Review: An Poitin Stil – Better Bar than Restaurant?

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“An Poitin Stil” is full of erstwhile Irish bar atmosphere and has a large bar and several dining rooms ranging from intimate nooks off the bar that have just a couple of tables to larger dining rooms.   Live music is commonly featured and if you want to talk to each other during dinner (in contrast to just listening to the music), you might want to opt for the rear dining room.

Lots of little things like an faux door for lephrachauns and man hole covers in the bar floor add wistful touch

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The menu is varied offering both a number of Irish standards ($14-$16)  in addition to a large array of bar food. There’s a over a dozen appetizers ($7-$11), soups ($6), entree salads ($11-$15), sandwiches and burgers ($8-$13 & come with chips – fries, cole slaw or colcannon will cost $1 extra).  A dozen entrees ranged from $14-$21.

We all decided to share an order of the “Irish Nachos” ($7) as a starter while for our main courses, John tried the Irish Stew ($16), Tom had a Lamb burger($13), and Jerry tried a Kobe Beef Burger ($12).

The Irish Nachos were the better part of meal and easily shared by the three of us.  It arrived as a heaping big bowl of roasted potato wedge smothered in really lots of a creamy cheese spread and included a side of sour cream to boot.  It was very rich and filling (hard to think of one person finishing it off and then having room for more!)

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John’s stew was an immediate problem.  When four very large pieces of toasted bread on top of the stew were moved off to the side, I found that my $16 stew include 3 (yup, 3!) pieces of thumbnail size beef, 3 teaspoon sized pieces of potato and two pieces of carrot swimming in gravy like broth.   It made for frustrating juxtaposition to see that the two burgers which cost several dollars less had 4 times as much meat as the stew.   The waiter stopped by to see how we were doing and I presented my problem (and dissatisfaction).  To his credit, the waiter quickly returned with a 2nd bowl of stew which had considerably more beef and veggies.  Yet, I was left wondering how many customers get the portion of stew that I was originally served, don’t speak up and end up feeling gyped.   After the initial drama was over, the stew proved ok though hardly memorable and still probably not worth $16.

Lamb Burger

Lamb Burger

Tom had been fascinated by the description of his Lamb burger which indicated that it was stuffed with Feta cheese and pieces of olive.  He expected a really tasty creation – instead he was disappointed with a rather bland tasting burger that surprisingly tasted more like beef than lamb.

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Jerry had never tried a Kobe beef burger and decided to seize this opportunity.   He was disappointed that he couldn’t pick up on any difference between this and other burgers he has had.

While our waiter was attentive and personable, we found that the noise level even in the far back dining room where we asked to be seated got pretty loud and noisy.   While the “Irish Nachos” were good, our entrees all proved a disappointment and bottom line is that, as popular and crowded as it is, we’re not going to be making any effort to return here soon cautioning you that “the Still”  may be a better place to have a drink and listen to live music than it is to have dinner.

Facts:  An Poitin Stil; 2323 York Road; 410-560-7900; http://thestilltimonium.com

An Poitin Stil on Urbanspoon

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