Where I Was
The Dublin House, Red Bank, NJ
Tuesday, March 12, 12:57 p.m.
Where I Sat
As you walk into the Dublin House, you have three choices: left to the dining room proper, upstairs (unless there is a private party as was the case this day), and right to the long bar, complete with a banquette bench just to the right.
I sat opposite the banquette at the short end of the bar, almost against the wall.
Who Served Me
Noel, who was cruising back and forth–with ease—behind the bar. I thought I could hear a slight Irish accent as he greeted me and walked down to chat with guests who were obviously regulars.
Bartender’s Favorite Bite
Noel was earnest and completely straightforward. “The shepherd’s pie is probably my favorite,” he said. “They make a good bangers and mash, but definitely the shepherd’s pie.”
The Vibe and My Vantage Point
The Dublin House has a true pub feel with a cozy, if not plain, dining room adorned with a fireplace. The bar is nice and long, the banquette as mentioned offers a nice place to drop for a long evening of food and drink. Opposite the bar there is a narrow counter bar with additional stools and the coolest accents of half-cut beer barrels.
What Quenched My Thirst
Pint of Guinness, $9
Served room temperature, with proper head
Such a departure—I always do a specialty cocktail but when in…a pub…and in honor of St. Patrick’s Day, I figured why not?For anyone who has never tasted a Guinness, it is a full mouth experience: nutty, rich, slightly bitter but not really. The perfect temperature, almost the same as the inside of your mouth, and frothy. It was heaven in a glass. For once, I felt a little Irish.
What Fed My Soul
Smoked Salmon Carpaccio, $16
On a bed of arugula, warm Chavignol (goat cheese), feta-scented croutons, shaved red onion, trilogy of vine tomatoes, served with champagne, Meyer lemon spritz
To know me is to know that I’m literal when it comes to my expectation based on the menu descriptions. To say this was smoked salmon carpaccio was a bit of an overstatement. I’m not entirely sure that the croutons were feta scented, or even homemade, but indeed they found their way onto the plate. The generous piles of goat cheese were cold—not warm, as described, and the tomatoes were so finely chopped they were almost indiscernible. A “trilogy” it was not. Generous amounts of arugula set beneath the smoked salmon with a small little pile of microgreens on top. Dressing was served on the side and was more orange than lemon. The salad itself was fine in the end, but I was expecting something completely different and carpaccio to me is nothing if not paper thin, which this was not.
Shepherd’s Pie, $16
Ground beef with onions, peas, and carrots, served beneath a layer of mashed potatoes baked on top. Served in a baking dish.
The plate came out with mashed potatoes exploding almost out of the baking dish. The juices seeped out along the edges of the dish, making it challenging to photograph while my mouth watered. The first dip of the spoon sank deep into the potatoes all the way to the meat-and-vegetable depths below. The first bite was gut warming for sure and after eagerly shoveling a few tastes down, I settled in to define the flavors and identify ingredients. The menu description reads, “hearty favorite from the other side,” but as you can tell from the above I managed to figure out the basics. You could tell it was homemade as the mashed potatoes revealed a random un-mashed hunk and the “Irish” taco salad below was slightly over salted and perhaps a bit soupy for my preference. I took the leftovers home to my husband to rave reviews—you can take his word for it!
Don’t ask. If there had been an Irish soda bread and stick of butter I would have ordered that! Or even something with whiskey. Alas, the cheesecake arrived and I was immediately skeptical. The curls of white chocolate atop the blueberry cobbler cheesecake seemed like an additive and the small, dried blueberries didn’t help the cause. I ate a few bites to check out the clearly “cobbler” like chunks within the cheesecake but aside from sweet and the essence of blueberry flavoring there was nothing remarkable. I love cheesecake but next time I may just go with the berries and cream!
What’s on Tap
Long Trail IPA
Kane Head High
Ask servers for anything you don’t see and for any changes.
Villa Rossa, Moscato di Asti, $8
Nine Lives Sauvignon Blanc, $8
Ruffino Lumina Pinot Grigio, $8
Schlink House Riesling, $8
Clos du Bois Chardonnay, $9
Simi Chardonnay, $9
Pepperwood Grove Pinot Noir, $7
Tuck Beckstoffer Est. 75 Cabernet Sauvignon, $10
Kaiken Malbec, $9
Piatelli Malbec $8
J Lohr Seven Oaks Cabernet, $9
What Else to Know
Happy hours, live music, digital jukeboxes. Available to book for private parties. Visit the site for up-to-date information.
When to Show
11:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m.
Sunday through Thursday: 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Friday and Saturday: 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
Know Before You Go!
Hours, prices, and menus are subject to change. Please check the website for more information.
A Lady Walks into a Bar™ is owned and trademarked by Gabrielle Garofalo.