You may search until you tire, you’ll never find a more authentic public house in Melbourne than the Cottage Irish Pub on Highland Avenue in the Eau Gallie Arts District.
It certainly makes the most of a site in which so many other eateries (and drinkeries) have risen and fallen, from pizza joints to that German-African place that held forth a few years ago. This time it looks the part in virtually every detail, from the waistcoat hanging near the doorway to the taps to the wainscoting to the snug little room at the back.
The menu is what you would expect of a pub as well: a variety, snipped and snipped until the Hogan family, its proprietors, got it down to basics: starters like a Ploughman’s Plate (think charcuterie, kind of, with brown bread), fish dip, pub wings and Irish nachos; mains, like a Pub Burger, honey-Dijon chicken and bangers and mash, the sausages in which, we were told, were imported from the next town over. Lunch features sandwiches. Everything features British and Irish beers and a few wines.
We started with Irish nachos ($8), which, for the small portion, was a fairly substantial pile of “house chips” slathered with a thick, sticky, bright orange cheese sauce, chives and bacon crumbles, all stuff for very hungry people.
Address: 1385 Highland Ave., Melbourne
Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday
Other: A variety of imported brews available; children welcome; dogs permitted on the back porch