Chefs have come along way, traditional Irish cooking and new Irish cooking like Kerry Heffernan or Bobby Flay.
Most restaurants have Irish owners and they have taught the chefs, but do not want the guests or the media. They like to keep them in the kitchen to preserve the integrity of the recipes. have Irish or Irish American owners who have taught the behind-the-scenes chefs the traditional dishes they feature. I discovered them to be quite protective of the chefs’ names. I think they prefer not having to train new ones.
The list I’m focusing on is from a personal friend, Gail Gerson, who has dined and reviewed all of them. I’ve had the pleasure of visiting some of her choices, and they are always top notch.
Tracks Raw Bar & Grill (Penn Station) ranks high on Gail’s scale. It is a “Dining Car” and considered a great party buy, by her Press Club. When dining, it is almost like a train car designed by Charles Morris. It features railroad memorabilia, as well as a 110-foot bar constructed by Irish carpenters. Owners Cathy and Bruce Caufield encourage you to linger and enjoy new and traditional fare.
Shamrock Inn of the Bronx–Owners Rosetta and Chris Lawless worked here many years before purchasing. They focus on American cuisine with numerous Irish specialties. Drinks range from Manhattans and Martinis to Southwicks and Guinness beer. There is always a good crowd, reasonable prices, and good food.
We are leaving New York, but only across to New Jersey, which is a daily commute for many of you to one of the old Irish restaurants with famous dishes. Blackthorn Restaurant & Irish Pub of Kenilworth is a favorite. It is a family affair with Eugene and Rosemary Gillespie, Karen who designed the menu, Eugene Thomas, who is the bar manager and Laura, (all Gillespies), along with talented general managers and chefs have created a team that ensures the success of any dining event. Blackthorn prides itself on offering reasonably priced Irish and American specialties. Gail says, “This eatery is truly Union County’s best bang for the buck, with outstanding food, friendly service and dazzling homemade desserts. But the appetizers with top shelf ingredients and unique imaginative preparations are just wonderful.”
To list all the great and well known Irish or Irish-American establishments in New York City would take up the entire newspaper. Personally, I’ve always enjoyed a quick meal at Rosie O’Grady’s. It gets three and four star reviews and the food is good, but not fancy. My affinity for it goes back to growing up and hearing the song, “Sweet Rosie O’Grady.” It is amazing how one’s past can influence you not to be quite as objective as usual.
Please remember, you can always contact me and ask questions or request what you would like to see covered in the future.
Tracks Raw Bar and Grill
34th and 7th (Penn Station)
New York City (212) 224-6350
Shamrock Inn of the Bronx
1729 Crosby Avenue, Bronx, NY
Blackthorn Restaurant & Irish Pub of Kenilworth
615 N Michigan Avenue, Kenilworth, NJ
149 West 46th Street, Manhattan, NY 10036
Mesa Grill NYC
102 Fifth Avenue
New York City
152 W 52nd Street
New York City