The staff members at Muldoon's attribute their success to the craic, a term that they say describes the atmosphere of fun and fellowship often found in a true Irish pub. That laid-back vibe has paid off: Muldoon's has been crowned Best Neighborhood Bar by CityVoter for four years running. Washed down with an extensive beer selection, the hearty food menu stocks such Irish classics as shepherd's pie, Irish beef-and-potato stew with Guinness broth, and hand-breaded fried-cod fish ‘n’ chips. Chefs also prepare more local favorites, such as a classic Midwest breaded tenderloin that, in accordance with tradition, looks kind of like Abraham Lincoln's profile if you squint. Meanwhile, guests can cozy up by the fireplace to listen to live music or admire the antique cash register at the bar.
It’s not uncommon to spot owners Steve and Amy Ward at Nippers Grill & Tap, greeting the regulars or cheering on a game of darts. The duo takes great pride in the neighborhood atmosphere of their cheerful pub, where friends meet to swap stories over pints of frosty beer and no one feels too intimidated to take the stage for at least one song during Friday and Saturday night karaoke. Boisterous carousers compete in friendly games of pool, pausing every now and again to root for a sports team or sniffle at a heartwarming allergy-medicine commercial playing on one of the numerous flat-screen TVs. Elsewhere, tables and chairs and a lengthy wood bar host mountains of nachos, plump wings, and crispy fried pickles. During warmer months, Nippers Grill & Tap hosts games of corn-hole on its outdoor patio.
While audiences laugh it up at the rib-tickling comedians, Morty's slick performance space entertains their eyes. Eschewing the dowdy aesthetic of many comedy clubs, Morty's features sleek, modern tables and chairs and a wood-paneled bar. A full menu of tasty food, meanwhile, quells hunger while drinks and craft beers cool tongues and help keep people from spontaneously combusting.
The clink of whiskey glasses, the upbeat strains of fiddles, and the mouthwatering aroma of braised lamb shank: these are the sights, sounds, and smells that envelop the senses at Claddagh Irish Pub. The lively eatery sates stomachs with a menu of traditional dishes, such as shepherd’s pie, and those with modern twists, such as the fish accompanied by fresh mango salsa or cilantro-lime rice. The chefs try to use seasonal ingredients and keep tongues from getting bored by changing their offerings twice a year and hiding firecrackers in the desserts.
Diners swig a variety of Irish beer and whiskeys and sip more than a dozen wines surrounded by dark-wood accents and stone walls that evoke the Emerald Isle. A slew of events entertain ears, including team trivia nights and live sessions of traditional Irish music.
Moon Dog Tavern pacifies barking bellies with a menu overflowing with appealing apps, paninis, burgers, and pizzas. Begin food conquests with an appetizer such as the portabella fries, hand-breaded and served with chipotle-cream sauce ($5.25). Swaddle tongues in the savory house-smoked pork-barbecue sandwich, piled atop a sesame-seed bun and enhanced with creamy coleslaw ($7.95), or the monterey mushroom melt, a half-pound patty cooked to order and covered in sautéed portabellas and monterey jack cheese ($7.95). Savor a hearty stromboli ($8.50) or the mexican rose specialty pizza—a tortilla-thin crust mounded with a mélange of cheeses, spicy beef or chicken, nacho sauce, and fiesta must-haves including lettuce, tomato, black olives, and sour-cream-filled pinatàs ($8.95).
The bartenders at Brewstone Beer Company have trouble picking their favorite types of beer, so they don’t bother. Instead, they serve domestic and imported pours from all over the atlas, grabbing brews from as close as Sun King Brewing and as far away as the great ale houses of Europe. Each flavorful beer harmonizes with hearty steaks such as ribeyes, new york strips, and sirloins. They also play well with the menu’s half-pound Angus burgers topped with avocado mayo, seared ahi tuna spiced with wasabi mousse, and pasta tossed with spicy chicken and grape tomatoes. Feasts unfold inside a spacious dining room, where a mural of electric guitars presides over roomy leather booths and flat-screen televisions tuned to the day’s sports.