36 Handles, of course, takes its name from the number of beers on tap. It’s another brainchild of Richard Righton, the British native who wound up as a successful restaurateur in El Dorado Hills, California.
We have visited his other restaurant, the Relish Bar, where the theme is martinis and burgers. We enjoyed the Relish Bar. We enjoyed 36 Handles more.
36 Handles is a British pub. Bangers & mash. Shepherd’s pie. Fish & chips. Guinness and steak pie.
It’s popular. We stopped by in the late afternoon for an early dinner. The young lady working the maître d’s desk told us there was no seating available between six and ten o’clock. Every seat was taken. We promised to eat fast.
I started with a Bacon Bloody Mary. It came with the usual salad garnish as well as a piece of bacon curled around a swizzle stick. The Bloody Mary was spicy and good. Even better when I added several drops of Tabasco. Where I come from Tabasco makes everything better.
They were offering bacon on a stick and pork belly in a sweet chili sauce for appetizers. We wanted both.
Our waitress brought us thick slices of skewered bacon. Meaty. Salty. Bacon as it should be. Delightful.
But it was overshadowed by the pork belly. Small cubes of juicy pork belly doused in sweet chili sauce. Bacony. A little bit salty. A little bit sweet. Amazingly palatable.
For entrees I chose corned beef mac & cheese. My wife asked for the steak and Guinness pie. Both were winners.
My wife’s Guinness & beef pie was blessed with goodness. The Guinness added a dark personality to the tender pieces of beef encased in a nicely browned dough. The dish was accompanied by house made, skin on fries and sweet green peas with just a hint of garlic. Altogether inviting.
The food was so good we never got around to trying any of the 36 beers on tap. I suppose we’ll have to go back.