St. Patrick's Day is upon us, and that means the Irish soda bread will be plentiful, and green beer will be flowing like, well, like beer. Here is a Patch-compiled list of some local hotspots you can go to "get your green on."
O'Neil's Restaurant and Pub:
With a name like O'Neil's, you know St. Patrick's Day is a day they go all out. Head bartender Rich says it's one of the busiest days of the year for the Bloomfield Avenue pub, which has Irished up its regular menu to include everything you'd expect; from corned beef and cabbage to Irish chicken to bangers and mash. Piles of green hats, tee shirts and beads are ready to fly out the door, and O'Neil's selection of 8 beers on tap and 20 bottles is sure to satisfy any St. Pat's palate. A bagpipe band will be in and out all day long, says Rich. O'Neil's opens for business at 11:30 a.m., and will continue the party until 2 a.m.
O'Neil's Restaurant and Pub
706 Bloomfield Ave., Verona
This Grove Avenue Irish Pub and restaurant also promises to be a popular St. Patrck's Day destination. Open from noon to 10 p.m., a host of beer, wine and spirits will provide a perfect complement to heaping portions of fish and chips, Irish Guinness beef stew and shepherd's pie. The Dennis Gallary Band will provide the tunes, regaling patrons with Irish music as they down their pints and savor the flavor of Irish cuisine.
292 Grove Ave., Cedar Grove
St. Patrick's Day is a big comfort food holiday. And what better place to visit than a restaurant that takes it seriously? Jack's Cafe is already taking orders for its platters of corned beef, red skin potatoes, cabbage and of course, Irish soda bread, available for take-out or eat in their comfortable dining area. Jack's doesn't serve alcohol, but co-owner Marianne McNamara says there's no better place to get corned beef than Jack's, and she may be right -- McNamara says they run out of their signature corned beef each and every St. Patrick's Day, which explains their open-ended hours tonight, from 7 a.m. until "whenever we run out."
684 Bloomfield Ave., Verona
Di Paolo Bakery of Verona
If you're looking for something to satisfy your sweet tooth, or just something to soak up all that green beer, look no further than Di Paolo Bakery on Bloomfield Avenue, directly across from the municipal complex. Owner and baker Vincent Di Paolo's hands were already stained green from putting together a dizzying array of St. Patrick's Day-themed confections; from shamrock cookies and cakes covered in green icing, to green Irish soda bread. An added touch Di Paolo devised is cupcakes in the shape of baskets of green flowers. Eclair dough has been added to give each basket a handle. "On Thursday, we're all Irish, but on Friday I'm Italian again," Di Paolo said. The bakery opens 6 a.m. and will be taking orders and filling stomachs until 7:30 p.m.
Di Paolo Bakery of Verona
605 Bloomfield Ave., Verona