Story by G.A. Benton // Photos by Jodi Miller
In the area for the Memorial Tournament? Here are some above-par dining recommendations.
35 N. High St., Dublin
Burgundy-wine red swirls around cream-colored lamps across a handsome bar. The vivid tint washes across banquettes and pools up in splashy photographs of wine glasses. Welcome to the golden-glowing, casually elegant and vino-centric Tucci's in Olde Dublin.
Clearly, here, wine rules. But its kingdom is beautiful food with regal accents from Italy, Asia, California and Hawaii.
Try the heavenly Hebi (like swordfish), with its coconut ginger risotto and edamame stir fry. Also recommended: the thick, salt-crusted, juicy yet super-lean grass-fed strip steak, and a chunky, believable Spaghetti Bolognese, its sophisticated richness leavened by bits of bright tomato.
6720 Perimeter Loop Rd., Dublin
Experience the thrill of the grill in the delightful Cafe Ephesus. Named after an ancient city in Turkey, this modest but lively BYOB restaurant pulls no flavor punches. Of course you'll be getting your Turkish kebab on, but first try an appetizer. Indecisive types should target the seven-in-one Combo-it looks like a dartboard and hits the bull's-eye of authentic flavors.
Adventurous types should nip at the volatile Ezme (a fiery, walnutty Turkish salsa) followed by cooling-off Mucver (minty veggie pancakes) served with terrific homemade yogurt dip. Grill-wise, go with the juice-tastic Shish, Doner and Iskender kebabs.
Dublin Village Tavern
27 S. High St., Dublin
The history of Dublin is written on the walls of the Dublin Village Tavern. It's scrawled along the much-traveled wooden plank floors. It stares back at you from old photographic reproductions attached to green-painted brick in the lively, little bar area.
Built in the late 1800s, DVT (as locals know it) previously lived as a hardware store and post office. These days, it's a convivial, sports-friendly watering hole where present
and past smoothly commune in ambiance and food. DVT musts: spicy, cheese-soupy Village Chowder and "Reuben-esque" Irish Egg Roll. Also recommended: burgers, meatloaf and Irish Casserole.
3535 W. Dublin-Granville Rd., Dublin
A silky, nearly floor-to-ceiling red and gold banner announces Tadka's name in this modern and stylish Indian restaurant's entryway. This also informs you that the posh Tadka is far from your average Indian eatery. On gray stucco walls are framed travelogue photographs plus long vertical streams of text explaining the ins and outs of Indian cooking.
Onto curvy white platters-resting atop black tablecloths-go potent delectables fragrant with cardamom, cumin, ginger and cilantro. Try tangy and crispy okra fries (Bhindi Amchur), the mighty Murgh Methi (tender boneless chicken in a zesty pesto) and the Emperor's Platter-a killer kabob-athon.
Matt the Miller's Tavern
6725 Avery-Muirfield Dr., Dublin
After playing-or watching-a round of golf, swing into a round of drinks and zingy grub at Matt the Miller's Tavern, a sometimes boisterous, upscale sports bar. Comfy and casual, the tavern serves bold, hearty, multi-culti entrees and creative takes on pubby favorites.
Here, junk food classics like nachos get a snazzy sushi makeover (Spicy Ahi Tuna Nachos) and pizzas can be adorned with seafood and colorful creole, Mexican and Indian flourishes (the wonderful Chipotle Shrimp Flatbread). There's also a pretty great steak (Blackened NY Strip) and luscious local-ingredient-starring dishes like Smoked Pork Tenderloin and Jerk Chicken.
6234 Sawmill Rd., Dublin
You'll instantly forget you're in a shopping plaza when you step into Blue Ginger. Duskily lit, it's equipped with polished and curvaceously carved dark wood, big booths with mod, metallic table tops, a sushi bar and a chic cocktail bar.
And talk about international! The prettily plated dishes display influences from Thailand, Japan, China, Indonesia and Vietnam. Try the Tsunami Roll, with towering waves of flavor, color and texture, or the Crispy Red Snapper, with caramelized soy, wine vinegar and Panang curry sauce. Other stars are the Vietnamese salad and an engaging Vegetarian Sushi platter.