Celebrating St. Patrick and St. Joseph allows you to imbibe and eat very well. For today, there's corned beef for an Irish-American meal, but also for a more authentic taste, subtle smoked Irish salmon and husky lamb stew. Afterward, sample an Irish whiskey. Bushmills Original is a fruity, slightly earthy introduction, between $22 and $30. Bushmills 10 Year Old: silky, fruity, excellent, $40 to $50.
The search for a first-class, new entry leads to Knappogue Castle Twin Wood Single Malt Irish Whiskey, a mouthful. The 16-year old whiskey has a concentrated, malty-spicy aroma; the flavor takes in nuts, vanilla, chocolate and a little pepper. Drink this one neat. It's about $100.
The feast of St. Joseph inspires bakeries to make those wonderful pastries, sfingi and zeppole. But, before dessert, consider panelle, or chickpea fritters; fava beans; minestrone; maybe a stuffed artichoke; and pasta con le sarde.
To drink: from Sicily comes the 2008 Planeta Chardonnay ($38), a delightful white with peach-apricot notes. From the Maremma, the 2009 Prelius Vermentino ($16) is a fresh and fruity white. And for a red: the ruby-hued, complex 2008 Tenuta di Biserno Insoglio del Cinghiale ($32) is a match for robust southern and northern Italian fare.
Post-pastries, consider the ripe 2007 Donnafugata Ben Rye Passito de Pantelleria, typically $30 to $40; or a few sips of the dry Florio Marsala from Trapani, less than $20.