Simple, cheery, and charming, this LES spot—opened on New Year’s Eve by the great-grandnephew of Oscar Wilde, no less—actually feels like an Irish pub that real-life Irish folks might willingly and gladly frequent, rather than the ubiquitous city 'Pubs' built around a bajillion Guinness advertisements and Far and Away posters.
Dorian Gray plays to the neighborhood scene—a make it what you will sort of place, with only a few tables and chairs, a flat screen, and music playing low so as not to inhibit conversation. Per its name, it's literary-themed, with black and white photos of writers staring down from the walls, drinks named after famous scribes (which is appropriate, considering how much they boozed) and a bathroom featuring pages from Paradise Lost.
The kitchen, which stays open until midnight on weekends, serves standard pub fare—shepherd's pie and bangers and mash, lamb chops, an Irish breakfast, burgers, etc.—and Monday nights features a $10 burger-and-beer special. A generous happy hour offers discounted booze until 8 p.m., so even if you can't write like Hemingway, Thompson, or Fitzgerald, at least you can drink like them.
— Ben Lebeaux