Last weekend, Kristina and I found ourselves awash in a sea of green as we entered Irish on Grand. The cozy space, sprinkled
with welcoming phrases of Gaelic (and a million inscriptions of “An Irish Blessing”) was filled with lilting Celtic tunes and all the Irish knickknacks you could ask for–including a small pantry area with items from the U.K. usually not available in U.S. supermarkets. Kristina fondly recalled her days studying abroad in York, and seized a large box of chocolate digestives with nostalgic fervor.
However, our most important find at Irish on Grand was the information that a brand new traditional Irish pub had recently opened nearby, and as a pair of student journalists on the loose, we felt it was our responsibility to investigate with no further ado.
Emmett’s Public House, next to Dixie’s on Grand, was our next stop, where we were just in time for happy hour. Since both Kristina and I have had the pleasure of visiting a few legitimate British pubs, we immediately began comparing the interior to the ones we’d encountered before. The space was much more expansive than I’d seen during my time in the U.K., but it still conveyed a cozy atmosphere, complete with a long, gleaming wooden bar, the privacy of raised booths, and a small fireplace (real flames not included) over which hung a large portrait of Emmett himself. It turns out that the eponymous Emmett was the father of pub owner Peter Kenefick, and led quite a distinguished career, including a period of study at Notre Dame.
One of the items on the happy hour menu was a $5 Big Ginger, which is one of my favorite cocktails to order at Kieran’s Irish Pub in Minneapolis. Made with 2 Gingers whiskey and ginger ale, it combines two of my favorite liquids in one effervescent and intoxicating mixture that always delights. Kristina opted for a Loon Juice cider.
To step out of our comfort zone and put the pub to the test, we sampled one of the most intriguing-sounding dishes on the menu: corned beef and cabbage wontons.
The fried, crispy tidbits were accompanied with Jameson horseradish mustard and sriracha Thousand Island Dressing, both of which added a hot, spicy zing. Kristina and I agreed that we made the right choice, although our wallets weren’t quite fat enough to sample any of the other menu dishes that day. (Items of interest included the Scotch eggs, curried beer and whiskey mussels, and salmon and goat cheese salad).
However, I couldn’t leave before helping myself to an Irish coffee, made with Jameson and Bailey’s and topped with a mountain of whipped cream. The coffee certainly had a vicious bite; Kristina ventured a sip and made a sour face, since she drinks neither coffee nor whiskey.
The Jameson added just a bit too much punch for me, but those who enjoy their coffee as spiked as it can get should give it a try. I think I’ll stick to Bailey’s in the future.
Overall, Emmett’s was a wonderful representation of the classic Irish pub–and a spectacular place to be on St. Paddy’s Day, I’d imagine. I can’t wait to get back and sample more of their delicious fare. If you’re interested in trying it for yourselves, find the full details and menu on the Emmett’s Public House website.