Located in the luxurious West End of St. Louis Park, Cooper Irish Pub brings European style to a warm, friendly pub with food and beer that is a destination in itself. Entering Cooper Irish Pub, you can’t help but notice the fine-looking bar that rests center of the pub. Born in Ireland and shipped across the Atlantic, the beautifully carved wood, cut glass and green marble was painstakingly reconstructed by master artisans. Hand-painted frescoes are awash in a warm, aged glow that will welcome you in and encourage you to stay a while. With a menu that includes hearty pub classics and traditional Irish fare from Vincent Francoual, who joined the company as Culinary Director in December of 2015, along with perfectly poured pints from the superb beer selection there is nothing that will make you want to leave this iconic pub. Grab a stool at the bar with us and enjoy this pint and dine at Cooper Irish Pub!
To start things off we ordered the Chicken Shots. Every time we frequent Cooper Irish Pub or any of its sister pubs (Kieran’s, The Local, The Liffey) we tend to order the Chicken Shots as a starter dish for sharing. The Chicken Shots consist of tender pieces of lightly battered chicken breast tossed in a tangy 2 Gingers Whiskey glaze and topped with scallion. They’re as delectable as they sound! The only thing that could make this sharing plate enhanced is if we chose to pair it with a beautiful pint of Guinness Nitro IPA. And we did! Guinness Nitro IPA is a balanced IPA with robust hop aromas and infused with nitrogen. The Guinness signature surge and settle clears leaving a golden honey liquid and aromas of tangy citrus peel over gentle pine notes. When paired with the Chicken Shots, The Guinness Nitro IPA exaggerates the flavors of the whiskey glaze leaving a caramel sweetness lingering on the palate. A perfect pairing that enhances the flavors of the fare without diminishing the robust flavors of the Guinness Nitro IPA.
It is a necessity to order the Corned Beef Dinner at the pub. This wonderful dish comprises of braised corned beef brisket with roasted carrots, cabbage and red potatoes in a roasted garlic creamy sauce. The cabbage and red potatoes of the dish have an outstanding butter flavor along with a nice herbal character as you take your initial bite. We paired this dish with the iconic Irish beer, Guinness Draught. Swirling clouds tumble as the pint of Guinness lands in front of us. As the storm begins to calm, settle, breathe in the moment, we find ourselves suddenly breaking through the smooth, light head to the bittersweet reward. From the first velvet sip to the last, lingering drop and every deep-dark satisfying mouthful in between is pure beauty. Combined with the dish the roast flavors of the pint shine on the palate with a subtle tone of anise. A match made in Dublin!
For the last pairing, we closed the book on this lunch with the Reuben paired with a pint of Harp Lager. Sticking to the Irish theme, the Reuben is prepared with slow-cooked corned beef with sauerkraut, Thousand Island dressing and melted Swiss on a grilled caraway rye bread. Harp’s distinctive, refreshing taste that has earned it six gold medals in the famous annual Monde Selection beer tasting competition is Northern Ireland’s number one lager. After taking a bite of the Reuben, the Harp lends itself as a palate cleanser. Harp Lager cuts through the flavors of the Swiss cheese and richness of the meat leading the desire for an additional bite. The malty sweetness from the beer burst on the palate pairing perfectly with the exceptional flavors of the Reuben.
Learn more about Cooper Irish Pub at www.cooperpub.com.