So you’re telling me Irish food isn’t just gravy laden washed down with a pint?
I was graciously invited to de Vere’s Irish Pub by Rodney (aka Burger Junkies) to try out their new “Lighter Side of Ireland” menu. Henry, the owner, spent some time with us before the food starting rolling out. Since Sacramento gets way too hot, he wanted to bring a “lighter” summer menu to the table. He also intends to change the perception of Irish food being heavy and filling, showcasing it can also be light, culinary, and still satisfying. All I can say is that de Vere’s killed it with their new take on ‘The Lighter Side of Ireland!’
de Vere’s Irish Pub
1521 L Street Sacramento, CA 95814
You better hurry, you only have six weeks to try this version of the ‘Lighter Side,’ as they will be changing it up again. It will still be under the same namesake, but all the dishes will be new. Don’t fret, if you still want the other good ‘ole Irish food, it’s still on the menu. These additional items are just something new to try (for only six weeks). de Vere’s added four entrees and one dessert to compliment their already delicious menu.
Smoked Salmon Salad – Frisee, Arugula, Onion, Fingerling Potato, Crispy Soft-Boiled Egg, Wholegrain Mustard Dressing
Grilled Lamb Sirloin – Quinoa, Arugula, Summer Squash, Cranberry, Almonds, Herb Vinaigrette
Smoked Pork Shank Terrine – Cumberland Sauce, Dijon Mustard, Pickled Carrots, Fresh Fruit, Toasted Sourdough
Mary’s Chicken Thigh – Brentwood Corn, Cherry Tomatoes, Zucchini, Cranberry Beans, Preserved Meyer Lemon Chimichurri
Olive Oil Cake – Stone Fruit Compote, Basil Creme Anglaise, Brown Sugar Creme
Thanks to the awesome staff, plates on plates of these goodies came out to our group. I didn’t go for want, nor did the others. There was an eclectic mix of people in attendance, but many were very skilled food/portrait photographers. So between some serious food styling and arranging, we tasted the goodness that was ‘The Lighter Side of Ireland.’
All the dishes were excellent, but I still had my favorites. By far, the freshness of each dish was easily recognizable in the taste, texture, and palate goodness! Since my end of the table ‘did not do seafood,’ I lucked out and ate almost an entire Smoked Salmon Salad to myself. The crispy soft boiled egg was fantastic, oozing all over the salad, but still having that crispy fried outer layer. The pieces of salmon melted in my mouth. I was happy I was one of the few who liked salmon at our end of the table; it was meant to be! The runner up for my next fave dish would have to be Mary’s Chicken Thigh. This plate was a nicely portioned chicken thigh nestled on a mixture of veggies and beans. The beans were my least favorite, but that is just a personal preference. The fried chicken was so moist and flavorful, the added goodness beneath it was just a bonus!
You almost forget you’re eating lamb when you eat the Grilled Lamb Sirloin. There is no hint of traditional gamey lamb taste, rather a very well seasoned piece of lamb. The textural mix of the quinoa and salad that it lies on is also really, really refreshing. My least favorite, but still of excellent quality, was the Smoked Pork Shank Terrine. It was popular with a few around me, who ate most of my share. I know I’m the one missing out, but something about the texture of the pork wasn’t for me. I loved how they plated this dish and could see it be a great starter or just something to nosh on while you enjoy an adult beverage.
The dessert truly deserves its own post. Seriously, this will be the best $6 you spend all summer in Sacramento! The Olive Oil Cake baked to perfection, moist and flavorful with a perfect not-too-chewy-or-too-hard crust. I seriously can’t write about it without daydreaming about tasting it! The blend of the fruit compote, basil, and brown sugar flavors topped off the already perfectly baked cake. I’m pretty sure I ate most of two of these dishes, sorry to my fellow tablemates!
As the different dishes were served, I was able to sip on a Basil Gimlet, then a Pineapple Express. I don’t think I could have picked a more refreshing libation to start our Friday evening with, their Basil Gimlet was on point. The Pineapple Express was good, but the Bourbon came through heavily. It was different, but I enjoyed it. I also snuck sips of J’s Blueberry Mule, which made me think “Why I hadn’t thought to order one of these before?” Sub Blueberry Vodka for regular Vodka, so simple! He also had the Paloma but drank it before I could even get a taste…I guess that is a good indicator of how tasty it was.
I had such a fun time meeting local Sacramentans who are just as ‘weird’ as I am. By ‘weird’ I mean they do anything to get the shot, including taking plates outside to get a gorgeous shot of the new dish. Everyone was having such a great Friday evening, trying the delicious and fresh food, all while sipping on refreshing adult beverages. de Vere’s hospitality was beyond gracious, and I can’t wait to see what the Chef has in store for Sacramento in six weeks when he drops his next look at “The Lighter Side of Ireland!”
California crafted, Irish inspired!