Friday, 02nd Sept, 2011
Don’t be fooled by his Italian-sounding name, Michael Fassino is all about the beef—corned beef.
As the owner of Paddy Ryan’s Irish Pub and Restaurant that’s a great thing.
“We have authentic Irish recipes from all over Ireland; north, south, east and west,” he said.
Both Fassino and his wife Connie have Irish heritage so opening the restaurant in the growing part of town celebrating their roots made sense.
“There are a lot of people with Irish heritage in the area. In Hudson, River Falls, New Richmond and obviously St. Paul,” he said. “We get a lot of pull from all of those areas.”
He is also involved in home building so he felt capable of reconizing the need for Paddy Ryan’s four years ago when they opened.
“I felt with all the houses and new people in town, and the lack of a restaurant like mine in that area, there was a good spot for me,” he said.
So he spent two months going through recipes, doing Internet research, watching cooking shows and tasting foods by his new chef with three employees from across the pond.
“I haven’t ever been to Ireland, but that’s how we came up with the menu,” he said. “When I have people come in and say the food is just like what they ate when they were there then I know I did it right.”
Some of the menu items from around Ireland include sausage and champs, Clancy’s potato leek, boxty (potato pancakes) and farles (soda bread).
Fassino’s favorite is the Kilbeggan Reuben.
“I love corned beef. This one is great because it’s a corned beef brisket cut by hand with a knife like it would be in grandma’s kitchen. We use braised cabbage—not sauerkraut, and it’s topped with a bistro sauce with some horseradish,” he said.
Fassino said it’s important to him to have a restaurant with a “scratch kitchen.” All the food prepared at Paddy Ryan’s is freshly made—the soups, sauces, stews and breads are made there.
Many of the dishes are cooked with Guinness porter and Harp Lager—both Irish beers.
Like the homemade sandwich, the atmosphere is something like home.
“When you come in it’s like walking into your home that you haven’t been at for a few months,” the owner said. “The servers treat customers like family and are approachable and helpful. We want it to feel like home.”
A menu change is in the works as is a new website for the pub. Fassino said he’s also working on creating a small conference room area to accommodate groups or meetings.