Behind the Menu: Oscar's of Dublin takes creative approach to American cuisine

·3 min read
Veal scallopini at Oscar's of Dublin
Veal scallopini at Oscar's of Dublin

Oscar’s of Dublin has been serving its “creative American cuisine” for 30 years, making it one of the longest-lasting restaurants along the popular Historic Dublin promenade.

Baby back ribs at Oscar's of Dublin
Baby back ribs at Oscar's of Dublin

Chef and owner Mike Tibbetts said his approach is fairly simple.

“I look for product and price and then build from that,” Tibbetts said.

Vegan sliders ($8) used the Beyond Meat plant-based product garnished with soft-tofu-based aioli, homemade pickles and balsamic onions.

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“It's just got that combination you want — a little rich, you want a little salt, you want it sweet,” he said. “Combined, it tickles our palates.”

Another dish for the vegan crowd is the eggplant parmesan ($17), dusted with seasoned-flour and cornstarch slurry to create the crunchy texture. The sliced-and-peeled eggplant is first soaked overnight in salted water to take away some of the bitterness.

It’s then layered in mushroom marinara, basil oil and cashew parmesan.

Kale Caesar salad at Oscar's of Dublin
Kale Caesar salad at Oscar's of Dublin

The kale Caesar salad ($6) uses a chiffonade of greens and gets its depth from the dressing — molasses, apple cider vinegar, pasteurized egg yolk, anchovies and oil. He repurposes breadcrumbs from home-baked bread and tosses them on the salad along with pecorino cheese and sliced anchovies on request.

“I think what really sets it off is we make our own bread,” he said.

Small pieces of smoked salmon and trout ($8) are mixed with a dip of sour cream, cream cheese and mayo, a little citrus, capers and dill and garnished with tomato-cap relish and crostini on the side.

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“There’s no dancing around it,” Tibbetts said, “it’s a full calorie-rich dish.”

On the menu since Day One, the baby back ribs ($26) are rubbed with a proprietary blend of spices, slathered with a sauce that’s built in-house and lightly smoked for a campfire essence. Tibbetts then braises the ribs in pork stock and serves them with a jalapeño slaw and house fries.

“Everything becomes a signature dish because of the guests liking it,” he said.

Another of Oscar’s specialties is walleye ($28), a freshwater fish noted for its mild flavor and firm texture.

Baby back ribs at Oscar's of Dublin
Baby back ribs at Oscar's of Dublin

It’s lightly breaded and sauteed in clam juice or seafood stock and wine, served with crab sauce, a vegetable of the day, and parsnip-and-potato gratin.

Veal scallopini ($16 for a small portion, $25 for a large) offers top round pounded thin, dusted in flour, sauteed in olive oil and finished with a lemon-wine sauce.

The dish gets a double-dose of earthiness from shiitakes and mushrooms, little bursts of brine from capers, while the rounded-out-by-creamy-mashed-potatoes are highlighted with a gaufrette chip.

For the lunch crowd, Tibbetts suggests the turkey wrap ($11) with a crispy tortilla, holding a charred-tomato aioli, bean sprout, avocado and Swiss cheese. Customers have a choice of a salad, soup, jalapeno coleslaw or fries.

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Oscar’s is pleased to welcome the growing restaurant options in Historic Dublin and across the Scioto River in Bridge Park, Tibbetts said.

“You know, a rising water floats all ships,” he said. “No question about it, we’re a destination.”

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Oscar’s of Dublin

Where: 84 N. High St, Historic Dublin

Hours: Lunch – 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays; Dinner – 5 p.m. to close Mondays through Saturdays; closed Sundays

Contact: 614-792-3424, https://oscarsofdublin.com/

This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: Oscar's of Dublin: Creative American cuisine for 30 years