The Foodie hits the road to review spots off the beaten beach path
The stately Delaware Trust Bank building in Millsboro is no longer accepting deposits, but satisfied customers are still making daily withdrawals in the form of unique menu items with an English/Irish/Scottish flair. Yes, I am aware that I stretched that metaphor about as far as it could be stretched, but it shouldn’t detract from The Pint’s popularity as a neighborhood watering hole touting tasty tidbits like Cock a Leekie, The O’Connor, the Thomas O’Malley and the decidedly Irish boxty.
This is restaurant number two for 1776 Steakhouse co-owner Tom Holmes. He, along with talented chef and business partner Tammy Mozingo opened The Pint in 2013. Their first foray into pub-grub casual has been a great success. For my first couple of visits back then, I was able to slip in unnoticed (but not so much anymore). I sat at the bar and started with the Loch Ness. The Pint’s version of crab dip in a sourdough bowl got an A+ in the spice department. I was intrigued. A second visit yielded the Irish Stew. This stick-to-your-ribs recipe is loaded with onions, potatoes, parsley, carrots and ground lamb, deliciously savory with the spice throttled back just enough to let the lamb shine through.
One of the stars of the appetizer show at The Pint is the Dublin Cakes. These remind me of my mother’s ham croquettes: a go-to dish during her annual post-Easter “What the heck am I going to do with all this ham?” cooking spree. But rather than leftover pork lovingly enrobed in a mild béchamel, kitchen boss Darius Davis stuffs them with ground corned beef and swiss cheese, dredges them in seasoned bread crumbs and fries ’em up to a golden crunch. With the Thousand Island dressing on the side, it’s sort of like a reuben minus the sandwich part. Order them to share.
Another must-get are the equally filling Scottish Eggs. The two massive orbs (also eminently shareable) are nestled in frizzled onions. (It would be nice to put the frizzles on the top, so they would stay crispy.) That being said, it’s all about the egg: semi-hard-boiled, wrapped in a thin shell of sausage, dredged in a well-spiced something and then fried. Whole-grain mustard adds the necessary acidic kick. In a word: delicious. You can make a meal out of these.
The Cheshire Chicken reminded us of shepherd’s pie but without the mashed potatoes. Pulled chicken, caramelized onions and mushrooms in gravy are presented en casserole, topped with roasted garlic potatoes and bacon bits. Think deconstructed bacon/cheese potato skins — but with chicken. It’s deliciously seasoned, very rich and well worth the $14.95 tariff. Don’t plan to eat again for a while. Grilled Bangers & Mash and Hobbit Pie keep the whole theme going. The mains are often accompanied by a tasty (and not too dry) Irish soda bread.
Generously portioned sandwiches include the patty melt with two (count ’em, TWO) patties on marble rye; the Molly McGuire (a 10-oz. bacon cheeseburger by any other name) and The O’Connor (a BBQ-chicken bacon cheeseburger — all four basic food groups!).
The thickest Irish accent in the house has got to be the boxty: A potato pancake made from mashed potatoes and grated raw potato — sort of like a hash brown/latke pancake. Really, what’s not to love? In Millsboro, they get the Pint-like twist in three varieties. The Leprechaun is my favorite, with olives, sausage, ’shrooms and swiss. But don’t overlook the Pierogi and the Thomas O’Malley, either. I’ll let you explore those on your own.
The hulking bank vault is still there, and if the tucked-inside table is available, go for it. It’s sort of fun, and don’t worry: There’s a doorstop to keep you from being trapped with Lucy until Monday morning, when Mr. Mooney arrives for work.
The Pint is located at 303 Main St., just past Georgia House and Blue Water Grill as you drive east through Millsboro. Front-of-house manager Candace Fiorentino keeps things hoppin’ year-round: 3:30 p.m.–10 p.m. Monday thru Wednesday; 11:30 a.m.– 10 p.m. Thursday thru Saturday, and 3:30 p.m.–9 p.m. on Sunday. Visit them online at ThePintPub.com. Going with a group? Call them at 302-934-5822.
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