With its authentic English fare, 44 Stone Public House is a favorite hangout for Columbia locals and visitors who enjoy its welcoming atmosphere. The carefully crafted menu has a devoted following. Which dish is destined to be your favorite?

By Chef Daniel Pliska

In the world of restaurants, somewhere between a brew pub and a restaurant lies the gastropub. A gastropub is defined as a British-inspired pub that serves upscale food, and 44 Stone Public House in Columbia is such a place.

Opened in 2011 by Dave Faron and Chef Mark Sulltrop, 44 Stone was co-owned and operated by the pair until 2017, when Dave left the company and Mark took over as sole owner. At that time, Mark made the decision to promote his sous chef, Levi Grantham, to take over as executive chef so Mark could be more available to manage front-of-house operations.

A favorite with locals, 44 Stone serves imaginative, British-influenced pub fare with contemporary American insight. Mark says that the restaurant’s traditional core menu is known for its fish and chips, Welsh rarebit, bacon pub cheese fritters, Colcannon potatoes, and mushy pea puree.

English cuisine has many traditional dishes with whimsical names, Welsh rarebit being one of them. More of a bar snack or appetizer, Welsh rarebit is a sauce made with dark beer and cheddar cheese, served on toast points.

Fish and chips is perhaps one of the best known English meals, made with cod fried in a crispy light batter and served as a meal-on-the-go on paper, with a side of malt vinegar. The restaurant uses haddock instead of cod. It is normally what I order whenever I eat at 44 Stone.

Mark’s favorite menu option is the 44 Stone Burger. It is an eight-ounce Angus beef patty on a toasted pretzel bun with house-made Irish whiskey steak sauce, mayonnaise, sharp cheddar cheese, roasted cremini mushrooms, and baby arugula.

According to Mark, 44 Stone has built a devoted following because it offers familiar foods with signature touches in a relaxed setting.

Mark has found success equally balancing the restaurant’s dining options with its bar and beverage program. He is proud of the local craft beers and European favorites they serve, along with a good selection of whiskeys, scotches, and bourbons.

Although 44 Stone has won plenty of awards for its fare, Mark says that the restaurant is not pretentious, and he does not consider the restaurant to be a fine-dining experience. Instead, he says it welcomes all guests and tries to have offerings for everyone, whether they are in the mood for a great sandwich, burger, steak, or seafood.

Our Find Dining writer, Chef Daniel Pliska, is a certified executive chef and author. He teaches culinary arts at Ozarks Technical Community College in Springfield..

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Article originally published in the May 2023 issue of Missouri Life.