Homemade Mozzarella Sticks
Molly's Pub
287 3rd Avenue
New York, NY, 10010
★★★★★

“Where have you been?” our server sternly asked me in a thick Irish accent. My tardiness had not gone unnoticed and like a child late for family dinner, I was being scolded. “That will be a glass of water and a salad for you,” she kept on in her mother-knows-best tone, this time with a friendly smirk on her face.


After settling into our little nook of a booth, I looked around the bar officially named: Molly’s Pub and Restaurant Shebeen. (For those of you who don’t know, a Shebeen is an unlicensed establishment or private house selling alcoholic liquor and typically regarded as slightly disreputable). 


With sawdust-covered floors, a cozy wooden interior, and one of the best Guinness pours in the city, Molly’s Pub feels like you’ve been transported out of the hectic Manhattan bar scene and back to a simpler time. The booths had elegant wooden accents. A wood burning stove kept patrons warm. The menu included all the comforts of the old country from Shepherd’s pie to fish and chips.


Happily sipping on our pints, the mozzstix arrived...


THE STIX
The presentation left much to be desired. Four oversized mozzarella sticks positioned next to a stainless-steel gravy boat of marinara. The sticks themselves had our mouths watering like Pavlovian dogs. Each had a slightly different size and shape, which solidified the fact that they were homemade.


The cheese itself was just as God, Ryan Gosling, or Whoever You Believe In had intended. Milky, creamy, smooth, and velvety. It was if the heavens had opened and luscious bands of unfettered, flowing cheese hung from the sky. I had to restrain myself from standing up in the booth and attempting to start a slow clap. 

Experienced stix eaters will know that the breading of mozzarella sticks demands a balanced crisp. Molly’s somehow mastered the ultimate dichotomy of outer crispness and inner softness. Our only criticism of the breading was that it was a bit under-seasoned and oily enough so that you could taste the oil and at times, whatever had been fried in it previously. 


THE SAUCE
The dip itself was your classic, yet forgettable, marinara sauce. The delectable cheese deserved a better date here. The taste of herbs was apparent, but a touch more salt would help this recipe. Overall, the blandness and watery texture meant this sauce needed to catch the next Uber home. While we did utilize the gravy boat vessel to pour it on each of our plates, the marinara itself seemed to be treated as an afterthought. 


THE TAKEAWAY
The mozzstix and atmosphere of Molly’s Pub are guaranteed to lift your spirits. Especially during the bitterly cold months of winter, you deserve a plate of fried cheese, a smooth pint of Guinness, and a swift reality check from the Irish mother you never had. 


THE BREAKDOWN

Price $12 for 4 stix
Crispiness
★★★★★
Breading
★★★★★
Cheese
★★★★★
Gooeyness
★★★★★
Dip
★★★★★
Presentation
★★★★★
Overall
★★★★★