Every town needs a good pub; a place where you’d be happy watching the big game with friends and a bucket of brews, or meeting a first date for dinner. A place with food that’s classic and timeless, yet a little twisted. Offer some all-American fare and plenty of ethnic dishes, with ingredients of both meeting up on the plates. Oh, and the place should be comfortable enough to slouch, yet nice enough to sit up straight, depending on the company you’re keeping at that moment.
You can find all of this at Corcoran’s Tavern & Grill in Boynton Beach, a newcomer to the Irish pub scene.
Opened just a few weeks, the interior is elegant and spacious, with lots of wood, stone, good lighting and plenty of interesting Irish-themed art and photos. Even the ceiling is a work of art. There are bookshelves and beer barrels in a windowed corner, looking like a fine place to sit and relax with one of the two dozen ales, beers and hard ciders available, including Boynton Beach’s own Due South.
The menu features British and Irish classics, many of them tweaked and teased a bit to appeal to a broader range of American diners, while still remaining true to the cuisine’s appeal: good seafood, pork, cheeses and novel uses for the potato. For appetizers, there’s Angry Irish Calamari (with curry peppers), fried Killian cheese, Irish nachos, bangers in blankets with horseradish sauce and Scottish salmon canapés. Sandwiches and entreés feature burgers with smoked Irish bacon, bangers on a bun, Celtic Dip (thinly-sliced ribeye au jus), shepherd’s pie, curry chicken, finnan haddie, an all-day Irish breakfast (eggs, bacon, black and white pudding, beans, fried tomato, sausage, sauteed mushrooms and toast) and a ploughman’s lunch plate. And along with mashed potatoes, there’s boxty, the Irish way of putting leftover mashed potatoes to excellent use.
There are plenty of American choices on the menu: steaks, chops, chicken fingers, crab cakes, salads and meat loaf. But this team is having so much fun with the rest of the menu, it seems a little pointless to eat like a Yank while you're here.
Service is fast and efficient, with the waitress checking regularly to see if anything was needed. Prices are not exactly gentle: appetizers are $9 to $12, burgers and sandwiches $11 to $13 and platters mostly in the $10 to $26 range, with a few (rack of lamb, filet mignon and Wagyu sirloin) above $30. But this is a dual personality restaurant. At Corcoran’s, you can meet the boys for beers, the girls for lunch or treat the parents or business clients to a meal, and no one will walk away without calling out a “Slainté!” or two.
Corcoran’s Tavern & Grill, 1500 Gateway Blvd., Suite 150, Boynton Beach, FL. Phone (561) 375-9997(561) 375-9997. Hours: Sunday through Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to midnight, Friday and Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. Live music Thursday through Saturday 9 p.m. to midnight. Free parking in the on-site garage.