A long time ago in a town far far away … rumors started to circulate about a brand new addition to the Doherty’s empire. Months passed and a Facebook page appeared that proudly announced an opening in August. Months came and went and it was still not open. Finally, it’s a new year and we have a new craft beer watering hole: Doherty’s Lakeside.
Lakeside is everything you would expect from a Doherty’s establishment and more. So first, let’s start with the most important thing … the beer. There are 101 taps with a variety of craft beers from all over the US. The opening had a killer lineup of IPAs, as well as all other categories well represented. The bottles available are few and will satisfy the BMC crowd. You’ll recognize the familiar 11×14 tap lists on each table as well as the beer club from other locations. Similar to the Warwick location, the beers are held in a large room behind the bar with the taps mounted directly in the wall. The bar, however, is quite different. It looks like a large T with the long part at the taps. The rest of the bar looks like the bow of a boat. The pirate in me wants to commandeer that ship.
Next up, the food. Lakeside was my first introduction to a new, expanded menu that has been rolled out to other Doherty’s Alehouse locations. This new menu includes standard pub fare such as burgers, sandwiches and wings. The biggest new addition to this menu is the international section, which has a good selection from all over the world. The Tuscan chicken was a slightly American take on an Italian dish, but was definitely a tasty affair including breaded chicken, linguini and a lemon cheese sauce. Our next stop took us to Austria for some traditional pork schnitzel, perfectly fried and topped with an egg. The schnitzel came with pickled beets and kasha salad, and it would all be paired well with a good german Hefeweizen or Pilsner. The Seoul food tacos were a Korean take on well-known dish that included Korean BBQ short ribs, kimchi and tortilla. It was reported to be excellent by my associate. Other dishes worth noting include Mumbai lamb, soba noodle bowl and the wurst. There’s also some seafood and vegetarian options now. This new breadth of selection show that the Alehouses are stepping up their food game. Also of note was that the restaurant has only been open for a week, and while most places may have a rocky start, this one was running like a well-oiled machine. Though it probably didn’t hurt that Jack Doherty and Chef Rob were running the kitchen.
One of the most unexpected and welcomed surprises of my visit there was the addition of craft sodas to the menu. The syrups for each soda are house-made and were developed by Doherty’s staff. They had flavors such as cream soda, grape soda and ginger ale. Unfortunately, they couldn’t find a root beer recipe that lived up to their standards, and so it is not on the menu. I typically don’t like cream soda, however, a tall glass of it quickly changed my mind. It had a nice vanilla flavor and slight sweetness without it being overbearing or fake. This was probably due to the use of real sugar instead of corn syrup. In addition to their craft sodas, they also carry a few of the locally made Yacht Club sodas: quinine tonic, diet cola and cola.
The building offered large windows and what I had to imagine was a good view of Lake Tiogue. It was pretty dark — stupid winter. There were a few TVs at the bar, but nowhere near as many as Warwick. Frankly I’d rather look at the lake anyway. If you’ve got a great view, why waste it? Lakeside also had a large deck on the back overlooking the lake (hence the name) that could fit about 100 people. After some sleuthing, I found out that they’re planning to build a deck extension with an integrated bar in the spring. Single deck or two decks, it will certainly be a nice place to catch a brew and cool off during those dripping humid days of summer.
This new addition to the Doherty’s family is located in Coventry, which may seem like a world away for you native Rhode Islanders, but it’s actually closer to Warwick than it is to Westerly. For those locals wondering, Lakeside is located where Nino’s used to be. For everyone else, you can find it at 446 Tiogue Avenue, Coventry.