Enticing Irish Fare at St. James’s Gate

    Whitney Oliver January 29, 2015

    There’s something wonderfully inviting about a wood interior and crackling fire on a winter’s eve, and St. James’s Gate offers just that.

    I ducked into the pub recently for a farewell dinner and felt quite cozy in a dark wooden booth poring over a menu of traditional Irish fare.

  • The particular draw for this evening’s guest of honour was the restaurant’s extensive offerings of Scotch, including Highland, Lowland, Islay and Speyside, and of course, Irish whiskeys. My friend was pleased with his Talisker 10yr, and I, not being a Scotch aficionado, took him at his word.

    The bar also boasts a number of imports and Canadian beers, as well as a small but diverse wine list. Knowing I would be having a Guinness infused meal, I went with a local Bow Valley brew, The Grizzly Paw’s Rutting Elk Red amber ale.

    While the food menu is primarily Irish, featuring Irish Lamb Stew, Stuffed Yorkies, Bangers & Mash, and Irish Whiskey Chicken, there is plenty of variety for the discerning foodie, and our table ordered a cross-section of the menu.

    I went for the Steak & Guinness Pie. Served in a boat-shaped dish, the pot pie is filled with braised beef, carrots and onions, soaking in a Guinness gravy. The buttery pie shell made for a killer comfort food that tasted just as good later for my midnight snack, after the flavours had soaked even longer.

    We also had a Dubliner Mac ’n’ Cheese, a hefty portion of macaroni decked with Dubliner, Swiss and asiago cheeses, and speckled with spinach and tomatoes.

    For a taste of the Irish coast, we had two orders of traditional Beer Battered Cod ’n’ Chips, each consisting of a large piece of fish with a properly thick, crisp, golden coating, served on a bed of chips, er, fries.

    Rounding out the order was the Guinness Braised Lamb Shank from the “Main Fare” section, served with veggies and choice of garlic mashed potatoes (tonight’s choice), fries, rice or emerald greens, and on the lighter side, the Warm Bison Sirloin Salad, which was large enough to be a meal, yet light enough to serve as a healthier alternative to the heavier fried or meaty entrees. Though we didn’t have the need, the menu also offers gluten-free options.

    No one had room for dessert this time—a sign of fully, happy bellies— but I’m keen to go back for a slice of Bailey’s Chocolate Cake or Warm Bread Pudding, perhaps in the back corner by that fireplace.

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