Whether or not your restaurant has green beer on tap, St. Patrick’s Day is a fun excuse to plan something festive. Beyond the fun, it’s also a marketing opportunity that you shouldn’t miss out on.
As a big drinking holiday, you need to push some food promotions and expand your bar menu so that people have something to soak up all those pints. Look toward food that is both inspired by Ireland and also pairs well with the holiday drink of choice: beer. Whether you want to offer free snacks in the bar to revelers, or a special bar menu, these dishes can translate well into smaller sized portions and allow room for your chef to add a personal touch.
Now go put on a Thin Lizzy record and be inspired by some of these Irish ideas.
Corned Beef and Cabbage Sliders
A classic staple of Irish cuisine, this dish can be served many different ways. For a bar menu, how about snack-sized sliders? A St. Patrick’s Day favorite, this dish is easy to make, and by serving it on sliders, it’s the perfect finger food for the bar crowd.
Many Irish dishes grew out of hardship, not abundance. Traditionally, this dish was a year round staple in Ireland, and a cheap and hearty dish to make for big families. Made with mashed potatoes and kale or cabbage, there are many variations, but most also come with scallions, leeks and chives. Perfect for the bar, colcannon lends itself to making large batches and serving out in smaller portions.
This traditional Irish potato pancake is made from finely grated potatoes, and often mixed with flour, baking soda and buttermilk. The boxty is then shaped to be thin before frying on both sides like a pancake. Boxties are often found wrapped around something savory and delicious like braised beef. This dish offers the opportunity to take a traditional dish and make it unique to your restaurant by serving it with one of your popular dishes.
Meat Braised in Beer
Reading “braised in beer” definitely inspires some extra beer-enthusiasm from your bar guests, despite the fact that all the alcohol is cooked off by the time it’s being eaten. Stout seems to work best for these types of dishes.
Irish Soda Bread
Every Irish family has an Irish soda bread recipe passed down through the generations. Easy to make and delicious, it’s a festive Irish staple to add to the menu for the day. Added bonus: eaten with any of the other Irish dishes, it’s sure to help soak up some of those beers.
All of these dishes lend themselves to entree sized portions that can be specials on the menu in the dining room too. Make yourself a fun Irish playlist for the bar, and have fun! Sláinte!