A true gastropub takes the best of an old fashioned bar and adds a serious menu of comfort food favourites. The smart team behind WJ Kavanagh did that with style at Stoneybatter’s L Mulligan Grocer, and now they’ve branched out into the culinary ghostland of Dorset Street.
The old pub’s traditional facade has been given a bright lick of paint but the old boozer retains much of its character including a beautiful old wooden bar that runs along the main room. Smaller interconnecting rooms feature mismatched furniture, the occasional sofa and armchair, a cosy fireplace and small tables. Long tables in the back room are ideal for groups.
Dining mainly takes place up front, where enthusiastic staff nip between bar and kitchen. The food is designed to be enjoyed with beer and each dish has a recommended microbrew pairing on the menu, which changes regularly to include seasonal ingredients.
Rustic starters might include beetroot cured trout with parsnip slaw and spelt soda bread from Arun Bakery, served alongside Metalman beer from Waterford. Hearty mains might feature a steak sandwich, paired with Copper Coast beer from Dungarvan or smoked free-range pork rib-eye, paired with Mac’s Dry Cider from Armagh. Not all dishes are equal but there’s plenty of great cooking taking place, with lovely artisan ingredients.
Fans of Kavanagh’s big sister will recognise the jam jar cocktails and diverse selection of Irish craft beers, cask ales and whiskeys.
Service is welcoming and friendly, if a little haphazard at busier times. Go with the flow and you’ll find a fun and relaxing experience that offers decent value.