Hours: Dinner: seven days
Open late: Saturday till 3, other nights till 2
A British pub with significant subcontinental influence.
A beery British pub with subcontinental allusions, Pub Royale successfully dabbles in postcolonial appropriation. The chef is Jason Vaughan, a veteran of Brendan Sodikoff's Hogsalt Hospitality, a group that has mastered the art of presenting familiar foods in modern settings that subtly allude to their origins. The fold-out menu leads with small, inexpensive snacks and builds to just a few larger plates. Two of the more extraordinary dishes on offer feature house-made paneer unlike any I've ever encountered. As creamy as burrata, the cheese holds its shape just as long as it has to before dissolving on the tongue. It's served both in a rich, buttery red curry and as an extraordinary saag paneer, a kind of Indian steak-house creamed spinach made with fresh—not frozen—greens and toasted spices. Meanwhile, conventional potato-and-pea samosas are accompanied on the menu by a variety that's stuffed with an assertive salt cod brandade reined in by a tart malt-vinegar chutney. The imagination and audacity it takes to pull off such winning, fresh, and unrestrained Anglo-Indian food in a place that's mostly about the beer is just the first of many surprises at Pub Royale.
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