Irish favorites are on the menu year-round at Kilkenny’s, 1413 E. 15th St. But on St. Patrick’s Day they fly out of the kitchen.
Most of the year, it’s the fish and chips, burgers and Guinness barbecue ribs that take the top spots. But in March, when St. Patrick’s Day is on people’s minds, the more authentic, the better.
Even though COVID-19 has tamped down the normal March 17 party that would have Kilkenny’s customers spilling into the street, the food will be hot and the beer will still be flowing.
Erick Dyer, Kilkenny’s general manager, expects to sell a lot of corned beef and cabbage and fish and chips, both in-person and take-out, this year.
“It’s the best corned beef you’ll ever have,” he says.
Seven boxty options command the nearly 19-year-old Cherry Street restaurant’s menu. These potato pancakes are something to look forward to. The warm, soft hash-brown potatoes are filled and then folded over, omelet-style. Fillings will include salmon with lemon-dill sauce; one stuffed with crab, shrimp and lobster; an all-veggie option; and others.
On St. Patrick’s Day, Kilkenny’s will start the day with brunch: foods like Irish sausages and bacon, black pudding, Irish baked beans, corned beef hash and soda bread.
Kilkenny’s Irish specialties also include Irish stew, steak and Guinness pie, and bangers (Irish sausages) and mash.
Dyer says Kilkenny’s has earned its reputation for exceptional food.
“We try to get people to know we’re a restaurant,” he says. “People think of pubs as bars, and while I understand that, our food is what sets us apart.”
Dyer says its loyal customers have kept Kilkenny’s going since last year. He and staff have been flexible about examining protocols and discussing best practices.
“It’s a fine line to walk because the most important thing is to keep my staff safe and to keep the guests feeling safe enough to come in,” he says. “Our business feeds not only the thousands who come in every week, but also the livelihoods of the people who work here.”