Smith, Smith and Smith – Strawberry infused Sherry, Giffard Rhubarb, Peychaud’s Bitters, Club Soda
Easy Peachy Owens – Ketel One Peach Blossom, Peach Liqueur, Lemon, Honey Bubbles Sparkling Moscato
Skillet Nachos – Pork Belly, Cheddar Mix, Pico de Gallo, Crispy Chicharron, Sour Cream
Jaegerschnitzel – Pork Cutlet, Mushroom Hunter Sauce, Kraut, Potato Salad
Chargrilled Meatloaf – Potato Gratin, Roasted Carrots, Caramelized Onions
PLT Sandwich – Porchetta, Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato, Avocado, Mayo, Bun served with Fries and Housemade Pickles
Pappardella Pasta – Grilled Chicken, Organic Mushroom Blend, Truffle Cheese Fondue
Signature Skillet Pizza with Pepperoni
Slider Sundae – Cookies & Cream Ice Cream, Brownie, Whipped Cream, Mint, Strawberries
HW8 Choco Taco – Vegan Pistachio Ice Cream, Whipped Cream, Strawberries, Blackberries, Raspberries, Mint, Chocolate Shell
Making waves on Water Street since May 3rd, a visit less than two weeks later finding the space, service and Food already outperforming most local Sports Bars, it was Saturday evening that Hardway 8 again impressed with Chef Leland Chad Childres now executing the menu designed by Johnny Church in the heart of old Henderson.
Still under-discussed, though a combination of well-crafted Cuisine and ownership by the men behind Starboard Tack has undeniably gained a local following, it is immediately upon entry that guests are greeted by a pleasant hostess, the presence of kids at several tables suggesting the prior 21+ limit gone, at least until live entertainment begins at 9:00pm.
Adding to the appeal of Runnin’ Rebels nostalgia and televisions tuned to ESPN with a daily Happy Hour, three o’clock until six offering seven plates plus all signature Cocktails for just $8, it was after some debate that “Smith, Smith and Smith” and “Easy Peachy Owens” were requested, a mistake first seeing duplicates of the former arrive though in reality that was not such a bad thing considering the effervescent combination of Fruit with bright aromatics and a tangy finish.
No less impressive with the summertime Owens, an easy-sipper built around Vodka, it is at a cost of $14 that Hardway 8’s Skillet Nachos come fully-loaded, the mountain of Chips no doubt gathering envious eyes across the room and the combination of ingredients well-deserving of that and more thanks to chunks of Pork Belly and crispy Skin balanced by housemade Pico de Gallo and at least two types of Cheddar.
Focusing on items previously un-tasted, though rest assured the 702’s best Fish and Chips was tempting when delivered to a neighboring table, it was instead with fried Pork that dinner continued, a recent trip to Germany heightening awareness of Schnitzel and this version good despite being a little over-browned while Chef Leland’s Meatloaf knows no equal within city limits thanks to ten tender ounces slicked in lightly spiced Glaze next to creamy Potatoes, roasted Onions and Carrots.
Chuckling at misspelled “Pappardella,” though there is nothing silly about Noodles cooked far more competently than those at Bavette’s Steakhouse & Bar for half the cost, those looking for Chicken will be divided between this and a “Hendertucky Hot” Sandwich as Hardway 8’s Beer Can version has mysteriously disappeared, though in its place can be found a “PLT Sandwich” stuffed with housemade Porchetta, Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato plus Avocado on a fluffy Bun.
Hand-cutting Fries the way they ought to be, each one crispy and well-salted, those looking for something hearty and sharable should not pass on Skillet Pizza offered with or without Pepperoni, its’ texture harkening the French Bread of childhood, but with more levity, while a baseball cap Sundae and housemade Choco Taco are also throwbacks to youth featuring locally sourced Ice Cream from Scoop LV.
FOUR AND A HALF STARS: Impressive since opening in early May, and now starting to gather crowds on Water Street, a second look at Hardway 8 shows Chef Leland Chad Childres executing well-priced Bar food like few others in the Valley. Having now tasted all but two of the current offerings it is hard to go wrong with anything on the menu, but for $13 the Meatloaf is an all-out bargain and a “destination dish” for fans.
RECOMMENDED: “Smith, Smith and Smith,” Skillet Nachos, Chargrilled Meatloaf, PLT Sandwich, Signature Skillet Pizza with Pepperoni, HW8 Choco Taco.
AVOID: N/A, though Mint garnish on the Sundaes is entirely unnecessary.
TIP: 11a till midnight daily, 21+ only after 9:00pm on show nights. See FaceBook for schedule and events such as Brunch Music Bingo beginning this Saturday at noon.
WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.