- Elizabeth Gomez
- Donegal peat-smoked shrimp
Friend of the Food Chain chef Alan Lake took over the kitchen at Chief O’Neill’s back in December and has been gradually spiffing up what was previously decent but standard Irish pub grub. He’s been curing his own corned beef, frying chips in beef tallow, and serving dishes like Mint Creek lamb stew with Guinness-roasted barley and savory Irish Cashel blue cheesecake. It’s gone over pretty well for the most part, though one Yelper whinged, “This is a neighborhood Irish Pub, not NoMi or some swanky, danky restaurant serving mache or creme fraiche.” That makes Lake laugh.
One of the more unusual tricks up his sleeve was inspired by a wistful LTHer, who perhaps jokingly suggested he bake bread in a peat-burning oven. Peat, of course, is that matted half-rotted vegetation harvested for millennia from bogs and mires as a fuel source, which lends its distinctive vegetal smokiness to everything around it, most notably to the miracle of scotch.