Chef Kelly McCown of Goose & Gander Restaurant in St. Helena has a rallying cry for all St. Patrick’s Day revelers: “Blow off Monday.”
“Last year St. Patrick’s was on a Sunday but this year it’s Monday,” says McCown. “So our theme is, ‘Blow off Monday.’” Weekend visitors to St. Helena are being encouraged to extend their trip an extra day while locals can take Monday off work.
McGown, an American of Irish descent who can recite facts about St. Patrick’s Day at the drop of a green derby hat, is making traditional corned beef and cabbage with Irish soda bread at his pub-style restaurant in the heart of Napa Valley’s wine country. There will be live music and an array of St. Paddy’s Day beer and drink specials. Goose & Gander opens at noon and will stay open until midnight—or until no one is left standing.
“We’ll start at noon and see who’s still standing by the time we’re done,” jokes Elizabeth Naylor of the staff. And if you do blow off Monday and need a place to stay that night, Hotel St. Helena and the Wydon Hotel are only steps away.
Other St. Patrick’s Day events and offerings in the valley are:
• The traditional Irish band Kith & Kin will perform a benefit concert Saturday, March 15 at Native Sons Hall in St. Helena. Doors open at 6 p.m., dinner starts an hour later. Tickets are $50 and include a full corned beef meal. Proceeds support the St. Helena Rotary Foundation charities.
• Hurley’s Restaurant in Yountville will offer Irish specials all weekend on a menu written in Gaelic with English translations. Try appetizers such as Gaelic Ferim, a potato watercress soup or Gallimh Friochadh, a fry-up of calamari and shrimp in the style of old Galway Bay. The corned beef is made on site and brined for five weeks; its hefty corned beef sandwich is known simply as “The Stack.” Hurley’s will also dish out corned beef sliders at the Taste of Yountville on Saturday, March 15.
• The Crush Ultra Lounge at the Meritage Resort in Napa is a place to eat, drink and yes, bowl. It will offer $5 Guinness specials and $5 shots of Tullamore Dew Irish whiskey to celebrate the day.
• And at the Norman Rose Tavern in Napa, you will find a mix of the traditional—corned beef and cabbage with steamed new potatoes and whole grain mustard—with the non-traditional. The Irish nachos are potato chips with braised shredded lamb and beer cheese sauce, and the Guinness chocolate cake has Bailey’s cream cheese filling.