There are many bar/restaurants in Dallas that serve a long list of beers and offer a menu with fancy burgers, salads, and chicken sandwiches. Some slap the term gastropub on their concept. It makes me sad. A true gastropub is more likely to serve fried pig ears than a grilled chicken sandwich and fries and because of the abuse of the term, it’s harder to distinguish which restaurants curate fine craft beer, wine, and cocktails and pair them with refined artisinal cuisine.
The gastropub phenomenon began in England when traditional pubs—with an emphasis on beer as their main beverage—elevated their menus. The kitchen sourced local produce and protein and used as much of the animal as possible.
The most famous (and authentic) gastropub on this side of the pond is The Spotted Pig in New York, where the menu pairs head cheeses, glands, hearts, necks, and brains with sophisticated styles of beer, wines, and cocktails.
In the current issue of D Magazine, I picked five places that go beyond burgers and bar food and present refined dishes paired with the best in craft brews. I only considered places with a healthy beer and wine selection. These beverages pair well with gastropub cuisine. Having an excellent cocktail program is important, but sweet or sour fancy drinks mask the brilliance of a house-made charcuterie or an unctuous sliver of bone marrow. I asked the chefs of five gastropubs for their favorite pairings. You will find the list along with the dishes in the slideshow here. Now, put down that cheeseburger and Coors Light, and change your style. Or tell me something I don’t know.