When Eugene Gillespie left Ireland to visit his brother in New York in 1972, he didn't know that he would be inspired to stay. The Irish economy was down, so Eugene decided to pursue the American dream by moving to the Mid-Atlantic region. He didn't leave Ireland entirely behind him though, and Eugene proceeded to spend the next several decades opening traditional Irish pubs and restaurants throughout New York and New Jersey.
With two locations, Blackthorn Restaurant & Irish Pub demonstrates a commitment to the flavors of Ireland. The menus feature familiar comfort foods—certified Angus burgers and thin-crust pizzas—including a number of Irish favorites, such as beer-battered fish and chips and stews filled with Guinness-braised beef. To achieve an even more authentic taste, the chefs occasionally import ingredients such as Irish cheddar cheese, Irish sausages, and Irish rainbows.
The menu's iconic dishes contribute to the pubs' cozy, inviting ambiance almost as much as accents such as the stone fireplaces or the bar made of imported red mahogany. Spirits remain lively and the mood stays festive thanks to the live entertainment hosted throughout the week. Live bands perform contemporary hits as well as traditional Irish songs.
Winner of the JerseyArts.com 2009 People's Choice Award for favorite Professional Theater, Paper Mill Playhouse has been opening the curtain on top-quality musical theater and plays since its debut in 1938. The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, a Tony Award-winning musical comedy, follows the travails of a group of young students participating in their countywide spell off. With hilarious tunes and frequent fourth wall demolition, the musical expertly tickles audience funny femurs while filling their ears with the harmonious euphony of the Tony-nominated score. Groupon buyers will leave the theater with a Paper Mill Playhouse cup (a $5 value), allowing patrons of the arts to signal their theater affiliation to rival gangs of symphony and museum cup holders.
((Boom)) Burger's staff angle to put their restaurant on the map in a variety of ways. First, they put a twist on the classic burger, infusing Angus beef patties with cheesy fillings that burst open with each bite. Next, their bartenders make like mad scientists and mix beakers full of brightly colored, fruit-flavored drinks known as Boomerangs that come in giant servings of up to 38 ounces. Between all of the barstools and tabletops the eatery can host up to 300 people all set aglow by 40 high-definition televisions. This means that even at maximum capacity, there’s one screen for every seven and a half people, so you can always catch your game of choice, be it baseball, soccer, or commercial judging.
With more than 50 HDTVs, surround sound, stadium seating, and a trio of 100-inch screens for major sporting events, Central Park makes a strong case against actually going to the big game. Enveloped by accommodating extras, the restaurant's guests find an equally accommodating menu that's loaded with favorites for all sorts of tastes. At the center of Central Park's spread, the Southwest onion stack buries a burger beneath a tower of onion rings. It stands at more than a half-foot tall?about the height of an adolescent bobblehead?and headlines a selection of burgers, pizzas, and other game-friendly foods. Even with all this, Central Park packs one more surprise: a sushi bar, where fans can devour traditional rolls and special creations.
You might expect the menu at Oh' Brian's on the Green to be just as casual as its atmosphere?after all, the restaurant is surrounded by a golf course, and sports games regularly broadcast from its many flat-screen TVs. You'd be mistaken, however. Appetizers of oysters rockefeller and osso bucco marrow bones emerge from the kitchen shortly before an array of gourmet entrees such as gnocchi pomodoro, Hudson Valley duck breast, and Sterling Silver filet mignon. Of course, the chefs don't overlook the need for classic game-watching eats, as burgers, sliders, and mac 'n' cheese dishes populate the menu as well. Thursday through Saturday evenings, live music suffuses the space courtesy of local rock bands, acoustic musicians, and pianos dueling over which one is the grandest.
The aroma of Harp-battered fish and fresh-cut potatoes frying in the kitchen mingles with tender filet mignon browning on the grill at Molly Maguire's Irish Pub & Restaurant. Chefs also prepare traditional Irish dishes such as shepherd's pie and corned beef and cabbage. They help diners wash down their bites with sips of Guinness or Smithwick's Irish Ale poured from the full bar into pint glasses or lengthy top hats. The dining area's dark wood panels bedecked with Guinness signs add an Irish ambiance to a traditional pub atmosphere. Twelve high-definition flat-screen TVs broadcast NFL games, and music from karaoke, acoustic sets, and DJs fills the pub on weeknights. Live rock bands take the stage each Friday and Saturday night.