If you’re on the hunt for a pint and some quality pub food in Dublin, your options have greatly increased of late.
In the last few months, two restaurants have opened, both boasting long beer lists and inspired menus.
The Pint Room
The Pint Room, in the Shoppes at River Ridge in the space formerly occupied by the Wine Loft, opened its doors in late December.
The restaurant’s sizable menu features 101 draft beers, plus another 20 craft beers in cans. Though lengthy beer menus are becoming increasingly common, the Pint Room’s huge selection of drafts sets it apart from the rest, says Derek Rapkin, the restaurant’s general manager.
“People have just never done anything on a scale like this,” Rapkin says.
The beers – from pilsners and IPAs to lagers and stouts – will be rotated regularly. The Pint Room also has a special section of its beer menu set aside for Ohio brews, including offerings from central Ohio microbreweries Neil House Brewery, Columbus Brewing Company and Four String Brewing.
The restaurant will soon roll out beer pairing suggestions, Rapkin says. And it uses its beer for more than just drinking; a beer cheese soup and beer-battered fried bottlecap pickles are a few items that incorporate it.
The other menu highlight: burgers, made with a blend of USDA prime chuck and Kobe beef. The Pint Room is proud of its burger selection. While conventional options such as the Classic and the BBQ are offered, the list contains a number of unique offerings.
These include the Hangover, topped with smoked cheddar cheese, the restaurant’s signature double-smoked bacon, tomato, mini hash browns and a sunny-side-up egg; the Triple, which piles on smoked cheddar, bacon, boneless short rib and horseradish slaw; the Lobster, which features asparagus, hollandaise and lobster; and the formidable PBB&J.
“The PBB&J is a peanut butter, double-smoked bacon and strawberry preserves burger with sliced strawberries and Monterey Jack cheese on top,” says Rapkin.
Among the other menu highlights are broiled lump crab cakes, a buffalo chicken sandwich, sizable chicken wings with a variety of sauces available and the Bistro Fries, loaded with barbecue braised short rib, cheddar cheese, sour cream and roasted vegetable relish.
“We just wanted to have a place where you can come and have a casual bar feel, but top-notch bar food,” Rapkin says.
101 Beer Kitchen
The first day of October saw 101 Beer Kitchen open in the Kroger Marketplace-anchored shopping center at the northwest corner of Sawmill and Hard roads. The space was previously a Hoggy’s.
The restaurant’s beer total also tops three digits.
“We have 20 beers on tap and about 80, 85 or so in the bottle,” says bar manager Bradley Koinis.
Craft beer is the name of the game on tap and in bottle; Koinis wants the selection to represent a variety of brewers who have a passion for brewing as a craft. Some familiarity is to be expected, Koinis says; it won’t be unusual for a diner to recognize the name of the brewery, but not the specific beer offered.
The restaurant’s owners eventually hope to add small-batch brewing to 101 Beer Kitchen’s repertoire.
Koinis describes 101 Beer Kitchen’s food menu as “rustic food with a seasonal identity.” Just as the beer taps rotate on a weekly basis, the menu rotates on a seasonal basis, and the restaurant rolled out its winter menu in January.
New, heartier additions to the menu are expected to include a beef brisket entrée, a flake-top chicken pot pie, a beef stew to replace the more fall-appropriate red chili and some winter revamps to its three pizzas: the Carnivore, the Harvest and the Forest.
“We did a potato, leek and bacon pizza with gorgonzola cheese the other day,” Koinis says.
Among the popular items staying on the menu are green chili, a pork-and-tomatillo dish with peppers, saffron rice, queso fresco and cilantro, served with corn tortillas; shrimp and grits, offering stone-ground grits, Andouille sausage and Gulf shrimp in a Cajun shrimp jus; and house-made tater tots, which come with pork croutons, cheddar cheese, green onions and Sriracha cream.
“The tater tots have been a huge hit,” Koinis says. “I’ve always found it interesting the way families come together over tater tots.”
As the restaurant’s name implies, the beer is frequently incorporated into the food, as in the Prince Edward Island mussels and the beer cheese soup. Spent grain from the brewing process is used in the soft pretzels and pizza dough as well.
“It’s amazing how many different (methods) we’ve found,” says Koinis.
Garth Bishop is a contributing editor. Feedback welcome at email@example.com.