If you’re going to go to an Irish pub for dinner, it might as well be one in a castle. Especially when the food is as good as it is at Annie Molloy’s Irish Castle, just over the line in Patterson, N.Y.
This establishment is less than a 10-minute drive from some parts of New Fairfield and the northwest corner of Danbury. For delicious food in a congenial atmosphere, it’s well worth the time from farther afield, as well.
Aside from the stone crenellation of the building’s outside, entering through the main doorway off Haviland Drive keeps the castlelike feel intact. My companion and I climbed the green wooden staircase, surrounded by gray stone, to arrive at the second-floor bar and restaurant, wondering what sight would greet our eyes as we passed through the doorway at the top of the stairs.
We were happy to find a comfortable space, split between dining room and bar, with seating available on either side on the weeknight we stopped in for dinner.
Gleaming dark wood was a predominant feature of the decor, from floor to half-walls to furniture. The effect was lightened by the golden yellow paint on the top half of the walls and the glass that topped the wall and door dividing bar and dining room.
The bar was manned by a friendly fellow named Jamie, who directed us to sit where we pleased on either side. Choosing a table on the bar side of the wall, we had clear views of a hockey game on a large-screen TV and could easily hear the bluesy classic rock emanating from the Internet Jukebox that graced one wall.
Later, we were able to share our best guesses with each other when the night’s trivia game got under way in the dining room.
Feeling frozen when we arrived, we eagerly took Jamie’s suggestion to start with a crock of soup. My companion chose the potato leek and I went with the Irish onion and ale soup.
Both dishes arrived piping hot, just the ticket to combat the cold of what soon became a snowy night. My soup had a rich brown broth and was blanketed in melted Swiss and Parmesan cheese.
I avoided the bay leaf as I scooped up tender pieces of onion and crostini along with the broth. I was delighted with the taste added to the broth by the ale; the flavors blended perfectly.
“Very hearty, served hot. The potato leek was perfectly spiced, really took the chill off the cold day,” my companion said.
He followed his soup with a Reuben sandwich, served with French fries, cole slaw, and slices of pickles and tomatoes. He was immediately thrilled with the hot lean corned beef, sauerkraut and cheese combination. “One of the best ones I’ve ever had,” he exclaimed.
I was pleased to find something beyond the ordinary in the grilled chicken sandwich I ordered. No dry, bland sandwich here. Between two halves of a ciabatta were the grilled chicken breast with avocado, goat cheese, lettuce and tomato, sauced with a honey mustard dressing. The addition of the creamy avocado and tangy goat cheese made for a wonderful combination of textures and flavors. Fries, cole slaw and pickles were served on the side.
While the choices sounded delectable, instead of something from the dessert menu, we ended our meal sharing a side of the warm apple and pear compote. Served warm, it was, as my companion pronounced, “Not too sweet, not too tart.” It was a delicious ending for our meal.
Source: Carolyn Mueller, newstimes.com