2 West Front Street, Keyport
Hours: Daily, 11:30 am–midnight
Style: Irish pub meets American sports bar, one block from Raritan Bay. The dining room, a hymn to dark woods and exposed brick, has booths as well as tables and a feature usually associated with movie studio backlots—an entire wall turned into a row of false storefronts, including one of McDonagh’s itself. The large, four-sided bar is in a separate room, complete with flat-screen TVs. Outdoor dining is available, weather permitting.
Don’t Miss: The boneless buffalo wings ($8.50) are nothing short of amazing—full of tender meat under lightly crisp breading, not at all greasy, with good dipping sauces on the side. Lunch and dinner feature several creative salads, hearty soups, pizzas, sandwiches and entrées, as well as pub traditions like shepherd’s pie and bangers and mash. The popular cowboy burger ($9.75) comes with onion rings, cheddar and barbeque sauce. For dessert, try the Irish trifle ($6), layering pound cake, custard and fresh berries. The pub offers an extensive list of domestic and imported beers as well as wine and a selection of signature cocktails.
Heads Up: Appetizers are large, more than enough for two.
The Scoop: Located on Keyport’s main drag in a row of quaint shops, McDonagh’s presents live music on weekends and Wednesday nights.