It might not occur to you to choose the Cock and Bull as your dinner destination—and if you can’t stand the smell of smoke, then that’s probably a wise choice. That said, we were mighty intrigued by this Lakewood watering hole’s ambitious menu—truffled eggs at brunch!—so we braved smoke, grabbed a bar stool, and ordered a ridiculously tall draft beer. On the chalkboard is a list of cheeses as long as the board itself; also listed are specials such as New Zealand mussels and sole meunière. We ordered from the menu instead: porcini and scamorza ravioli and salt-crusted wild salmon. The former was a disappointment, but we accept some responsibility. It wasn’t our fault that the ravioli was undercooked and the vodka-tomato sauce tasted like it was dumped from a can; however, it was our fault to order it with grilled tenderloin, an odd choice for a topping. Interestingly, the tenderloin, heartily seasoned and tender, was the best part of the dish. The wild salmon, with its salty serrano-scented crust, was, thankfully, satisfying, with a messy tangle of spaghetti squash and crisp French green beans—just the sort of dinner that would make our personal trainer proud. Also worth noting: for just $2 more, you can add a salad to your entrée. And their version of a Caesar—butter lettuce with sun-dried tomato and chunks of grilled asparagus tossed in a garlicky Caesar-style dressing—was a knockout.

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