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 a 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 salad sandwich are among the menu offerings. 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
Finn MacCool's in Port Washington is offering shepherd's pie on its Restaurant Week menu.
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 chef, Mustafa Kahraman, known affectionately as Moose, has retooled the menu to 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 and battered fish and chips, an 8-ounce beef burger with Swiss cheese, sauerkraut and thinly sliced layers of corned beef with Thousand Island sauce. On St Patrick's Day start with a complimentary Irish breakfast from 9 to 11 a.m.; beginning at noon enjoy bagpipers, step dancers, a DJ and live music throughout the day. 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
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, this tavern creates a warm environment, with exposed brick and stone, a bright dining room and a fireplace. Try the mustard-crusted pork chop with green peppercorns and brandy pan sauce, New England-style clam chowder, and Guinness-battered fish and chips. St. Patrick's Day will feature an Irish buffet from noon to 9 p.m. with favorites including corned beef and cabbage, and shepherd's pie. Live band, Boston Burglars March 17, 7-10 p.m. 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): Family owned and run, this is an authentic Irish gastropub-style restaurant in Babylon and run by Dave Crowe, owner of Lily Flanagan's in Babylon. The restaurant features a double-sided fireplace for a cozy, comfortable atmosphere. Its spin on traditional Irish food includes an Irish dream roll, Flanagan's corned beef sandwich, fish and chips, shepherd's pie, fried reuben fritters and "6 Alarm Chili." On March 16, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., there will be an Irish breakfast with live traditional Irish music, and starting at 8 p.m. live Irish music. 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, corned beef and cabbage 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 more than 15 draft beers on tap and seating for 70 diners. On the menu: burgers, wraps and sandwiches plus a special St. Patrick's Day menu featuring potato soup, paddy skins, shepherd's pie, fish and chips, corned beef and cabbage, Irish stew, bangers and mash and bread pudding. Entertainment throughout the day on March 17 includes Irish step dancers, an Irish band and bagpipers. 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 local pub with 20 beers on tap and a casual atmosphere, Sullivan's Quay serves up shepherd's pie, corned beef and cabbage, fish and chips, Irish sausages and more. Celebrate St Patrick's week with Irish step dancers March 13-15, 7 p.m.; Irish music by Steve Reily, all day March 16; and Irish step dancers, March 16 4:30 p.m.; traditional Irish band Two Too Many Band all day March 17. 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 variety of meals, the Irish Coffee Pub offers traditional Irish cuisine. The shepherd's pie has 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. There are 10 draft beer lines on tap including Guinness. 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 20 beers on tap and 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 (and one in the pub) at Paddy's Loft. Baked oysters kick off the festivities The eatery serves lamb or beef stew with boiled root vegetables and new red potatoes, bangers and mash, Irish spring roll with corned beef, cabbage and potatoes, salmon O'Brien, chicken potpie, shepherd's pie or choose mussels steamed with white wine and herbs. Live Music March 15-17. More info: 516-798-7660, paddysloft.com
A full Irish breakfast is served at Paddy's Loft in Massapequa.
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 24, 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. The menu will feature corned beef and cabbage, corned beef sandwiches, shepherd's pie, fish and chips and Guinness stew. Live music March 17. More info: 516-280-2407
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. There's also shepherd's pie and fish and chips. A traditional Irish breakfast will be available from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on March 17. An Irish band, The Bogs, performs all day March 17 starting at 1 p.m. Dinner reservations are recommended for the 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. seatings. The bar section is open all day to all. 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, house potato soup, reuben sandwich, corned beef sandwich, bangers and mash or its selection of burgers. Live music March 15-17 includes Tom's Dad's Band on March 15, 6:30-10:30 p.m.; Martin Flynn, Irish singer, on March 16, 4-8 p.m. Step dancers and bagpipers in the afternoon on March 16-17. DJ for dancing March 15-17 starting at 9 p.m. More info: 631-539-0816, lilyflanaganspub.com