4914 Lakeshore Rd, Hamburg | (716) 627-5551
Tues – Sun. 11:30 a.m – close; Closed Monday
The Public House on the Lake opened in April 2015. Root 5 closed during the winter and Public House cleaned, redecorated, moved in and found new staff. The people of Public House (Frank & Sara Testa and Lou Milazzo) opened the original Public House of Buffalo on Hertel in the summer of 2014. The place was an instant hit, known for a good beer list and quality bar food. They take reservations for parties of five or more.
You can’t beat the atmosphere here on a fine summer evening with a beautiful sunset full view. It’s like a quick drive to the Caribbean. Well stacked bars inside and out, music and a raw bar take it up a notch. While the menu is basic it shows some flair here and there. The struggles of a large place with crowds that come and go with the weather are always a concern. Think Jamaica mon – listen to the waves, sip a cocktail, feel the sun and chill.
Nothing too fancy yet, but definitely some creative effort and plenty from which to choose. They offer a nice selection of seafood items appropriate for a lakeside restaurant. Mussels, crab cakes, clams (I hear the Beer Clams are good), shrimp, oysters. On the weekends (Fri.- Sun.) they also have Flying Bison Rusty Chain Fish Fry (Fresh cut fries, macaroni salad and coleslaw) and Pan Fried Walleye (Lemon butter, horseradish mashed potatoes, fresh vegetables). Had I known about the Walleye I’d have waited until Friday – I’ll be back.
They also offer a nice selection of sandwiches (five different breads from which to choose), soups, and salads. For entrees they offer Shrimp Scampi ($20), Pork Chop ($26), Salmon ($24), Steak Frites – Hanger steak ($24) and more.
Beer – With 20 on tap that rotate regularly you’ll likely find something you’ll want to wet your whistle. They generally have a nice variety with wheats, sweets, bitter, dark, foreign and local. They also have approximately a gazillion by the bottle.
Wine – I didn’t see a wine list at the restaurant but their website lists 6 red and 5 white all by the bottle or the glass.
We stopped in for a weekday lunch because it was a beautiful day and we figured it would be easy to get a table. We did and we also managed to get one of the only spots left in the parking lot. The crowd was a curious mix of ages, people ranging from the first grader celebrating the end of school to the 70 year-old first grade teacher celebrating the end of school.
We were seated immediately on the patio, water brought to the table and orders taken. I know that Root 5 had issues with service but ours was spot on the whole way – from knowledge of the menu items, speed and detail.
As mentioned above the beer list is outstanding and much too tempting to resist – we went with a Bells Oberon and a Brooklyn Summer Ale, both $6.
For an appetizer our first choice was the Sesame Crusted Tuna ($14). They were out of it. Too bad for us, but in a positive light that suggests they depend on fresh product. Instead we went with the not-so-average Chicken Wings.
- Chicken Waffle Wings | $7.75 for 5 or $15 for 10 – Chicken wings, waffle batter, house maple syrup, powdered sugar
We went with these not because they sounded all that good to me, although our server did recommend them, but the curiosity was too much. Don’t think Buffalo wings, think fried chicken with a waffle batter and sweet. Very pleasantly surprised, I really enjoyed these. I don’t think they’ll be taking over for the real deal but these were good – nicely meaty or they’d get lost in the batter. In retrospect a little maple syrup to dip might be good.
- Public House Steak Sandwich | $12.25 – Filet mignon medallions served with mozzarella cheese, mushrooms, sautéed peppers & onions on a Ciabatta roll.
This is a nice tender steak sandwich cooked to a perfect medium rare. The roll was nice and fresh and the toppings just right.
- Lobster Roll | $13.00 – Chunks of lobster dressed on a toasted roll.
Nice chunks of lobster dressed and served with a small dish of melted butter that is really not necessary.
Both items came with fries that were hand cut and delicious. Perfect vehicle for some malted vinegar.
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