If you really want to soak up the Irish experience during St. Patrick Day celebration (or any other day), then you must head to the border of Bronx and Yonkers, where a Little Ireland resides. This cute neighborhood called Woodlawn is filled with great Irish pubs, bakeries, and gift shops. The street that divide Bronx and Yonkers called McLean Avenue seems to be more lively with Irish spirits, and on this street, you can find a huge Irish Restaurant, Rory Dolan’s, which comes with a large parking lot. I know, a parking lot! This is when you know, you are no longer in New York City…
Since we went right around St. Patrick Day, it was decorated with lots and lots of Irish & St. Patrick Day decorations. Very festive. I also liked their stone brick exterior, bringing a bit of old, medieval-time feel. I especially liked the claddagh ring design on the wall, I always thought the symbol is so lovely.
They have a small area between the exterior door and the door leading to the restaurant, I believe it to be a wait area, and it was nicely decorated with all green as well. They had a chalk board with special menu item listed, and right after you walk in the second door, they have a coat check if you don’t want to have your heavy coat or jacket with you at your table.
The first think you see when you walk in is the wood divider with a sign telling you where to go. The hostess will be waiting for you at the end of this “corridor.” There are some booth seating to the right side of the divider, and then a really big bar on the left side. The hostess was really nice, since there was no open table at that moment, they told us that we can wait at the bar until a table becomes available.
The bar was fully equipped with their great selections of beer, liqueur, wine, and several TV screens. They had TV screens throughout the restaurant, so this would be a good place for sports fans. The bar was really large, with comfortable wood counter, and the bartender was efficient. Once you are at the bar, you can start to appreciate the size of this restaurant. It is really big, with a lot of seating. I could see they had some tables set up at few sections for a large party. The large groups have not arrived yet, so it looked like they had many empty tables available, but they were honoring and securing those tables for the big parties. It is nice to know that they really do hold reservation. Don’t you hate it when you go to a restaurant with a reservation, but then when you get there, they tell you “your table is not ready”…???
We got a Guinness while we waited. Perfectly poured. with just the right amount of foam. And it was served super fast, as I mentioned, very efficient bartender.
Couple of tables opened up pretty quickly, and we were led to the upper-level floor. Since our table was right next to one of the large party tables, it was nice and quiet (until the group started to arrive). They had St. Patrick decorations everywhere, every inch they can find, making it really festive. We could also see the dining area on the lower-level very well from the upper-level area.
They brought complimentary bread, and guess what, it includes Irish soda bread! It was sooooooo delicious, I could not stop myself from eating them all (yes I shared them with my husband, even thought I wanted them all to myself). It was so good, and I am not a fan of raisins (or maybe these were currants?), but these ones were amazing that I loved every bite of it. Light and airy, moist and soft, and super tasty. I wanted to have it every day!
We wanted something “Irish” again, so we ordered their Irish Breakfast (10.95). It comes with two eggs any style, two sausages, bacon, black & white pudding, home fries, toast & grilled tomato. All of that for $10.95!!!! The even more incredible thing about their Sunday Brunch was that you get a complimentary Mimosa, Bloody Mary, or a glass of Draught beer with your brunch order! That is really a great value! We chose Mimosa to go with the brunch, and it was very nice. Not strong, but good orange juice flavor which is a perfect match for any brunch to me. The Irish Breakfast was really great, everything was delicious! The meats were juicy and flavorful, home fries were soft and potato-y, eggs were cooked just right, and even the toasts were great. Awesome comfy food. We enjoyed every bite of it. We were afraid we won’t finish the plate, but when something is so tasty, you just can’t stop eating! So, naturally, we finished every bit of the deliciousness.
The second item we ordered was from their “traditional Irish Fare” lunch menu, Irish Style Chicken Curry (11.95). It came with onions, peppers, and pineapples served with rice and french fries. I don’t think I have ever had a curry with pineapples in it, but it was very good! It had that sweetness from the pineapple, but yet not losing the good curry flavor. The chicken was nice and moist, tender and soft, and veggies were great too. Soaking up the rice and fries in the curry sauce was nice, I really enjoyed this dish as well. It was a big portion, just like the Irish Breakfast. Remember to come here hungry! I am not sure how “authentic” this dish is to Irish, but I will have it again and again.
Then, there comes the desserts. The most successful way to entice customers is to bring out the dessert plate with all the desserts on it. Were we tempted? YES! Were we able to resist the temptation? NO!! I mean, come on, just look at them. Even with full stomach, we could not say no…
So, we decided on one of the small one, Sherry Tifle ($5.50) in a glass. We figured we could handle that size if we shared it. From the one bite, we were no longer doubting if we could finish it. It was so delicious! Provided we are already a big fans of trifle, so it won’t be hard to please us when it comes to trifle… It was not the best trifle I have ever had, but it was sweet, creamy, tasty, and my taste buds were happy.
Our waitress was nice, service was ok, and the atmosphere was fun. About the time we were finishing our desserts, the big group started to arrive, and they decided to hang around between their big table and our table, instead of sitting down. They were bumping into our table, never apologizing for it, but kept on bumping into our table and chair… It would have been nice if a restaurant staff could say something to them, so that they would stop being so rude… But I know that not everyone has good manners. Sadly. Overall, we did enjoyed the experience here, tremendously so. I am glad that the big group didn’t arrive until the end of our meal. We would definitely go back there in the future for some more great food!!!
Rory Dolan’s Restaurant & Bar – 890 McLean Ave, Yonkers, NY 10704