First Bite: The Lansdowne

We’re going to go out on a limb here, and say that the last thing Lansdowne Street needs is another bar. But an establishment that serves actual food in the shadow of Fenway Park? There’s Ken Oringer’s La Verdad, and…well, that’s about it. That is, until the recent opening of Irish pub the Lansdowne, where the grub is better-than-average and there’s still plenty of suds to sate game-day crowds and Jillian’s transplants alike.

The brainchild of Boston nightlife mogul Patrick Lyons, the cavernous space—formerly piano bar Jake Ivory’s—is now a public house, featuring dark wood paneling, a fun, mostly Gaelic soundtrack, and a colossal bar with room for live music and dancing. But it’s not all about the beer and revelry here: The pub-style menu features renditions of classics like shepherd’s pie and Irish stew, and the pleasant outdoor patio offers an excellent window to the action outdoors.

Crispy potato skins, topped with Irish bacon and cheddar and served with a side of sour cream, make for a satisfying starter—as does the hearty, earthy bowl of Guinness-spiked lamb-and-beef chili. A maple-mustard glazed salmon entree, served with Irish potato cakes, is subtly sweet if slightly dry, the spuds a touch heavy. The true star is the brown paper-lined basket of fish and chips. Crisp on the outside, flaky on the inside, and not even a touch greasy, the cod is served with thick-cut fries and zingy tartar sauce.

Lansdowne Street, it seems, is a culinary dead zone no more.

The Lansdowne, 9 Lansdowne St., Boston, 617-247-1222,