Eating -- and drinking -- with the Irish

Dining and DrinkingSt. Patrick's DayHolidaysBars and ClubsRestaurantsDonovan

Yes, it's that time again: Fifth Avenue goes green, and just about everyone claims to be a loyal son (or daughter) of Erin. Here is a selection of pubs around trhe city where you can kick back with the Irish and settle down to a plate of stew or a shepherd's pie, just like they make in the Old Sod.

MANHATTAN

The Half King. The writer Sebastian Junger opened this place a few years ago, and has sponsored a weekly reading series every Monday night (this week's entry is Angela Bonavoglia's 'Good Catholic Girls,' which explores the activism of women within the church). The place is pleasant; the food is simple and well-prepared: seafood chowder, roast chicken, fish and chips, even steak frites. (505 West 23rd Street; 212-462-4300)

O'Neills. A classic Irish pub, O'Neills draws a crowd after work, and the pace steps up around St. Patrick's Day, with hordes of Irish coming over from the Old Country. The menu includes Irish standbys such as smoked salmon, shepherd's pie, stew, and bangers and mash. This weekend, there's live music, and on the day itself, a fine Irish breakfast is served, starting at 7:00 a.m. (729 Third Avenue; 212-661-3530)

The Full Shilling. Far enough away from the Midtown madness that you won't be tripping over half-drunk tourists, the place is as close to authentic Irishness (so long as you don't count the bond traders at the bar) as you'll find in the Financial District. The big old-fashioned bar was brought over from Belfast, the room is spacious, and if you want a little privacy, there's even a snug, complete with its own serving hatch. The menu includes the usual fish and chips, shepherd's pie, and bangers and mash. Guinness, too, of course. (160 Pearl Street; 212-422-3855)

Tir Na Nog. In Irish, the name means "Land of the young," but the place draws a crowd that mixes ages and styles as easily as the menu mixes traditional Irish dishes, such as sausage rolls, bangers and mash and shepherd's pie, with Americanisms such as seared tuna with fennel or grilled NY strip steak. St. Patrick's Day, there will be an Irish breakfast, starting at 6 A.M., and Irish specialties all day long. (5 Penn Plaza; 212-630-0249)

Kennedy's. St. Patrick's Day the place is jammed, but the food is good and the crowd -- as well as the staff -- is friendly. The menu combines the typical Irish plates: stews, pot pies, fish and chips, but there are also good salads, poached salmon, and steaks. (327 West 57th Street; 212-759-4242)

QUEENS

Donovan's Pub. They've been around for 35 years, and there are plenty of people who say they serve the best hamburger in the city. Aside from burgers, there are homey dinners of turkey, steaks, and chicken, but on St. Patrick's Day, they go all out, with pipers in the bar and corned beef and cabbage on the menu. (5724 Roosevelt Avenue, Woodside; 718- 429-9339 )

Kilmegan's. This sprawling bar and restaurant is one of the favorites among Woodside's Irish crowd, with a menu that includes burgers plus broiled salmon, mixed grills, steaks, and a chicken curry. Best of all, you don't have to be an early riser to get the classic Irish breakfast here: They don't start serving it till noon. Note: there will be corned beef and cabbage on the day and live music the night before and the night after. (60-19 Roosevelt Avenue: 718-803-9206)

BROOKLYN

Smithwick's. The only traditional Irish pub on Smith Street, they're doing a special menu of bacon and cabbage, lamb stew, shepherd's pie or fish and chips topped off with whiskey porter cake for dessert. There'll be a piper in and out all day. You can even get green beer. (191 Smith Street ; 347-643-9911)

Water Street Restaurant & Lounge. Come St. Patrick's, they'll be serving up corned beef and cabbage and fish and chips. There's also a classic Irish breakfast, and plenty of beer. (66 Water Street, DUMBO; 718-625-9352)Eamonn's. 174 Montague Street; 718-596-4969

BRONX

an Beal Bocht. A classic Irish pub in the Riverdale section of the Bronx, An Beal Bocht caters both to the Irish immigrants who colonized the Bainbridge section of the Bronx in the late 1980s and the well-established Irish-American neighborhood in Woodlawn. Food includes Irish specialties like bangers and mash, shepherds pie, stew, fish and chips as well as burgers, salads, steaks, and sandwiches. Come St. Patrick's Day, there will be live traditional music in the evening. (445 West 238th Street; 718-884-7127)

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