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Republic Gastropub combines pub tradition, artistic flair

BY DAVE CATHEY Modified: March 31, 2010 at 2:52 pm •  Published: March 31, 2010

When Keith and Heather Paul decided to put their Good Egg Dining spin on the gastropub, they determined early on that beer would be the star.

One hundred taps and 250 bottles later, Republic Gastropub, 5830 N Classen Blvd., is a modern museum dedicated to the art of beer consumption. That becomes apparent immediately after walking through the amber glass entry and those 250 bottles of beer that tower overhead on a wall display.

But Republic wouldn’t be a Good Egg concept if the food weren’t made with precision, detail, artistry and flavor.

"Of all the places we’ve opened, I’ve never been this excited to eat the food,” Keith Paul said.

Good Egg executive chef Robert Black and Republic chefs Chris McCabe and Luke Fry have designed a menu that celebrates beer and the pub tradition with an artist’s flair.

Gastropubs began popping up in Europe in the early 1990s, adding quality food to the typical public house menu. Soon, gastropubs were being mentioned in the same breath with neighborhood bistros. Naturally, the concept jumped the pond.

The challenge for chefs Black and McCabe was making sure Republic carried a strong Oklahoma interpretation. That means burgers, pork and doughnuts. Even traditional pub fare gets a prairie-pleasing preparation, such as the traditional Scotch egg — a hard-boiled egg wrapped in Portuguese linguica sausage — which is chicken-fried. Bangers and mash, another European pub staple, is bratwurst, potatoes served in an individual cast-iron skillet, and sauerkraut made in-house via a two-week process.

They also feature domestic standards with a gourmet twist. On the BLT, you’ll find a fried green tomato rather than a red tomato slice. The Pork Reuben features pork belly in place of corned beef, maintaining the saltiness of the original but adding a concentration of the divining flavor that makes bacon the cure-all for any bland bite. Nachos come with pulled chicken, caramelized onions and red jalapenos.