What do you do to get the full appreciation for St. Patrick Day? Go find some Irish places and have some “traditional” Irish food! Thankfully, that is not difficult to do when you live in a wonderful city like NYC. There are several great Irish pubs where they offer Irish food and experience. One of which is called the Dead Rabbit, a 2-story spot with a Taproom on the ground floor, and Parlor on the second floor.
It is located behind Fraunces Tavern, one of my favorite historical restaurant. So, this meant that this pub is also inside a very historical setting, which I was very excited to see.
When you enter, you see the old-fashioned pub with sawdust on the floor. It had lots and lots of photos on the antique-looking ceiling, and a large wall paining on the left site. It was a bit narrow, and not really a place for a sit-down meal. If you are just wanting to get some craft beer, bottled punch, and whiskeys of the world, then this is the spot.
The ground floor is where the “Grocery” is, which we were very curious to see what they offer. The grocery is located all the way to the back of the bar, and to our surprise, it didn’t have much of anything there… They had extremely limited items, such as Irish Corn Meal, Irish Tea, Irish Chocolate, etc.. Only 2 shelves worth… Needless to say we were disappointed…
We went back to the front of the bar, to the entrance, where there is a staircase leading to the Parlor. The staircase also seemed pretty old, nice dark wood, and as I turned around at the top of the stairs, I saw some old baskets and cast iron chandelier, and old pictures on the wall. Pretty cool.
The Parlor is not large but not too small either. Up here, they offer small and large plates, communal punch, and “72 historically-accurate cocktails dreamed up by the nineteenth century’s most celebrated bartenders.” Who can resist vintage cocktails at a historical building??? They have a nice size bar with good amount of bar seating, and I could see they must have more than enough liqueur and other ingredients needed to create all the drink items on the menu. It was very clean, and had a big eagle (iron or maybe bronze?) at the end of the bar.
The dining space was filled with photos, wall to wall. They were all numbered, so I assume they have a list somewhere that tells us a description of each photo. It was interesting to see the photos, as some of them, you recognize, like Irish actors such as Colin Farrell and Liam Neeson. The furniture other than chairs seemed pretty old, nice thick wood tables. Possibly the original flooring, and very impressive ceiling with exposed wood beam. I liked the darker green wall, that went really well with the rest of decor, and gave nice, relaxing atmosphere.
To start our weekend brunch with the right “Irish spirit” in our minds, we ordered Irish Coffee ($12) and Guinness ($8). I’ve heard they have pretty good Irish Coffee here, and it is indicated as “World Famous Irish Coffee.” It is made with Clontarf Irish Whiskey, Demerara Syrup, Freshly Brewed Coffee, Whipped Cream, and Grated Nutmeg. It was not large in size, but the quality spoke loud. It was nice and warm (it was not hot), whipped cream was super velvety and creamy, great coffee flavor and perfect amount of whiskey. It was a perfection in a glass, strong, tasty, and warms you up from the inside. I can see why it would cost $12. The Guinness was, well, Guinness. It was served ice cold, as it should, with perfect amount of foam at the top. They really know how to serve alcohol with precision here.
As for the brunch items, we decided to order one traditional, and another one not-so-traditional. For the traditional one, we ordered Full Irish Breakfast ($17), which comes with sunny-side eggs, beans, mushrooms, tomato, puddings, rashers, bangers, and toast. Everything was really tasty on the plate, it was great from the first bite to the last. The sausages, or “puddings” were delicious, it had blood pudding, white pudding, sausage, all of them were juicy and packed with flavor. We also enjoyed the Irish Bacon or “rashers” which were thicker than regular bacon, kind of between regular bacon and Canadian bacon. The beans were cooked perfectly, and roasted tomato was great too. It was a nice big tomato, cut in half, roasted with seasoning. We enjoyed everything fully!
The second main we ordered was Crispy Pork Belly Sliders ($16) which comes with 3 sliders, quail eggs, Irish cheddar, and fries. The pork belly was really thick, crispy on the outside and juicy in the inside. As the perfectly cooked egg broke, it was a food porn… It had good amount of seasoning, so that it has flavor without becoming too salty. The fries were really good too, crispy and flavorful. Very addictive…
Everything was really good here, even thought the prices are on a bit high side, but the quality was really high. The service was ok, but not great. As we sat down (without anyone directing us to a table), no one came for a while… until I went to grab a couple of menus, and started to look at them… But other than that, it was ok, the staffs were polite.
Oh, and another thing I liked other than their food was their bathroom. There was another dining area on the other side, across from the bar. And at the end of the wall, there was a red velvet curtain. The bathroom was located behind the curtain, and was very nice and roomy. Beautiful glittering dark tiles, nice amount of low lights and actual candles. Very well maintained, I must say, clean and spacious. Awesome!
We had nice time here, and food and drinks were great. I would love to go back for some other menu items they offer, and of course, some of the interesting cocktails. I am not sure if I would want to visit the Taproom on the first floor, as they seems to get much more congested. The Parlor was nice and open, and the staffs do a very good job cleaning and maintaining the space. After some customers left, I saw them cleaning the old wood tables with Pledge, which was surprising since I have never seen that before, but when you are dealing with REAL wood furniture, especially old ones, you want to put extra care to maintain it. So if you are in a mood for a good old Irish charm, or wanting to get some old-school cocktails, this is the place to go!
The Dead Rabbit Grocery and Grog – 30 Water St, New York, NY 10004