Inside: Claddagh Irish Pub
Irish food and culture in a fun, upscale atmosphere
Special to Metromix
Claddagh Irish Pub aims to provide diners with an authentic Irish pub experience, complete with dim lighting, dark wood and stone accents, roomy booths, European sports on TV, and perfectly poured Guinness on tap. This restaurant chain combines the best of fine dining with the casual fun of an upscale bar. During special events, you can catch live Irish music from some of the best Celtic bands in the area. Whether you come for lunch, dinner or late-night drinks, Claddagh will make you feel as if you've been transplanted to the emerald hills of Ireland.
Food: In a sea of restaurants boasting the best fish and chips in town, Claddagh could take the trophy with high quality cod fish coated with bass ale, true pub-style chips and just the right amount of grease. For a unique and healthy alternative, try the salmon fish and chips. There are plenty of options on the menu to suit your stomach, from light soups and fresh, green salads to seafood dishes, sandwiches, and traditional favorites like the full Irish breakfast, corned beef and cabbage, and Guinness beef stew. For dessert, treat yourself to the decadent Bailey's cheesecake, made with delicious Bailey's Irish cream, or the "Brilliant Brownie Hooley," topped with ice cream, Guinness chocolate sauce, and Irish caramel whiskey sauce. In a word: incredible.
Libations: Whether you've come for the expertly served Guinness on tap or a glass of the best Irish whiskey, you won't be disappointed by this pub's extensive drink menu. You can order anything your heart desires at the full bar, including (but not limited to) ciders, ales, lagers, whiskeys, wines, and even a few of the more unusual European and American beers. Soda, teas, coffees, specialty drinks and dessert drinks are also available.
Décor: Claddagh is the perfect rendition of the ideal European pub, complete with mounted TV's, music, a fireplace, lit torches and a cozy atmosphere with plenty of private seating in sectioned rooms. The dark wood and stone interior with low lighting and castle-like furnishings further adds to the ambience. The restaurant has several sections of seating with different aspects of appeal, so you can choose where you'd like to sit and experience entirely different facet of the pub's décor each time you visit.
Crowd: Weekday lunch hours are generally quiet, but dinner hours see an increase in business. Weekends are busy, especially after dinner, and St. Patrick's Day is positively packed from wall to wall. However, this is a large restaurant with plenty of seating, and during the summer you can even choose to sit out on the patio. If you aren't in the mood for a crowd, you can call ahead and order carry-out.
Service: Excellent service just about sums it up. The servers are friendly and engaging, quick to answer questions or help with menu selections. You may have to wait a bit for your entrée on a busy night, but it's well worth it.
Insider tip: If you're looking for St. Patrick's Day festivities, Claddagh Pub throws one heck of a party with live music, drinks and specials. This year they're hosting a mega music festival at both their downtown and Polaris locations. Check out the Claddagh Web site for a full lineup.
Bottom line: Fantastic food, high-quality drinks and an authentic, appealing atmosphere make this traditional Irish pub an instant favorite. Live Irish music is a definite bonus.
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