Through a speaker on the modest but wonderful patio of Kona Craft Kitchen area, I read Kurt Vile sing, “I am emotion much as well several inner thoughts/Simultaneously, at these kinds of a rapid clip,” in the offhand model of that fast-witted musician. This happened amid rosy twilight when a experienced and personable server whisked away dinnerware that had contained a bracing, scrumptious cocktail and a fantastic fish dish. Vile’s lyrics all of a sudden seemed on the nose.
Even now, the title of that wistful Vile tune — “Wild Imagination” — gave me pause times afterwards. Immediately after much more visits beneath distinctive situations (after with a huge team) and having incredibly fantastic ordeals, albeit not as fantastic as my very first take a look at, I knew it wasn’t my wild creativeness: Kona Craft Kitchen, 6757 Longshore Travel, Dublin, is a top rated-tier new cafe.
Found in the Dublin Bridge Park development, Kona — whose Hawaiian title alludes to only one of its culinary influences — is flexible, far too. Consumers can present up for cafe fare these as great Kona espresso ($4.50), dwelling-baked pastries or a tricked-out, higher-grade, totally scratch-produced turkey sausage biscuit sandwich ($14 with a tiny fruit salad).
But informal-nonetheless-classy Kona — which is ethereal, spacious, multi-windowed, largely environmentally friendly-and-white and seems like it could be linked with a vacation resort — really shines all through lunch and dinner solutions. That’s partly simply because its cocktail plan is among the best to premiere this year.
Every cocktail I sipped (most are $14) was daring, nuanced and refreshing. Several experienced garnishes like flowers or dehydrated fruit. Some highlights: Island Negroni — a brisk negroni somewhat tweaked, not compromised, by coconut notes Pina Fresca — assume mildly more tropical spicy margarita Beet Daze — beets and rum reigned in by citrus Banana Hammock — a crisp very little tiki-model beverage.
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Dishes likewise showcased great elements with attractive presentations and a restrained hand on secondary flavoring agents. Just take, for occasion, that aforementioned fish dish, pan-seared halibut ($37).
Which is a significant price tag, but it ordered understated elegance largely composed in the green-and-white tones of Kona’s inside. My huge hunk of fresh-tasting halibut had a golden-brown, coarse-salted crust that led to snow-white succulence complimented by a mild Thai-design eco-friendly curry sauce, jasmine rice moreover shredded snap peas and scallion curls.
Something flashier? The colorful banana-leaf-wrapped Gulf grouper ($37) with blistered tomatoes, pineapple salsa, grilled squash slices and Yucatan-type accents was large, healthful and delightful, also.
Fried calamari can feel like a “been there, done that” dish right up until you get a really good model of it like Kona served ($13). Reward: The crinkly dusted, tremendous-tender squid came with an addictively zippy citrus aioli.
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A different bonus: that calamari and all other appetizers moreover Kona’s vacation spot-deserving cocktails are half-priced during a excellent joyful hour (3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday via Friday). Other 50 percent-off appetizers I sampled had been (pleased-hour selling prices are provided): salmon rillettes ($8) — buttery, addictive and French by way of stellar California-primarily based chef Thomas Keller’s renowned preparing salmon poke ($8.50) — strong but much less memorable than other seafood dishes in this article chips and queso ($5) — excellent tortilla chips, considerably-previously mentioned-average cheese dip dense with hen chorizo.
Amongst never-discounted objects, the garnish-joyful smash burger ($14 for two patties and shoestring fries) and — when purchased medium-exceptional — the lean but flavorful blackened hanger steak ($27 with charred-corn salsa and grilled squashes) present Kona can cope with beef properly, too. The Mexican-ish, appealingly plated Island Salad ($11) — tender butter lettuce, fanned-out avocado, multicolored heirloom tomatoes, jalapeno and just-sufficient charred lime vinaigrette — shown an aptitude with garden elements.
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All the things was not excellent. Some dishes veered toward salty. All through that team take a look at, we seasoned a prolonged wait around between starters and mains, and a tablemate’s halibut was notably smaller sized than the 1 I’ve raved about.
But with its already described powerful attributes, foods-pleasant (if reasonable-sized) wine record and desserts this kind of as sticky toffee pudding ($11), only a wild creativeness could envision this impressive newcomer getting off to a much better start off.
Kona Craft Kitchen
The place: 6757 Longshore Push, Dublin
Contact: 614-502-5400, www.konacraftkitchen.com
Hrs: 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays by means of Thursdays 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sundays
Value vary: $10 to $39
Ambience: informal and vivid, elegant and roomy, largely green-and-white eatery with considerable normal light, a awesome patio and normally excellent service
Children’s menu: certainly
Liquor license: comprehensive bar
Brief click: Operating as a cafe, bakery and strong-undertaking vacation resort-like cocktail lounge and cafe, this functional newcomer is one of the additional outstanding spots to open this calendar year.