Tastes of Ireland Around the State

Plus: Vegan weekend at Avenue in Long Branch; Red Bank celebrates its restaurant week.

“A Taste of Ireland” Cocktail Class
Saturday, March 9, 3–5 pm

According to a little Instagram tease, Irish Coffee is likely on the menu of Irish-theme cocktails you’ll make at the “Taste of Ireland” cocktail class at The Winston, Hoboken’s very own faux speakeasy cocktail den (the front door is a phone booth). The class is sponsored by Jameson, so expect some of that, along with recipes and instruction from the head mixologist on how to shake, stir, and/or pour cocktails, Irish or otherwise. Tickets are $35. (And The Winston’s cocktail classes tend to sell out quickly.) The Winston, 72 Hudson Street, Hoboken; 201-683-6188

4th Annual “Taste of Ireland” Dinner at 17 Summer Restaurant
Saturday, March 16, 6:30pm

If you want to get a seasonal Irish fix with more sophistication and less Kelly-green beer, head to 17 Summer in Lodi for their “Taste of Ireland” dinner. While stereotypes and high ABVs abound elsewhere this weekend, the restaurant will showcase authentic, modern Irish cuisine with a dinner that’s “local, simple…based on the core techniques of cooking.” Housed in one of the oldest buildings in Lodi, and helmed by brother-sister team Joseph and Jenna Cuccia, 17 Summer regularly puts out sophisticated seasonal menus. Saturday’s five-course menu isn’t published yet, but chef Joseph Cuccia’s ability to tread nimbly between things like a “Chef’s Preparation of Wild Game” and a Vegan Chef’s Tasting, we’re guessing the Irish dinner will be studiously composed, and, if you’re lucky, very good. Reservations are $95 per person. 17 Summer Restaurant, 17 Summer Street, Lodi; 973-928-4780

Biddy Cho’ Malley’s Pop-Up
Friday, March 22, 8:30 pm – midnight

Starting at 8:30 pm, Biddy O’Malley’s Englewood location will turn its Irish gastropub fires over to Robert Austin Cho of Kimchi Smoke BBQ in Westwood, who will debut some of the flavors from his upcoming Little Ferry H-Mart location. The menu is short, but bold, with items like Texas Duk Bokki, or chewy Korean Rice Cakes in Barbecue Sauce with Pulled Pork, Cholander Tots with Pulled Pork, Chipotle, and Smoked Kimchi, and LA Street Tacos, with Smoked Beef Cheeks and Cho’s Kimchichurri sauce), while Biddy chef Wilson Lindemann’s latest Loaded Potato Tornado with Black Pepper Crème Fraiche and Nueske’s Bacon. All items are $13 and under, so feel free to bring an appetite and extra cash. (The regular Biddy’s dinner and drinks menu will be available, too). Biddy O’Malley’s, 36 N. Van Brunt Street, Englewood; 201-608-5545

Plus Other Events:

Vegan Weekend at Avenue
Friday, March 22 – Sunday, March 24

You don’t have to make a weekend of it (but you can) when Avenue Restaurant goes vegan later this month—each day of the weekend has its own vegan menu/event. Friday night kicks things off with a five-course Vegan Tasting Dinner at 7 pm, Saturday features a Vegan Brunch with things like vegan “Eggs” Benedict with chickpea-based eggs and “Coconut Hollandaise,” and Sunday rounds out the plant-based weekend with a Vegan Market from noon to 5pm on the Rooftop Lounge. As this is Avenue’s first-ever foray into all-vegan menus, it’s safe to bet chef Josh Sauer and sous chef Christopher LoBue will pull out all the non-animal stops (they’re attempting both vegan Bouillabaisse and “Beef” Bourguignon). Dinner is $72 and brunch is $32 and both require a reservation. Avenue, 23 Ocean Avenue, Long Branch; 732-759-2900

Red Bank Restaurant Week
Monday, March 4 – Thursday, March 14

Red Bank’s Restaurant Week extends from March 4 through Thursday, March 14, excluding the Friday, 3/18 through Sunday 3/10. But even without the weekend available, that’s plenty of time to catch a deal at one of the participating restaurants. Speaking of—some restaurants will offer either a $15 lunch or $35 dinner prix fixe, while others are offering a $15 breakfast or “mid-day meal.” As usual check in with a restaurant to make your reservations (restaurant weeks tend to fill up) and to ask about their menus. Some restaurants have shared their menus for the week, which is helpful because now we know there’s a sumptuous-sounding Maitake Banh Mi at Triumph Brewing Company, Mango Chicken Korma at Bombay River, and Coconut Rum Flan for a third course at Teak. Red Bank Restaurant Week, Red Bank, locations Vary.

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