Dining in Dublin: L. Mulligan Grocer

Housed in an old grocer’s on the border of Northside’s Stoneybatter/Arbour Hill neighborhood, this gastropub is off the beaten path of better-known (and much pricier) restaurants like The Winding Stair, but what you get in service, atmosphere, and culinary delight is worth making this gem of a place the destination.

Though the front is a pub where you can get a pint, Mulligan’s doesn’t serve Guinness. Instead, they have curated an outstanding list of whiskeys and Irish craft beer (microbrews), and for each starter and main, they will suggest a beer or whiskey pairing.

Like Winding Stair, Mulligan’s has embraced the locavore movement:

Our beef is grass fed and Irish. Our sausages come from TJ Crowe in Tipperary and Jack McCarthy in Cork.

Our fish is from Kish Fish. They text us every day to tell us what is fresh! We are committed to serving sustainable species of fish on our menu. Our pork, eggs and chook are free-range & Irish. Our black pudding is made in Fermanagh with Irish blood (a rarity!).

Our sourdough is baked by Rossa in Le Levain bakery. Our brown bread is made to Colin’s mum’s recipe, often using buttermilk left over from making our Connemara whiskey butter.

Behind the pub in the back are heavy wood-block tables set with teas lights and wildflowers. Menus come fastened inside of old books. There are games and a trivia night.

The second time we went, we had the same waitress and she remembered us--remembered exactly where we sat. I think we were memorably half-mad with the good food and our freedom from the loony bin for a few hours

Until I ate at Anita Lo’s Annisa in NYC, the egg after brunch was never given much thought. But Anita elevated the egg to showstopper with her slow-cooking technique. So I was intrigued by the Scotch egg as starter at Mulligan’s, and was not disappointed. I now crave this egg regularly.

Vegetarian Scotch Egg, cradled in a seasoned chickpea batter with a Dijon and Mullagaloe relish

Mains sampled include lamb burger, breaded Haddock, and this steak.

Steak with Connemara whiskey butter, spinach, and twice-cooked chips.

On our first visit, we finished our meal with a delectable apple crumble. The last time, because we were going out to a party afterward, we opted for an after-dinner Irish coffee. We got the Runcible Spoon (named in honor of this Irish foodie blog), with fresh-pressed coffee and sea salted liquer. Yum.

The bill comes in an old tin, and tucked inside is a paper bag filled with jelly candies. They are sweet touches to this vibrant, warm place, but even without them the outstanding fare and price-point make this our top Dublin restaurant so far (with the tapas place Port House coming in at a close second.) If you are visiting and interested in sampling the re-imagining of Irish fare, make sure to visit Mulligan’s.

L Mulligans, 18 Stoneybatter, Dublin 7. Reservations recommended.

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