SACKETS HARBOR Theres a new restaurant in Sackets Harbor, right on the main drag in the space last occupied by Sackets Cantina. For many years it was home to 1812 Steak & Seafood Co.
Now its called Sackets Harbor Anchor, or just the Anchor. Its got the same footprint as the previous restaurants. In fact, some of the walls are still painted those bright colors associated with Mexican eateries. But since the Anchor opened a month ago on the brink of the busy summer season, there probably wasnt a lot of time to do any extensive remodeling.
Unlike most of the other restaurants in Sackets, its quite casual and family-friendly, with a twist of modern pub fare. It offers specialty pizzas and calzones, upscale sandwiches, wings, salads, yummy milkshakes, and thats about it. But there are lots to choose from in each category more than 15 pizzas with choices like chicken Alfredo, white clam, cheeseburger, chicken pesto and barbecue chicken. Sandwiches, nearly two dozen of em, include jive turkey (turkey, Havarti, stuffing and cranberry spread), porkys revenge (pulled pork, barbecue sauce, cheddar and cole slaw), tree hugger (yeah, you guessed it zucchini, avocado, tomatoes, peppers, Havarti) and anchors aweigh (fried haddock, cole slaw, tartar sauce).
Oh, and theres a bar. Which is where we started.
Mary was our friendly and experienced bartender. She was good. We had all intentions of heading to the dining room after a round, but Marys spirit and spirits convinced us to stay right there for dinner. Plus, I peeked into the large dining room and there were a couple of families with squealing kids slobbering pizza down their fronts, and that wasnt my idea of a fun night out. Especially for four guys.
Magic Hat Circus Boy, a craft beer from Burlington, was on tap, served at the perfect temperature cold enough to quench a summers thirst but not too cold to hide its wheat character and the hint of lemon and pepper. A very nice vanilla vodka blended well with high-test Coke.
We fired our food orders at Mary at will. To start, two small pizzas: the pulled pork ($12.99) and the Reuben ($12.99).
The pulled pork was presented on a crisp, medium-thick crust with a barbecue sauce base, pork, red onion, cheddar cheese and cole slaw. Same great crust for the Reuben, loaded up with corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and Thousand Island dressing.
The pizzas were a pleasant surprise. The crusts held up well with all the quality ingredients piled on top. They were tasty as heck and made for great bar food or a great dinner. Large versions are also available, priced at $18.29.
A nice summer salad to cleanse the palate was next. The California ($9.95 for the large) was served in a big bowl with a nice mix of baby greens, red onion, crispy bacon, avocado and cucumber with a refreshing pesto ranch dressing.
It was difficult to choose just a couple of sandwiches from the extensive list. But another round of drinks, and we entered our order for a Cubano Americano, Sausage Festival and Nams Favorite, all priced at $12.58 with chips or fries.
Actually, theyre not really sandwiches more like subs, served on a 10-inch artisan roll created for the restaurant by the noted Alteris Bakery in Watertown.
A very impressive roll, in fact crusty on the outside, soft and tasty inside. Definitely fresh.
I got the Cubano Americano. Ive gotten to love Cuban sandwiches lately after some trips to Florida. In a traditional Cuban youll find roast pork, ham, Swiss cheese, spicy mustard and sliced pickle (its gotta have the pickle).
The Anchor got it mostly right, using a chicken fingerlike deep-fried piece of pork (I guess you could call it a pig finger), Black Forest ham, the Swiss and the pickle. They used a garlic butter spread rather than mustard. Again, the roll was outstanding.
Sausage Festival was made for summertime, a grilled homemade sausage patty with sautéed onions and peppers. One of my friends at the table who makes his own sausage said, This sausage is excellent perfect seasoning, love the fennel. And the roll couldnt be better.
Nams Favorite was a grilled chicken breast sub/sandwich prepared bulgogi style with Asian slaw and Sriracha, a fiery Asian sauce. Bulgogi is a Korean style of barbecue consisting of thin slices of meat marinated in a mix of soy, brown sugar, sesame oil, garlic and pepper, all of which were presented in the sandwich. The slaw offset the saltiness of the bulgogi and cut back some of the heat of the Sriracha. Of course, what were we thinking when we ordered extra Sriracha? Must have been the Circus Boy talking.
Our sandwiches came with commercial battered, seasoned fries that were crispy and tasty.
Finally, we ordered a calzone a Philly cheesesteak calzone ($8.99), shaved beef, peppers and onions encased in a pizza shell, oozing gooey-good cheese as we cut into it. This was an amorphous blob on a plate that lacked visual appeal but made up for it with great taste.
Desserts? Simple 24-ounce custom-made milkshakes.
We tried a strawberry shake and an orange-pineapple shake. These were thick and rich and creamy, bringing back fond childhood memories of afternoons at the local soda fountain.
An evening out for four cost $97.69 for food. Gratuity, beer and cocktails were an additional expense.
I wouldnt necessary call the food gourmet or the sandwiches overstuffed, but the Anchor is certainly creative and fills a niche in the Sackets Harbor food scene.
Maury Peters, owner of Marianos Pizza in Watertown, is responsible for creating the specialty pizzas and calzones, as well as the homemade Italian sausage.
The Anchor is owned by Tom Scozzafava, whose corporation, Seaway Valley Capital, also owns the brewpub in Sackets and Alteris in Watertown.
Traveling through the Adirondacks this summer? You may want to veer off Route 28 and explore the little village of North Creek. Some neat bistros and pubs have popped up in recent years.
We enjoyed a stop at Trappers Pub at the Copperfield Inn. It has a great Adirondack feel. Be sure to try their signature mac and cheese, which you can customize by adding things like sundried tomatoes, prosciutto and smoked shrimp.
Copperfields upscale Italian restaurant, Lorenzos, is open Fridays and Saturdays for the summer: www.copperfieldinn.com
Also be sure to visit the Thirsty Moose in the hamlet of Childwold on Route 3.
Hosts Mickey and Jan offer some great homemade lunches and dinners in an Adirondack-rustic atmosphere. You cant beat their honest, down-home hospitality.
The web address given in last Sundays review of the Watertown Golf Club was incorrect. It should have been: http://watertowngolfclubinc.com
You can contact restaurant reviewer Walter Siebel via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sackets Harbor Anchor
213 W. Main St.
Sackets Harbor, N.Y.
A new eatery in the popular restaurant town of Sackets Harbor offering specialty pizzas and calzones, upscale sandwiches, wings, salads and milkshakes.
HOURS: Open year-round, noon to10 p.m. Monday through Sunday except for Tuesdays when the restaurant opens at 4 p.m.
We enjoyed the pulled pork pizza as well as their Reuben pizza.
The sandwiches/subs we tried were excellent: Cubano Americano, Sausage Festival and Nams Favorite.
Best milkshakes weve had in years.