Today in the Food Section: Pub Crawl in Pearl River, Irish Recipes Using Beer, HVRW Updates

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Today in print, correspondent Katherine Curry has a great story on an Irish pub crawl in Pearl River. We focused mainly on the places that specialize in food, too, but I can think of a bunch of other great stops you might like to put on your list, not the least of which is the Pearl River Hotel. Love that bar.

Katherine recommends you start off with the full Irish breakfast at Gildea’s:

gildeas2 gildeas

Then, after a few more pints (you’re not driving, right?), have a corned beef and cabbage at Murty’s:

murtys

Here’s a link to her pub story. I’ll also post it in full after the jump.

We also have a wire story with some St. Patrick’s Day recipes using — what else? — BEER.
Recipes include Beer-Battered Fish & Chips, Murphy’s Irish Beer Stew, and Guinness Chocolate Cake. Yum. Here’s a link to the beer recipe story.

The other story in print is about our Hudson Valley Restaurant Week guest bloggers. But if you’re reading Small Bites, you already know all about that, right?

Katherine’s story, after the jump.


The comforts of Ireland, close to home
BY KATHERINE CURRY • FOR THE JOURNAL NEWS • MARCH 17, 2010

Visiting an Irish pub today? Consider the pubs of Pearl River, where you’ll feel like you’ve really gone to Ireland. Home to the state’s second-largest St. Patrick’s Day parade, the town has been an Irish stronghold for decades.

Start with a hearty Irish breakfast and a pint of Guinness at posh Gildea’s, near the top of Central Avenue. After that, it’s all downhill — literally — since Central Avenue slopes down the middle of town. We’re highlighting a selection of pubs with food, and they are listed in order so you can follow along as you stroll. And if you go on Sunday, when the town’s parade kicks off at 1:30 p.m., brace yourself for parking challenges, no kitchen service and standing-room only at most pubs.

Gildea’s
An ornate pub with a gleaming mahogany bar, pressed tin ceiling, and an almost-swanky dining room with maroon curtains and white tablecloths. The friendly service tableside and at the bar make even new customers feel like regulars.

Best for: A real sit-down meal on St. Patrick’s Day.

Menu highlights: Standard pub fare plus Irish classics like meaty Shepherd’s Pie, Irish breakfast, and the Gaelic fat-bomb of Irish cocktail sausages with fries and curry sauce.

On tap: Eight beers including Guinness, Bass and Sam Adams.

St. Patrick’s Day: Open at 10 a.m., serving Irish breakfast. One of the few pubs offering its full menu today.

Parade Day: Open at noon. No regular menu, just corned beef sandwiches and hot dogs. Cold paradegoers will appreciate the Irish coffee bar.

Go: 61 E. Central Ave., Pearl River. 845-735-2564, www.gildeasbar.com.

Kwan Thai
Why is the next stop a Thai restaurant? Today’s the day everyone’s a little Irish, so Kwan Thai is throwing its annual Thai-rish Fest, serving corned beef, corned beef pad Thai, banger fried rice and more. Owner Peter Bellhouse’s personality is as exuberant as the restaurant’s colorful décor.

Best for: A deliciously untraditional St. Pat’s.

On tap: Defiant Brewing’s Muddy Creek Lager and Irish Ale.

St. Patrick’s Day: Open at 11:30 a.m. Reservations accepted for parties of six or more.

Parade Day: Closed.

Go: 22 E. Central Ave., Pearl River. 845-735-5906, www.kwanthai.com.

T.F. Noonan’s
Your next stop is a picture-perfect Irish pub, replete with pressed tin ceiling and gleaming wood bar. The heated outdoor patio is an inviting place for Guinness alfresco. The kitchen stays open until 3 a.m., so this is a prime stop for a late-night bite.

Best for: Live music on St. Pat’s.

Menu highlights: A dizzying array of appetizers, including so-wrong-but-delicious disco fries served with melted cheese and brown gravy. The menu is rounded out by burgers, sandwiches, salads and Shepherd’s Pie.

On tap: Eight beers, including the requisite Guinness.

St. Patrick’s Day: Open at 8 a.m. serving Irish breakfast. Four beers on tap: Guinness, Harp, Magners Irish Cider and Smithwick’s. Limited menu featuring corned beef sandwiches, burgers and Shepherd’s Pie. Live music starts at 6 p.m.

Parade Day: Open at noon. Kitchen closed. Hot dogs available on the back patio.

Go: 16 E. Central Ave., Pearl River. 845-735-6427, www.tfnoonans.com.

The Saloon
If you were a wee tipsy, you might get lost in this Victorian-style pub, with its sprawling floor plan, two bars and multiple levels. Free popcorn, a model train overhead circling the bar, a tiny video game room, and a jukebox keep the atmosphere festive night and day.

Best for: Playing WWF WrestleFest and other vintage video games.

Menu highlights: Extensive menu of pub grub, sandwiches and entrees such as prime rib and chicken pot pie.

On tap: Ten beers, including Yuengling, Bass and Bud.

St. Patrick’s Day: Open at 11 a.m. Regular menu available, along with Irish specials. Later in the day, expect to see — and hear — bagpipers from New York City’s parade.

Parade Day: Open at noon, serving an abbreviated menu.

Go: 45-49 W. Central Ave., Pearl River. 845-735-5300, www.saloonpearlriver.com.

Murty’s Publick House
You’ve almost reached the end of your pub tour. Here you’ll find a long mahogany bar, dark green walls, friendly and efficient bartenders and a crowd that runs the gamut from young to old. The dining area is made inviting by upholstered booths and a gas fireplace.

Best for: Hanging out with bagpipers.

Menu highlights: No surprises here: lots of bar appetizers, plus an array of burgers and entrees. Traditional Irish fare is featured: Shepherd’s Pie, Irish breakfast, and, perhaps the most filling entrée ever, a plate of Irish sausage, baked beans and chips.

On tap: Guinness, Bass, Defiant Pale Ale and six more.

St. Patrick’s Day: Open at 11 a.m., serving a limited menu of appetizers, burgers and Irish classics.

Parade Day: Open at noon. No table service, but hamburgers, hot dogs and chicken wings will be available.

Go: 29 W. Central Ave., Pearl River. 845-620-7502.

Horse And Jockey
From Murty’s, stroll next-door to this welcoming stop with gleaming wood floors and mustard-and-pumpkin-colored walls adorned with prints of racing horses. One of the plasma televisions is often tuned to horse racing. The dining room is family-friendly and a nice stop for a weekday lunch.

Best for: An expertly drawn pint of Guinness.

Menu highlights: A fried food feis, including over-the-top bacon cheese fries, onion rings and calamari. Irish beef stew and Shepherd’s Pie share menu space with burgers, broiled seafood and pastas.

On tap: Two dozen beers, including Guinness and Newcastle Brown Ale.

St. Patrick’s Day: Open at 11 a.m. Abbreviated menu of Irish favorites.

Parade Day: Open at noon. No regular menu, just corned beef sandwiches. 107.1 The Peak will do a post-parade broadcast live from the bar.

Go: 33 W. Central Ave., Pearl River. 845-620-9523, www.horseandjockeypearlriver.com.

Defiant Brewing
Neither restaurant nor full-service bar, this craft beer outpost by the train station is open during the week for beer tasting and purchasing of growlers, kegs and half-kegs. The no-frills room is lined with behemoth copper tanks holding microbrews. Pull up a seat at the longest bar in Pearl River, and order a draft or a bottle. Try a bottle of the Belgian Triple, a dry, spicy beer with the complexity of a fine wine.

Best for: A great pint of something other than Guinness.

Menu highlights: Friday and Saturday nights, barbecued ribs, brisket and pulled pork, are available for takeout or eating at the bar.

On tap: A rotating selection of craft brews.

St. Patrick’s Day: Open 2 p.m. to midnight, serving draft beer and bottles. O’Defiant Stout will be on tap. No food.

Parade Day: Open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., serving O’Defiant Stout and a special parade barbecue menu.

Go: 6 E. Dexter Plaza, Pearl River. 845-920-8602,www.defiantbrewing.com.

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About Author

Liz Johnson is content strategist for The Journal News and lohud.com, and the founding editor of lohudfood, formerly know as Small Bites. As food editor, she won awards from the New York News Publishers Association, the Association of Food Journalists and the Associated Press. She lives in Nyack with her husband and daughter on a tiny suburban lot they call their farm — with fruit trees, an herb garden, and a yardful of lettuce, tomatoes, onions, shallots, cucumbers, zucchini, radishes, cabbage, peppers, Brussels sprouts and carrots and four big blueberry bushes.

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