The best is when the food matches the audience and atmosphere perfectly, high end or low end. Spots like Dugan’s Pub have that connection between environment and food down, and their new menu update showcases it perfectly.
The big dish that has been talked about since the new menu rolled out last week is the Irish Poutine. They take the concept of traditional poutine and give it an Irish twist with potatoes topped with Guinness Gravy, chunks of corned beef, and fried mozzarella. The fried mozzarella is the part that really establishes the connection.
“We looked into buying in cheese curds, but our house made fried mozzarella just made more sense,” owner Don Dugan tells us. “Our mozzarella sticks are a fan favorite. These are exactly the same, we just make them into bite size pieces instead of sticks.”
It is quickly the best appetizer/pub grub on the menu and is considerably different from any poutine you have had before.
The other big dish that brought a strong connections is the Dublin Coddle. This starts with a pan seared cod fillet served over a bowl bacon broth that has fingerling potatoes and their Irish bangers.
It is a classic Irish dish that is meant to be a one pot dish and allow various flavors to blend together into a hearty stew. It is one of those dishes where every family likely has their own unique blend of coddle. The fish and the bangers give it a very savory flavor, while the onion and lemon in the stew bring a touch of sweetness. Overall it is is a great classic Irish dish that brings more depth than some traditional dishes Americans associate with Irish food.
About 25% of the overall menu is new, making this one of the largest updates since opening. A few other highlights include a smoked salmon with chive butter and capers on the appetizer menu, a few minor changes to the sandwiches that bring in some favorite specials, a few new vegetarian options, and a delicious sounding grilled pork chop that we need to go back soon and try.
Overall what makes Dugan’s good is that they understand the Irish pub crowd well. They still handcraft their food and take pride in the dishes without being too fancy and driving away the normal bar crowd. It is a perfect place to grab a perfectly poured Guinness and some hearty hangover food for lunch, or opt for a top shelf whiskey and a reuben for dinner.