When Jake Collins got a call from Lamont Companies about working in their newest restaurant, Three22 Kitchen & Cocktails in Aberdeen, as chef and general manager, he knew the opportunity was too good to pass up.
“I was leaving my former job and was working on another project that ended up falling through,” said Collins. “I reached out to the bank that owned the property to inquire and found out there were two people already working on the project.”
When those people ended up being from Lamont Companies, of whom Collins was already familiar with, he says it made sense that they were “crazy enough to want to open up a restaurant in the middle of COVID.”
“We have a really modern vibe and a lot of cool artwork on the walls. Then you sit down and start looking at the menu and think, ‘Oh, this is different.’”–Jake Collins
Now, five months after opening, business is booming as this trendy restaurant offers dishes inspired by both Collins’s and the owners’ travels.
“We talked about the idea of what could we do in Aberdeen that you don’t see in every place in Aberdeen?” said Collins.
The most popular item on the menu is the Bruschetta Board: slices of grilled Asiago cheese baguettes and several choices for toppings, including steak pieces, smashed avocado, and smoked salmon. Collins says the chef’s choice is the most popular option.
Another favorite is the Smash House Burger, which includes two smashed burger patties on a toasted brioche bun with a choice of cheese and extra toppings.
Collins’s favorite item on the menu is the Shrimp Burger, which is a handmade shrimp patty with lemon caper slaw, tomato, and avocado on a brioche bun.
“Initially I thought, ‘Hey, this will be a great summertime thing.’ But even as we move into the fall, we still sell a ton of them,” said Collins.
But Collins’s true passion is wine and cocktails, and the extensive cocktail menu reflects that.
“I love cocktails, but I, myself, have never been a bartender,” he said. “Not a bar guy.”
2 oz. Casamigos Reposado Tequila
1 oz. Grand Marnier Liqueur
½ oz. fresh squeezed lemon juice
Prepare a chilled coupe glass with Turbinado sugar on the rim. Shake the cocktail with ice, double strain into prepared glass, and garnish with a lemon twist.
Luckily Three22’s bar manager Kris Klipfel created several drinks to make sure the restaurant’s drink menu offers something for everyone.
Some of these cocktails include The Main and Smoked Manhattan. The Main is made with Bombay Sapphire Gin, fresh strawberries, and Odell IPA. And the Smoked Manhattan is a twist on the classic cocktail using Jack Daniels rye whiskey and is smoked with real wood.
“What’s fun is that there really wasn’t anybody in Aberdeen doing any smoke,” said Collins.
One of Collins’s picks for the drink menu is the New York Sour, which features an Oak & Eden Rye Spire whiskey floated with pinot noir.
MORE ON THE MENU
Korean BBQ Pot Stickers
Korean-style braised beef and Asian slaw in a wanton wrapper served with gochujang aioli and Korean BBQ sauce.
Thin-cut fries covered in French onion demi glaze, topped with fried Wisconsin cheese curds.
Fried walleye seasoned with Cajun spices, served with slaw, pico de gallo, sliced avocado, and cotija cheese.
Jamaican Jerk Chicken
Marinated jerk chicken served with pineapple pico de gallo, sliced avocado, cilantro, and cotija cheese.
Sweet chili cream cheese, mozzarella cheese, chicken, green onions, plum sauce, and wonton strips.
Red chili tomato sauce, feta, chorizo sausage, roasted red peppers, and Kalamata olives.
Gin Elderflower Tonic
Aviation Gin, St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur, and Fever Tree Mediterranean Tonic.
Beefeater Gin, Carpano Antica Vermouth, and Campari liqueur.
There are also classic cocktails, like the Cosmopolitan, French 75, and Old Fashioned, along with beer and wine options.
Collins says the main purpose of Three22 was to offer different, exciting food options to the locals.
“Every time I talk to a table that hasn’t been into the restaurant, they are like, ‘Oh my gosh, who would have thought that we could get this in Aberdeen?’” he said. “They’d expect to see it in Sioux Falls, or they expect to see it in Fargo.”