'd invited us to dinner at a new place in Independence; they said the menu looked a bit inventive, and hey, the name and logo featured a dog. We're suckers for dogs!
(The name references James P. Sullivan, or Sully, a dog of John and Natascha Cronin, who, along with chef John Rodriquez form the trio of owner/operators. Check out the article in the Polk County Itemizer-Observer for more info on the project: http://www.polkio.com/news/2014/dec/24/new-pub-place-socialize/)
The push is locally source ingredients, with everything made from scratch. The result is a wonderful mix of tastes, textures, and many special little touches -- all for a great price.
The four of us are not hard to please, per se, but one has 40 years of experience in the restaurant industry; the rest of us can cook pretty darn well. We all work our butts off doing the various things we do to serve our customers well. So when we venture out, it's gotta be good. It's not high falutin' prevention we seek; rather, it's well executed creative passion wrought in food.
And it better be delivered with heart.
The Three Legged Dog delivered on all fronts. Upon entering, there are some interesting elements in the old, often-repurposed space. Copper bar, large glass panels from old architecture above the bar, dart board in the old bank vault room. Tables are wide and comfortable, with bench seating on one side, and chairs on the other. More seating at the bar and also in the front windows. We are large, comfort-seeking people, and found the atmosphere very relaxing, and conducive to the free-for all that ensues when we try something new. We order from all over the menu, and swap, share and pass around plates.
Service was swift, personable, and attentive. Tap list is written on a board on the wall, along with local sourcing info. There's a wonderful cocktail menu from which we all selected something different.
Some may think the main menu small, but truth is, you can do a few things well, or you can do a lot of things poured out of food service bags. They like to focus on hand crafted items, and if they don't hand craft it, they source it from someone who does.
The Retired Russian
Old Man Cronin's Whiskey Sour
The French 75
The drinks are not cheap, but then again neither are the ingredients they are using. PNW spirits, house-made bitters, etc. Perfect garnish touches, and a pleasure to enjoy. It's a sipping pleasure of ETOH alchemy.
PB & J Wings
Crispy fried wings (full wings, down to the locally raised tip) with a yummy peanut sauce, drizzled with a sweet vinegar plum sauce. Sprinkled with sesame seed. Tender, meaty wings, really flavorful sauce. (We all did agree it was missing a pinch of salt -- a little sprinkle and the flavors went from a little muted to taste bud POPPING.)
Pork Belly Plate
Generous slices of perfectly-cooked pork belly, with a chunky applesauce on one and of the plate, and a hearty ale mustard on the other. A great taste sensation. The texture was perfect, tender but with a touch of crispness. To die for. (And I'm not usually a pork belly fan.)
I'd asked for the Duck Confit and Bacon Sandwich. Alas, they were out. But, that's the risk you run when small eateries are making it great out of fresh, local things. The last one was served to a guy a few tables down. I thought I could take him, but figured there were plenty of other good things to try. Best to not make a scene.
Grilled Andouille Roll - got raves
Our Rueben - thick slices of wonderful corn beef with nice and tart kraut. With house-made 1000 Island, of course.
Grilled Portabella Panini - This was my fav (even though I didn't order it... this time). The hop infused olive oil grilled portabella was cooked perfectly for a plump but not mushy texture, and fantastic flavor.
Sully's Burger - a hearty burger on a fantastic fresh bun (buttered and toasted, of course). Texture was perfect so I'm guessing fresh ground. Topped with a malt vinegar molasses sauce if I remember.
Now, I'm not one to rave about fries. I don't usually even finish them. But their "hop-salted fries" were great. Seasoned well, taste of real potato. I finished them all... but to be honest, it was because of the house-made cherry chipotle catsup. Oh. My. Gosh. The fries were good, this divine sauce was good, and together they were amazing. I tried to throw money at them for a container of my own... and they hinted that it may indeed be for sale sometime down the road, but they were, you know, kinda busy with a new restaurant startup.
They opened Dec 31st. Today was a chamber of commerce ribbon cutting. Only three weeks in, and they had a partially full house and things appeared to go perfectly smooth. No lags in service, no lack of attention, and all the food was great. That's impressive.
Service was easily passed back and forth between Josh (at the bar) and John in the kitchen. We wanted for nothing, and asked questions and had some great conversation. They're working hard and it shows in the results.
We will be back!
Check 'em out on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/TLDPublicHouse . Sorry no photos to add, but their web site and Facebook page do a better job in documenting than I did! :)