EXPLORING THE SOUTH SHORE ONE BITE AT A TIME
Three Times Charming
For as long as we’ve lived in the area, we’ve wished for a casual local spot big on taste but short on pretention. Last fall, when two guests breezed into for a quick visit, we decided to see if the newly opened Mr. Dooley’s Olde Irish Pub in downtown Cohasset fit the bill. As we walked in at 7:30 on a weeknight, the place was crowded, but not hopping, and an accommodating waitress quickly cleared a table for us. Our visitors were pleased with the mellow wood décor that offered the impression the place had been in business for years, rather than weeks. Two shepherd’s pies, one hamburger and a steamed fish packet later, we all gave the pub high marks.
Our next visit occurred more recently—in order to celebrate our college-age-daughter’s August birthday. This time, we scored a table by the window, and took our time perusing the menu. Mr. Dooleys offers a mix of comfort food, pub treats and Irish specialties. At our daughter’s suggestion, I tried something I’d never had before, an Irish mixed grill. It came with bangers (Irish sausage), Irish bacon, marinated steak tips, and a side of baked beans. The sausage was mild, the bacon, similar to a low-salt version of Canadian bacon—both were delicious grilled. The flavorful steak tips were cooked medium as ordered. The birthday girl ordered mac and cheese with lobster, and moaned in pleasure through every bite. My husband, who demolished his shepherd’s pie on our first visit, deferred to it this time too. He claimed it was as good as he remembered.
Three weeks later, the two of us celebrated our wedding anniversary and opted for a casual night out. This time, I ordered blackened salmon atop mixed greens. It was moist and succulent and I ate every bit. My husband had scallops over risotto and was as delighted as he’d been with his shepherd’s pie.
Now approaching its first anniversary at its Cohasset location, Mr. Dooley's extends the warmth of a charming, local pub. With its dark wood decor and mellow lighting, it invites you in for a beer at the bar. The casual tables placed around a rustic room bid you to sit for a sandwich. When the sun goes down and the room takes on a butter hue, it beckons you in for something more sustaining, fish and chips or a nice seared steak. My husband and I, though? We have a plan. On the next snowy Saturday, we’re going to claim a place at the bar and hunker in for two pints of Guinness and plates of bangers and mash.
Mr. Dooley's Olde Irish Pub
9 Depot Court, Cohasset
Liza Carens Salerno is a freelance writer from the South Shore with a love of great food. Her work has appeared in Boston Globe Magazine, South Shore Living, Adoptive Families Magazine, Writersdigest.com and the Mariner newspapers. She also writes marketing materials for small businesses and uses her extensive background in HR to develop client resumes. Find out more at www.lcswrites.com, or read Liza’s blog at www.middlepassages-lcs.blogspot.com.