Killingtons bills itself as the "Gastropub of the South." What in the world is a gastropub?
They're supposed to offer a higher quality of food in a relaxed, pub-style environment.
To put it another way: You can expect the menu to offer more than fish and chips with your libation of choice - of which Killingtons offers daily specials. Killingtons does have some pretty good fish and chips. The Huntersville-area restaurant also offers a vast menu of pastas, steaks, sandwiches and salads. The prices were such that our one appetizer and two dinners rang up barely over $30 - including tax and tip.
Owners Greg and Shannon Roderick opened in October of 2008. The space is divided between a bar area and a dining room with a mix of tables and booths. Both spaces have a nice feel. The high-back booth we sat in was big enough for four people to sit comfortably or for two people to sort of lounge about and relax. Since our goal was to try and spend as close to $25 as possible, we had to pass on some of the higher-priced entrees and pasta dishes (such as the rack of lamb and shrimp and garlic ravioli) as well as the special of the night.
And after our server told us about the special, she immediately told us how much it cost. This may seem like a small thing, but if you've ever ordered a "special" only later to find out there was an especially large price tag associated with it, then you appreciate that price reveal.
Here's what we did try:
The loaded potato chips: Thinly sliced potatoes were fried crisp and then showered in cheddar cheese, which held shreds of smoky bacon in place. Spicy, but not overly so, banana peppers were sprinkled on top. There was also a side of ranch dressing for dipping.
The pub fish fry: Gastro or not, how can you come to a pub and not try the fish and chips? Cape capensis - a smaller type of white fish sometimes substituted for cod - was the fish of choice. By itself, the thinly breaded fish needed just some seasoning. Fortunately, there was plenty of creamy dill-caper sauce and there were also slices of semi-sweet pickled cucumber, which turned out to be quite a treat.
The Killingtons dip: This brought together slices of garlicky roast beef, folded over, and an abundance of provolone cheese. The cheese insulated the soft roll the roast beef was on, keeping the bread from getting overly soggy when dipped in the au jus. Killingtons offers a mashed potato special of the day. Ours was good, featuring pancetta and garlic.
The restaurant world is always trying to find the next new hot thing. So don't be surprised to see even more gastropubs popping up.
For now, Killingtons is worth popping in to.