Two Stones Pub in Newark
Hail Stones: Two Stones Pub is clearly a place to worship beer, but its menu is far from your typical pub-grub.
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Either predilection works at Two Stones, but I found more successes among theBrit-inspired entries. The chip butty, a dish introduced at Pickled Pig, and a popular UK pub nosh, is essentially a french fry sandwich. It was not, however, the starch-n-carb loaf I expected. With the addition of crunchy house-made coleslaw, sweet peas and a creamy curry dressing, this butty shed new light on street food with finesse and flavor.
Stiglitz’ culinary calling card, his Tabasco-marinated pork tenderloin, appears at Two Stones, and it’s as good as ever. The vinegary slurry, which can destroy flavors if overused, instead lent the pork a smoldering, smoky quality, while ribbons of sage-honey sweetened the deal.
The few times the kitchen fumbled were instances of sloppy execution. Pulled pork sliders, piquant and tender as cotton candy, were burdened by the occasional unmelted globs of fat. On one NFL Sunday afternoon, the kitchen pooched the punt on a regrettable, Miami Dolphins-inspired ropa vieja pizza. Their hearts and pizza crust (which was otherwise pleasantly pliable and yeasty) were in the right place, but stacking dough with yellow rice and black beans yielded a starchy, soggy mess. Shreds of tomato-braised beef were in too short supply, denying the pizza any real moisture.
And while foie gras lent a creamy, salty note to Stiglitz’ uptown burger, the patty itself was too tightly packed, making it overly dense and hard to get through.
Still, there are worse ways to spend a Sunday afternoon than with football, frosty microbrews and deep-fried hog shanks.
Beer people tend to be a religious bunch, Stiglitz told me once, and if the pious crew who stuffed themselves into the Beer Temple were any indication, he might be right. Whether they were matching Saison Dupont with curried fries or crème brûlée stout with dessert, beer kegs and pub-grub were worthy of praise. Dogfish, Smuttynose, Rodenback: hallowed be thy names. Anything less would be sacrilege.