Where in NH to find a taste of Ireland
In the month of March, everyone is Irish, so why not eat like an Irishman? Aight!
It’s clear why the Irish are known to be “lucky” — they eat (and drink) pretty darn well. From tender corned beef to whiskey to buttery mashed potatoes, the Irish are a fortunate bunch. But there’s no reason why they should be the only ones having a feast this St. Patrick’s Day. Here are eight great places across New Hampshire offering (mostly) authentic Irish treats.
The dish: Shepherd’s Pie
May Kelly’s Cottage
3002 White Mountain Highway, Conway
603-356-7005 | www.maykellys.com
Why it’s worth trying: Picture this: ground lamb, carrots, corn, and onions topped with mashed potato and cheddar cheese, and finished with Merlot gravy. Salivating yet? Comfort food at its finest, this hearty dish will instantly transport you to one of the coziest pubs in Ireland.
The dish: Irish Coffee
Where to find it: Copper Door
15 Leavy Drive, Bedford
603-488-2677 | www.copperdoorrestaurant.com
Why it’s worth trying: Why not end your meal with a cup of coffee that’s filled with booze? Copper Door’s version of Irish coffee consists of freshly brewed java spiked with Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey and topped with whipped cream and a drizzle of [authentically green] Crème de Menthe. This is a liquid dessert that’s worth every calorie.
The dish: Bangers and Mash
Where to find it: Coat of Arms Pub
174 Fleet St., Portsmouth, NH
603-431-0407 | www.coatofarmspub.com
Why they’re worth trying: Bangers and Mash is a rite of passage for Irish folk, but Coat of Arms Pub puts their own spin on this traditional dish. Their version features house-made pork sausage set on top of mashed potatoes, smothered in gravy, and topped with Colman’s English hot mustard. Need we say more? This stick-to-your-ribs favorite is only made better when washed down with a pint of Guinness.
The dish: Boxty
Where to find it: Kathleen’s Cottage
90 Lake Street, Bristol
603-744-6336 | www.kathleenscottagenh.com
Why it’s worth trying: Boxty is a traditional Irish potato pancake that’s part pancake, part hash brown. At Kathleen’s Cottage, you have your choice of how you want to fill the starchy and delicious morsel, with options being sautéed mushrooms with whisky gravy, sautéed chicken with an Irish whiskey cream, or sautéed steak, mushrooms, and onions with whiskey gravy.
The dish: Irish Breakfast
Where to find it: Peddler’s Daughter
48 Main St., Nashua
603-821-7535 | www.thepeddlersdaughter.com
Why it’s worth trying: Served during Sunday brunch (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.), the Peddler’s Daughter’s Irish Breakfast will leave you full until dinner (possibly until breakfast on Monday). This traditional breakfast plate includes two eggs any style, Irish Rashers and Bangers, black and white pudding, grilled tomato, and brown bread. Wash it all down with an Irish Mule (Jameson Irish Whiskey, Peddler’s ginger beer, and lime), and you’ve got yourself quite the Sunday Funday.
The dish: Dublin Coddle
Holy Grail Food & Spirits
64 Main St., Epping
Why it’s worth trying: Dublin Coddle was originally created as a way to use up leftovers in a hearty stew, but the Holy Grail takes this authentic dish up a few, modern notches. “Sausage, bacon, potatoes, onions, all simmered to perfection, and served as a heaping portion,” says Derek Reith, manager. “Cooking our coddle low and slow allows our seasonings to work through the whole dish and make for one special treat.” Dublin Coddle is also one of the harder-to-find Irish dishes around the state, so grab a spoon and get ready to dig in. (Side note: Holy Grail’s Boiled Dinner is also a great Irish indulgence, if you’re feeling extra hungry).
The dish: Irish Soda Bread
Where to find it: Dutch Epicure Bakery
141 101A, Amherst
603-879-9400 | www.dutchepicurebakery.com
Why it’s worth trying: Although Irish Soda Bread was traditionally a product of a poor country made with only the most basic of ingredients, Dutch Epicure Bakery proves that any class of carbohydrate eaters can now enjoy this treat. Dutch Epicure’s version is made with a blend of flour, buttermilk, butter, raisins, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and caraway seed. The end result is a sweet bread resembling a large scone – just like our Celtic ancestors intended.
The dish: Grilled Reuben
Where to find it: Lou’s Restaurant & Bakery
30 S. Main St., Hanover
603-643-3321 | www.lousrestaurant.net
Why it’s worth trying: Almost anyone can make a Reuben sandwich, but no one can make it like Lou’s. “What makes our Reuben stand out amongst others is that everything is made in-house,” says Zachary Plante, chef at Lou’s Restaurant. “Our corned beef briskets are cooked almost daily and sliced by hand into large, flavorful, tender portions. It is then grilled to order on classic marbled rye bread with sauerkraut made and aged in-house and Russian dressing from-scratch.” Now it’s clear why this sandwich is marked as a “favorite” on their menu.
Michelle Lahey is a food writer who was born and raised in New Hampshire. She also blogs about food at www.ahoppymedium.blogspot.com