We’d like to believe that a new restaurant in DC, Star and Shamrock, was inspired by dlevy and my innovations in progressive kashrus (read: let’s deep fry!) and brave experimentation with organic spray food.
We’d also like to think that we could have come up with this idea ourselves. (And, seriously, we did. We just weren’t thinking big enough. Next time, we won’t limit our culinary cleverness to our kitchen – we’ll strive to open a restaurant!)
So what the heck am I talking about? I’ll let DCist tell you about it:
Think deli with an occasional sprinkle of Irish/Jewish fusion sprinkled in.
There’s a fried food-heavy appetizer menu, featuring fried kosher pigs in a blanket, fried pickles, fried chicken livers, fried matzo balls, and latkes all priced at $5.
The matzo balls are cut in half, griddled and served with sautéed onions and “au jew” instead of au jus. The balls stand well enough on their own with a slightly crisped exterior – not too hard, not too fluffy – especially when you combine a bite with the caramelized onion. Dip a forkful in the “au jew,” a salty chicken consommé, and you get a more traditional matzo ball soup taste experience.
…This Irish/deli-themed bar is far from a kosher joint with bacon included in a number of menu options. Not to mention the nods to an Irish kitchen are few and far between. There’s Shepherd’s Pie, Irish Potato & Cheddar Soup, and a McTuna Melt with Irish cheddar. There’s also The Clogger, a disgusting (or delicious! -ed.) sounding sub made with beef brisket, provolone, bacon, gravy, garlic butter, and mayo.
Ireland is more appropriately channeled via several Irish whiskeys, including selections from Jams, Knappogue Castle, Yyrconnell, Killbeggan, Connemara, Greenore, Clontarf, as well as several standards. And naturally you can choose from Guinness, Harp, and Kilkenny Cream Ale on tap. The rest of the beer list is heavy on Brooklyn Brewery, Coney Island, and He’brew bottles. If you’re in the mood for rye, their list is lengthier than most, but doesn’t feature any stand outs.
There were no ballads or klezmer tunes playing in the background on our visit, though there is a small stage to host the occasional Irish band. There’s not a wall full of “Guinness is Good for You” or too much baloney about all the craic you’ll have (though there is Jewish Bologna on pumpernickel for $6.50). But perhaps that lack of manufactured flair makes for a more authentic Irish tavern experience in the end. That and a menu full of Jewish kitsch.
Folks in the DC area, let us know what you think of the knew eatery.
Tip o’ the nib to JMG.