By Pamela Brownstein
From bright orange, palate-cleansing cantaloupe cooler shooters to green olives stuffed with bacon Blue cheese and drizzled with barbecue sauce, the dishes at Maggie’s Pub are anything but ordinary.
“I like to have fun with food,” explains Executive Chef Richard Wilson.
The Lunch Bunch was treated to an amazing array of small plates and enticing entrees as dinner guests at the intimate, upscale yet laid-back restaurant in Habersham.
We started with little individual puff pastries filled with warm crab dip that we all
declared a must-have. Other standouts among the small plates we tried included the teriyaki-marinated tuna tartare served with pineapple relish and fresh radish; the Feta-stuffed cherry tomato served warm on a stick with basil and aged balsamic; and the whimsical and tasty baby carrot served with wasabi peas.
But don’t mistake a small serving for simplicity: As the chef pointed out, each tiny
dish is made with a complex set of ingredients and flavors.
(Although these particular small plates are not on the menu, diners can call ahead and request this special feature.)
For the main course, April adored the famous Mibek Farms Pub Burger topped with bacon, sharp cheddar cheese and tomato, and especially the giant beer battered onion rings.
Buck fell in love with Maggie’s Meatloaf, and everyone thought the horseradish
mashed potatoes were a must-have.
When it came to seafood, it was easy to taste why Elizabeth’s Pan Flashed Ahi Tuna with local egg fried rice and marinated beet strings is a best-selling dish. And Hope’s Flashed Alaska Salmon served over celery-infused rice, lemongrass cucumbers and citrus zest was light and delicious.
I had the Beef Brochette made with tender strips of beef skewered with onions and grape tomatoes over creamy Gnocchi and asparagus. The hand-rolled, homemade Gnocchi was phenomenally good, and the tender cuts of beef made this dish a knockout.
For dessert, we sampled three homemade cakes: lemon, coconut and red velvet. While all three were excellent, in a surprise victory, we all chose the lemon for its moist cake and bold, but not overpowering, flavor. The desserts vary
weekly, as do their specials, so call ahead to find out what’s on the menu.
Chef Wilson takes pride in his use of seasonal ingredients, and a new “Fresh on the Menu” app developed by the South Carolina Department of Agriculture features the restaurant as a place for diners to find truly locally sourced food.
As with any good pub, the drink menu is extensive and the knowledgeable bartenders and servers can suggest the best specialty beers or wines to pair with your meal.
Maggie’s Pub is at 17 Market Street in Habersham and is open Tuesday through Saturday from 5 to 9 p.m. For information or reservations, call 843-379-1719 or visit www.maggiespub.net.