While it's true these days that Ireland has its share of cutting-edge restaurants, here on Long Island, Gaelic gastronomy usually means meat and potatoes. Plus some batter-fried fish. And lots of beer. Get an authentic taste of Ireland at any of these local restaurants, selected by Newsday's food staff.
James Joyce Irish Pub & Eatery
James Joyce Irish Pub & Eatery (49 S. Ocean Ave., Patchogue): The cavernous, 4,200-square-foot James Joyce Irish Pub & Eatery features 20 taps, an undulating centerpiece bar, an Irish-inflected menu and a mural devoted to the author and life in Dublin in general. It's the newest venture from partners Lorcan Phelan, John Murphy and Colm Ashe, also the owners of the Irish Times pub in Holbrook. More info: 631-562-4000, jamesjoyceny.com
Mac & cheese with corned beef is served at James Joyce Irish Pub & Eatery in Patchogue.
Finn MacCool's (205 Main St., Port Washington): This Irish mainstay in Port Washington recently reopened after a devastating fire, and sports a bright new look and some updates in the kitchen. Lollipop lamb chops and a lobster club sandwich are among them. Expect the familiar corned beef and cabbage on St. Patrick's Day. And there will be staples such as shepherd's pie, made with beef; bangers and mash, or mild pork sausages with onion gravy and mashed potatoes; and fish and chips starring Atlantic cod. More info: 516-944-3439
The shepherd's pie is filled with ground beef, peas and carrots, and topped with mashed potatoes at Finn MacCool's in Port Washington.
The Nutty Irishman
The Nutty Irishman (323 Main St., Farmingdale): This spot on Farmingdale's busy Main Street has remained a watering hole for decades. Its new chef, Mustafa Kahraman, known affectionately as "Moose," is a young culinary grad hoping that his retooled menu will attract customers in the mood for a burger and made-to-order wings in the coming months. But for St. Patrick's Day -- and for the remainder of March -- Moose is paying homage to the pub's roots with an offering that includes Irish onion soup, a rich beef and onion broth with Guinness and garlic-bread croutons under a melty layer of Swiss cheese; hand-rolled Irish egg rolls filled with corned beef, Swiss cheese and sauerkraut; Irish potato skins stuffed with shepherd's pie filling and topped with crisp mashed-potato crumbs; and a twist on the Reuben, an 8-ounce beef burger with Swiss cheese, sauerkraut and thinly sliced layers of corned beef with Thousand Island sauce. More info: 516-293-9700, thenuttyirishman.com
The Reuben Burger, an 8-ounce burger topped with Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, corned beef and Thousand Island dressing, is served with fries at The Nutty Irishman in Farmingdale.
Mary Carroll's (121 Deer Park Ave., Babylon): Over the past 20 years, this mammoth beer garden from Conor Hartnett, a truebred Irishman, has grown to be a major draw on Babylon's main drag for its long draft list, outside seating and late-night dancing. In Hartnett's world, Irish bars didn't serve food, so neither did he, choosing to keep a small kitchen of mostly forgettable fare. That changed around the turn of the year. Hartnett developed a hankering for food to go with his pint and decided to share that with customers. The tiny kitchen was scrapped and expanded for a menu designed to help soak up the beer. In chef Lauren VanDenise's hands, Tater Tots double as nachos, layered with cheese, sliced olives, black beans and pico de gallo, and burgers such as the "kitchen sink" come only in gargantuan sizes: layered with fries, onion rings, pepper jack cheese, coleslaw and Thousand Island dressing. While the food takes twists on traditional Irish, it's part of the spirit here. More info: 631-587-6181, marycarrolls.com
The Tot Nachos at Mary Carroll's in Babylon are piled high with with cheese, olive pico de gallo and green onions.
J.A. Heneghan's Tavern
J.A. Heneghan's Tavern (57 Lido Blvd., Point Lookout): A busy gastropub in Point Lookout, J.A. Heneghan's Tavern creates a warm environment, with exposed brick and stone, a bright dining room and a fireplace. Try its mustard-crusted pork chop, New England-style clam chowder, and fish and chips. More info: 516-544-2777, heneghanstavern.com
Dijon mustard-crusted pork chop with colcannon is served at J.A. Heneghan's Tavern in Point Lookout.
Flanagan's Pub (451 Hawkins Ave., Ronkonkoma): Run by Dave Crowe, owner of Lily Flanagan's in Babylon, the gastropub-style restaurant features a double-sided fireplace for a cozy, comfortable atmosphere. Its spin on traditional Irish food includes an Irish dream roll, corned beef sandwich and "6 Alarm Chili." More info: 631-588-9843, flanaganspub.net
Traditional corned beef and cabbage is on the dinner menu at Flanagan's Pub in Lake Ronkonkoma.
Jackie Reilly's (3964 Hempstead Tpke., Bethpage): Live bands play here on weekends, so expect some noise while dining at Jackie Reilly's. Bangers and mash, shepherd's pie and Gaelic-style steak served in a whiskey cream sauce are among the Irish specialties at this bar-restaurant. More info: 516-731-7544, jackiereillys.com
Bangers and mash is served at Jackie Reilly's in Bethpage.
Irish Times Pub
Irish Times Pub (975B Main St., Holbrook): This family-friendly pub is also a late-night destination. With 20 beers on tap and seating for 70 diners, everyone is welcome here. On the menu: burgers, wraps and sandwiches. More info: 631-467-4330, irishtimespubny.com
Shepherd's pie is one of the Irish entrees served at The Irish Times Pub in Holbrook.
Sullivan's Quay Restaurant and Bar
Sullivan's Quay Restaurant and Bar (541 Port Washington Blvd., Port Washington): A great local pub with a casual atmosphere, Sullivan's Quay serves up corned beef and cabbage, fish and chips and more. More info: 516-883-3122, sullivansquay.com
A steak dinner is served at Sullivan's Quay Restaurant and Bar in Port Washington.
Irish Coffee Pub
Irish Coffee Pub (131 Carleton Ave., East Islip): An elegant eatery that serves a wide variety of meals, the Irish Coffee Pub offers traditional Irish cuisine. The shepherd's pie sees beef and fresh vegetables baked in earthenware and topped with whipped potatoes, while the Black Angus Steak Fitzpatrick is flambéed in brandy and topped with a mushroom brown sauce. Fish and chips is an Irish specialty as well at this pub-style bar. More info: 631-277-0007, irishcoffeepub.com
Fish and chips is served at Irish Coffee Pub in East Islip.
Meehan's of Huntington
Meehan's of Huntington (371 New York Ave., Huntington): Spacious and stylish, this pub has a friendly crew and a knowledgeable kitchen staff. Favorites are Irish stew and corned beef and cabbage. More info: 631-351-0831, meehansrestaurant.com
Irish stew is one of the Irish specialties served at Meehan's of Huntington.
Monaghan's Bar and Restaurant
Monaghan's Bar and Restaurant (48 North Village Ave., Rockville Centre): Warm and genial Monaghan's is an Irish family-run restaurant serving traditional, vegetarian and gluten-free fare. Irish favorites such as shepherd's pie, chicken potpie and sirloin steak are on the menu. More info: 516-764-6372, monaghansrvc.com
Chicken potpie is served at Monaghan's Bar and Restaurant in Rockville Centre.
Paddy's Loft (1286 Hicksville Rd., Massapequa): There's a lively bar scene and a fireplace in the dining area at Paddy's Loft. Baked oysters kick off the festivities or choose mussels steamed with white wine and herbs. More info: 516-798-7660, paddysloft.com
A full Irish breakfast is served at Paddy's Loft in Massapequa.
O'Hara's Ale House & Grill
O'Hara's Ale House & Grill (611 Port Washington Blvd., Port Washington): Tucked into a strip mall in Port Washington, O'Hara's Ale House and Grill still manages to stand out due to some serious gastronomy. Consider the corned beef sliders with pickles. More info: 516-321-9254, oharasalehouseandgrill.com
Corned beef sliders with pickles are served at O'Hara's Ale House & Grill in Port Washington.
Rowdy Hall (10 Main St., East Hampton): This colorful combo of pub and café takes on an Irish lilt on St. Patrick's Day and also on March 26, for the Montauk parade honoring the holiday. It'll offer a $25 fixed-price, two-course meal (either appetizer and main course or main course and dessert). Dishes include potato-and-cabbage soup, corned beef and cabbage, beef stew fortified with Guinness stout, and sausages and mashed potatoes. Dessert: Guinness-and-chocolate cheesecake. More info: 631-324-8555, rowdyhall.com
O’Carroll’s Recovery Room
O'Carroll's Recovery Room (214 Station Plaza N., Mineola): This Irish bar features Guinness, live music, soccer on the TV and a bar stool so close to the LIRR you can see the train on its way to the Mineola station. More info: 516-280-2407, recoveryroombar.com
Carney's Irish Pub
Carney's Irish Pub (136 Broadway, Amityville): This family-oriented restaurant offers plenty of space for groups and an eclectic menu from corned beef and cabbage to Irish eggrolls or chicken curry. More info: 631-464-4445, carneysamityvillage.com
Lily Flanagan's Irish Pub
Lily Flanagan's Irish Pub, Babylon (345 Deer Park Ave., Babylon): There is always a steady crowd that enjoys the laid-back atmosphere of Lily Flanagan's Irish Pub. This spot is divided into two parts: dining and dancing. If you're here to eat, be sure to try the Gaelic chicken, shepherd's pie or its selection of burgers. More info: 631-539-0816, lilyflanaganspub.com