If you consider yourself a fan of Epicurean pursuits, Cleveland is home to an almost endless array of restaurants and bars that could whet any appetite.
With some restaurants, though, it’s not just the culinary fare, but also the environment that makes a dining experience memorable. The Pub in Rocky River is the perfect example of this — marrying a fine selection of food and spirits within an authentic British Pub setting.
The first time I walked into The Pub, the theme of ‘British Pub’ definitely came through. The Pub manages to achieve British kitsch without overdoing it. From the Union Jack painted across the ceiling of the bar, to the red telephone box and various other British memorabilia and signage, there’s just enough to reflect English pub while still remaining tasteful. And with a wide selection of seating options – including deep-seating lounge chairs, couches, and a ‘King’s Table’ that looks to be straight out of a courtly dining room, The Pub is the perfect place for a family dinner, casual round of drinks, office party or even a wedding rehersal dinner.
Of course, if The Pub only offered atmosphere, I wouldn’t have returned time after time. The menu is classified as ‘gastropub.’ In addition to traditionl pub fare (which is executed brilliantly with a couple of twists), The Pub also features dishes that go beyond ‘pub grub.’ My favorites include a monstrous serving of fish and chips (which you can get discounted on Quiz Nights); the classic bangers and mash; a shepherd’s pie of ground beef, lamb, chive whipped potatoes and a smattering of parmesan bread crumbs; a tasty assortment of dips including crab or goat cheese; and a delicious reuben pizza which was on last Monday’s specials menu.
To accompany the food is a vast selection of spirits. In addition to their bourbon and scotch menus, wines, and other liquors, The Pub’s Beverage Bible sports three pages of beers. It includes English draught and cask conditioned beers, Scottish, Irish and domestic selections. While I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every pint I’ve been served at The Pub, my Beverage Bible favorites are Old Speckled Hen and Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale.
The people at The Pub are such fans of beer that they offer a Pub Beer Passport Program through which you can receive a custom passport book with spots for 55 beers. Upon ordering and drinking each one, The Pub will stamp that page of your passport. By consuming all 55 beers, the ‘World Traveler’ earns $4 pints for life. Consumption of the 55 beers and getting stamps from all currently open Pub locations upgrades you to ‘Premier Pub Traveler’ status and $3.50 pints for life.
In addition to providing a hearty selection of food and drink, The Pub at Rocky River provides a social gathering place for locals and visitors alike. From their weekly Pub Quiz on Monday nights, to sporting and music events, to beer or wine tastings, there are multiple reasons to stop by besides grabbing dinner. This Wednesday (March 31) The Pub plays host to a beer and wine throwdown between Goose Island and Gallo’s. And on April 3rd, The Pub will be open for the Manchester United vs Chelsea match. Then, of course, there is the 2010 World Cup this summer which should provide many excuses to stop by The Pub.