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Unlike Tilted Kilt or Auld Dubliner, Dublin 4 isn’t an exaggerated or forced caricature of an Irish pub, but rather a conscious attempt to make a cozy neighborhood bar that just happens to be owned by an actual Irishman. Indeed it pours thick-headed pints of Guinness, and serves fish and chips, but the Coyles’ chef, David Shofner is ex-Montage and Laguna Beach’s French 75, so there’s also pan roasted salmon with micro arugula and seared day boat scallops with fresh pea ragout. But look around and you realize most people don’t go Irish pubs to order things that don’t sound Irish. They gravitate towards the cottage pie—an aged-ground beef and pea-studded stew initially soupy, but steadily growing thicker as the baked mashed potato mountain topping it begins to subside and sink into the beefy liquid. They order bangers two ways: beer-braised and served with potato puree, or cut up and battered like mini corn dogs eaten with pickled onions and whole grain mustard aioli. And of course, they have the fish and chips, where porous deep-fried cocoons shed golden brown crispness, revealing an interior core of Norwegian cod so moist it could be spooned up as pudding.
A tip for aspiring restaurateurs: When you open your restaurant, do it as though you mean it. Follow the example of Darren and Jean Coyle and what they did for Wineworks for Everyone and its recent addendum, Dublin 4, the Irish gastropub next... More »
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