Within the variety of bars and restaurants we enjoy in Somerville, we are lucky to have two authentic Irish pubs, opened by Irish ex-pats. As you might expect, they will be pulling out all the stops for Ireland’s national day. And, if you’re looking for some live Irish music during happy hour or for a dinner that’s not corned beef and cabbage, head to places in Magoun and Davis Squares, respectively.
If you’re up for an early start to St. Patrick’s Day, start your day with a traditional Irish breakfast at The Burren, which will open at 7 a.m. Live music starts at 9 a.m., and will be performed all day by a variety of bands in the front and back rooms. And, of course, corned beef and cabbage will be available, and much Guinness will be on tap. The Burren was opened in 1996 by two Irish ex-pat musicians, Tommy McCarthy and Lisa Costello, who began playing together in Ireland 10 years earlier. The restaurant is named after a great rocky expanse in County Clare with mystical origins.
“Corned beef and cabbage will be rolling out at the Scholar all day long,” said Patrick Cross, owner of The Thirsty Scholar. Patrick began his hospitality career in Ireland before emigrating and spending time in his pub is like escaping to Ireland for a while. It even has a snug, that small room that can be curtained off for private gatherings. In keeping with the national holiday, he promises lots of prizes and give-aways, special martinis, and bagpipers, who will sporadically visit the pub as well.
Olde Magoun’s Saloon will have live music. Starting at happy hour, Ronan Quinn will perform (4 to 7 p.m.), followed by Full Moon (7 p.m. to closing). A special Irish menu will be served all day.
And if you want to end your day with a more formal Irish dinner, stop by Orleans, which will also have live music. Appetizers include Guinness beef stew ($6) and boxty potato cake salad ($9), which is two potato patties with a whiskey leek sauce, served over mixed greens And there are five entrees: open-faced smoked salmon sandwich with traditional Irish brown bread ($12.95), fish and chips ($12.95), baked haddock ($16.95), stuffed with crab meat, shitake mushrooms, and leeks, served with mashed potatoes, carrots, and a lemon-thyme beurre blanc, pork loin wrapped in bacon ($13.95), served with colcannon, gravy, and crispy onion rings, and shepherd’s pie ($12.95).