Stepping Out: The Dubliner
Walking through the door, I felt like I had stepped into a real Irish pub. There were Irish flags hanging from the ceiling, televisions showing a soccer game, the sound of an Irish jig playing softly in the background and, of course, a vast drink menu. The Dubliner is one of the few places in St. Louis where I’ve been able to find one of my favorite drinks, which I first tasted when I studied abroad in the United Kingdom: Magner’s, a hard Irish cider with the subtle sweetness of apples and the bitterness of tannins. The Dubliner offers plenty of other special drink options as well, including the Black Velvet (Guinness and champagne), the Irish Car Bomb (Guinness and Bailey’s), the Snake Bite (harp and cider) and Irish Coffee (coffee with whiskey, cream and sugar).
We waited and waited for our entrées to arrive. We waited so long, in fact, that our waitress apologized and explained that there was a party of 40 in a backroom. But his excuse wasn’t satisfying for me. For one, the rest of the restaurant was practically empty. Second, she knew it was my birthday, so I felt that better service was required for the occasion.
Meanwhile, my friends sampled several other entrées, including the shepherd’s pie, the chicken pot pie, the pumpkin ravioli and the chopped salad. The shepherd’s pie was a large steaming bowl of ground lamb and diced vegetables topped with mashed potatoes. The chicken pot pie consisted of a pastry topping, chicken and peas in a creamy sauce. While my friends were satisfied with these entrées, I thought the dishes were rather bland.
The pumpkin ravioli, on the other hand, was tossed in a rich, creamy sauce with subtle flavors of pumpkin spice. While this entrée was flavorful, the portion was very tiny. Finally, the chopped salad included mixed greens, roasted vegetables and goat cheese topped with balsamic vinaigrette. After puzzling over the other vegetables, we finally decided that they included sweet potatoes, parsnips and rutabagas.
When the waitress gave me my bill she informed me that my dessert was on the house since it was my birthday. Though it was certainly a nice gesture, I would have preferred an Irish jig performed by the entire staff.