Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, Restaurant Week is kicking off in Boston where aside from great Celtic dishes, diners will also get a chance to sample prix fixe menus from area restaurants. With a rich Irish heritage, Boston was the first American city to celebrate St. Patrick's Day in 1737, and the parade starting at 1 p.m. in South Boston is the nation's second largest. The city will celebrate the occasion in its many pubs, but if you are looking to support your Irish pride with a low-key culinary adventure, or just want to grab some Gaelic cuisine before a pub crawl, here is a list of five area restaurants that are adding some Irish flair to their menus (in addition to their restaurant week selections).
Photo Courtesy of 75 Chestnut
75 Chestnut Street Boston, MA 02108 617-227-2175
For those eagerly awaiting the festivities to begin, 75 Chestnut kicks off their five-day celebration on March 13th. Voted by Gayot as one of Boston's Top 10 Special Occasion Restaurants, this neighborhood eatery is tucked away on a cobble-stoned side street in Boston's exclusive Beacon Hill area. Frequented nightly by local residents, the restaurant boasts a cozy ambiance while their menu features items such as Herbed Clam Chowder and Five Alarm Chili. To commemorate the holiday, the restaurant will be featuring Irish decor, green beer, corned beef and cabbage and an Irish beef stew. For Restaurant Week their three-course menu includes a Nantucket Seafood Stew and The 75 Chestnut Sinful Chocolate Trilogy comprised of chocolate bread pudding, Swiss chocolate and almond soup, as well as a bittersweet chocolate crème brûlée.
Photo Courtesy of The Beehive
541 Tremont Street Boston, MA 02116 617-423-0069
On St. Patrick's Day (March 17th),
The Beehive will be throwing its 6th annual St. Patrick's Day Party from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. The bohemian style jazz club will be offering special musical performances and food honoring the old country. Chef Rebecca Newell will include several new dishes to the restaurant's usual offerings, such as the Finaan Haddie Smoked Fish & Chips with malt vinegar aioli and the Grilled Lamb Chops with Colcannon mashed potatoes. Drink specials during the event will feature Kilbeggan’s Irish Whiskey, Tyronnell’s 10-year Port Cask and Connemara’s 12-year Single Malt. While The Beehive's menu for Restaurant Week has yet to be released, reviewers raving about the restaurant's Short Rib Eggs Benedict and fall-off-the-bone Baby Back Ribs suggest Newell's American, European, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern-influenced fare might be worth checking out.
Photo Courtesy of Aura
One Seaport Lane Boston, MA 02110 617-385-4300
Housed in the Seaport Hotel with a décor resembling a sea-captain's quarters, the AAA Four Diamond Aura Restaurant is honoring the occasion with a family-friendly celebration on March 15th. The dinner offering features a menu tailored to both adult and youth palates. Specialty menu items from the 15th through the 17th include Guinness Beef Stew, "Touch of the Green" Pea Soup and Irish spreads and baked goods such as classic Irish soda bread, Guinness and cheddar, creamed spinach and green sweet butter. For the wee little ones, a selection of baby purées is available as well as a Mini Chicken Waffle Sandwich. Children can also keep busy with holiday crafts, toys and a movie while Mom and Dad peruse the menu. Although not especially Gaelic themed, the adult offerings feature a Bouillabaisse with monkfish, clams, mussels, lobster, saffron and potatoes as well as S’mores In A Crock with fixings for the whole family to enjoy. For Restaurant Week, Chef Robert Tobin will be offering a Grilled Salmon dish prepared with braised bacon, spaghetti squash and sauce Maltaise as well as a Roast Chicken with a pave of turnips, carrots and parsnips.
Photo Courtesy of Grafton Street
Grafton Street Pub & Grill
1230 Massachusetts Ave Cambridge, MA 02138 617-497-0400
Over in Harvard Square,
Grafton Street Pub & Grill will be celebrating throughout the weekend, serving food with good old-fashioned Irish spirit. Named after the famed street in Dublin's Temple Bar neighborhood, this traditional Irish pub will be serving Shepherd's Pie with braised lamb, English peas, carrots and mashed potatoes as well as a Grilled Arctic Char, among other selections. Locals and Harvard students alike frequent this eatery, which offers an interesting selection of beer on tap, including Berkshire Brewing Cabin Fever and Smuttynose Old Brown Dog. The Restaurant Week menu, curated by Executive Chef Eric Gregory, includes starters such as an Oxtail Marmalade with smoked eggplant, pine nuts and micro celery as well as a Cauliflower Bisque with toasted almonds and truffle oil. Diners can look forward to savory entrées like the Berkshire Pork Belly, served with cheddar cornmeal waffles, bourbon maple and mustard greens. Reviewers praise brunch at this cozy pub and rave about the addictive Rosemary Truffle Fries.
Photo Courtesy of Parker House
60 School Street Boston, MA 02108 617-227-8600
Who wouldn't want to visit the birthplace of the Boston Cream Pie? Parker's Restaurant at the Boston Omni Parker House Hotel comes with quite a history. Not only did they invent the famous dessert, the restaurant was once a meeting place for literary greats like Charles Dickens, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Ralph Waldo Emerson. JFK even proposed to Jackie Kennedy in this restaurant. On March 15th in the restaurant and March 17th in Parker's Bar, the menu will feature traditional fare like Corned Beef and Cabbage with horseradish cream, Guinness-braised Irish Lamb Stew, and Bread and Butter Pudding with Bailey's Anglaise for dessert. Whipped up especially for the Restaurant Week dinner menu, guests can opt for a Sweet Potato Gnocchi with a maple and sage butter sauce or the Hudson Valley Seared Duck with pomegranate molasses, sweet potato purée and sugar snap peas. Patrons can also savor a bit of history as Boston Cream Pie is listed on the prix fixe menu for dessert.