Serving Minnesota and Northern Iowa.

The Pub provides a cozy dining experience in New Hampton

By Heather Thorstensen, hthorstensen@agrinews.com

Date Modified: 11/28/2011 11:14 AM

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NEW HAMPTON, Iowa—Old-world charm combines with a made-from-scratch cooking philosophy at The Pub at the Pinicon.

The Pub offers fine dining during lunch, dinner and dessert for families and business travelers.

"They're always very happy with the quality of our food," said general manager Krissi Josephson.

Dale and Laura Reicks, owners of Reicks View Farms in Lawler, have owned The Pub since 2008. Reicks View Farms produces pork. Their meat, along with a variety of other dishes, is served.

"We're proud of it," said Josephson.

The restaurant's care in food preparation is seen from the first section of the menu — the starters— which includes onion rings that have never been frozen and calamari that is bought fresh and hand-breaded.

A lunch special is the soup and salad bar for $6.99. Soups are made in-house. Varieties include cheesy potato with bacon and homemade chicken noodle.

Entree salads, such as the popular raspberry chicken salad, range from $7.99 to $10.99.

"They're a full meal," said Josephson. "We put a lot of protein on them."

Of their sandwiches, the Dunk Burger has been a mainstay, keeping its spot on the menu through different owners. At $8.99, the half-pound, fresh-ground hamburger comes on toasted sourdough bread with two types of cheese and au jus for dipping.

Dinners include seafood, pork, steak, pasta and a few Tex-Mex items. Besides the boneless pork chop, popular dinner entrees are the ribeye and beef tenderloin.

A new section on the menu, called The Lighter Side, keeps meals on a 300-calorie limit with chicken, pork or grilled salmon served with fresh vegetables.

The dessert they're known for is fried ice cream. They also serve pies, ultimate chocolate cake and a cheesecake from Cheesecake Factory's food services division.

In addition to the full-service bar, the menu explains which dishes pair well with their wines. Approximately 13 varieties make up their wine list.

When they bought the restaurant, the Reicks kept the word "Pinicon" in its name as a nod to the nearby Wapsipinicon River.

Josephson describes the restaurant as "warm, casual but elegant."Exposed brick accents on archways frame the seating area for 150 guests. Wood beams hang from the ceiling.The walls had a wax treatment to make them look aged.

Guests dine under stained glass lamps at high-top tables, watching flat-screen TVs next to the bar or sit in cozy sections of booths. One room, known as Cellar East, can accommodate a large group.

The Pub is flanked by two meeting rooms and an event space under the same roof. The Library can seat up to 36; the Clubhouse can fit up to 30; and the Pinicon Event Center can accommodate up to 400.

In 2010, the Reicks opened a second restaurant, The Pub on the Cedar in Charles City. It's a sports and family restaurant, said Josephson, with a similar menu that's more geared toward sandwiches, salads and pizza.