Plating farm-to-fork comfort food and pouring barrel-aged bourbon cocktails, Stock’s on 2nd is warm and inviting restaurant on Restaurant Row in Harrisburg that gives guests a sophisticated dining experience at a casual diner’s cost. Nothing about their locally sourced menu is intimidating, and everything about their whiskey list is impressive.
Stock’s on 2nd owner Stephen Weinstock is a whiskey guy, and his love of caramel-colored concoctions steered the restaurant from its beginnings as a martini bar in the early 2000s to the whiskey and bourbon-centric bar it is today. Stock’s stock of whiskey and bourbon is the largest in the area and satisfies both whiskey connoisseurs and the novice palate. Experienced sippers can try hard-to-find varieties while others can experiment with a tasting flight.
If straight sipping isn’t for you, order up a classic cocktail like a Mint Julep or an Old Fashion that uses their homemade maple sugar syrup. You might have heard of barrel-aged whiskeys, but Stock’s shakes up and corks the whole cocktail, aging it for 6-8 weeks to release rich new flavors.
When it comes to their cuisine, Stock’s on 2nd does it local. Their philosophy on sourcing ingredients is ensuring 90 percent of their menu comes from a supplier within a 90-mile radius of their kitchen. Stock’s is one of many independently owned spots in Harrisburg where you’ll find owners like the Weinstocks who are hands on in running the restaurant, creating the menus, and securing fresh ingredients. This farm-to-fork dining mentality is what increasing numbers of guests are asking for, and they’re looking beyond chain restaurants to find it.
The menu at Stock’s is gastropub-style which means you’ll find approachable comfort foods reimagined into savory upscale dishes, like a Bacon-Wrapped, Smoked Mozzarella-Stuffed Meatloaf (see mouthwatering photo above!). Their menu switches three times a year to make the most of what’s in season, but fan favorites like the meatloaf, slow-roasted brisket, and the rotating fresh catch of the day are constants. Stock’s offers several menu items that come in large or small plate portions, making this a palate-pleasing stop for date night or happy hour bites.
For dessert, our pick is Stock’s Famous Peanut Butter Pie. These slices have been all over the world, made popular by former Pennsylvania Governor, Ed Rendell, who sent pies to famous friends like Larry King. Who’s behind this famous delectable dessert? None other than Stephen’s mom, who cheerfully bakes four pies a week for their patrons.
Stock’s has a rustic style which contrasts well with the city sights outside their door. Whiskey barrel décor and black and white pastoral photography on the walls play into their farm-to-fork theme. Just as they locally source their food, Amish carpenters handcrafted their dining tables, and the wooden wall accents came from a mushroom farm in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania.
Happy Hour and Restaurant Row
If you haven’t heard, happy hour in Harrisburg includes a round of parking! Parking in downtown Harrisburg is free after 5 PM, leaving more time to sip and savor at places like Stock’s. An assortment of restaurants, nightclubs, and bars dot Second Street and uniquely contribute to the city’s excitement. It’s just a short walk to Restaurant Row from The Forum where the Harrisburg Symphony plays, the Whitaker Center that hosts a lineup of national acts, and Gamut Theatre Group who performs classic plays, works of Shakespeare, and improv comedy.