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authentic irish cuisine in boston??

just realized i have a bit of a dillemna on my hands... if i have friends from italy coming to visit and i want to share some good local italian food i know where to take them. if they are from greece, i know where to go for a good greek meal. if they come from brazil, spain, portugal, no problem! you get the point. they often want to test our attempt at their cuisine.

i have four friends from dublin visiting in april. so now i ask the question. where in the boston area do i take them for an authentic irish dining experience? is there such a place?...
obviously, i am aware of the pubs in boston with the fish and chips, and the shephards pies, but i really am looking for something higher end than that. is jury's along those lines.

any suggestions? thank you!

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  1. I can't think of anyplace that would have higher-end authentic Irish cuisine. Actually, the higher-end places I've been to in Ireland have been mostly French and Italian restaurants, so I'm not even sure if there is authentic Irish food that is higher end.

    I guess the closest place I can think of in this category is The Independent in Somerville. Here is their site:

    http://theindo.com/

    1. About a year ago I had an amazing meal at Goody Glovers in the N. End. I know, Irish pub in the N. End, what gives? It was a sweet small space. Oddly laid out but I was impressed with the food. The friend who took me told me that they have a new chef and he hasn't eaten there. When I was there it was surprisingly good. I had traditional shepherd's pie that my mom would have sworn came from her kitchen.

      4 Replies
      1. re: kittychow

        Goody Glovers? How long have they been around? I'm on Salem Street a lot, but can't seem to remember ever having seen it.

        1. re: hiddenboston

          Funny, it's on Salem Street. It used to be called the Belvedere. Same owner, new name and renovation at least two years ago. TINY downstairs bar with window facing what will some day be the greenway.

          1. re: hiddenboston

            Here is their website
            http://www.goodyglovers.com/

            Call ahead though as sometimes their kitchen is closed and they are just a bar.

            1. re: hiddenboston

              It's on the corner of Salem and Cross Street, it's been there for quite a while.

          2. If you have friends coming from Ireland, I'd offer them a place to get a good beer, but focus on local favorites in the area rather than compete w/meals that they can get from home. Try heading for some great Indian Food (Classic India), or Italian (lots of talk about Pastelina's and Antico Forno on the boards lately)

            2 Replies
            1. re: chowciao

              Sadly, Classic India is closed. :-( I really miss that place.

              Good idea about going to an Irish pub or two for drinks and atmosphere, then heading out for good food elsewhere. The vast majority of Irish restaurants/pubs in the Boston area are fun to go to, but the food is pretty basic, though James's Gate in JP and Spirit in Cambridge do serve some decent meals.

              1. re: chowciao

                I also like the idea of non-Irish dinner paired with proper pints. The Plough and Stars might be a good combo--excellent little pub atmosphere with upscale food all under one roof. Another possibility is an "appetizer crawl" in Inman Square: Fried Yucca and Dried Beef at Mu Que Ca; Fava Beans at O Cantinho; Fried Green Tomatoes at Magnolia's; Oysters at ECG and then end up at the Druid for a decent pint of Guinness and a very full belly. Or maybe the pints first and the apps second?

              2. hey, i really appreciate the recs. keep them coming if others come to mind.
                i've driven by the independant so many times, but have never been there. it always looks great from the outside though, so i have to check it out before the guests arrive.
                but maybe some great non-irish food before heading to a "real" pub is the way to go.
                thanks again.

                1. What about Matt Murphy's in Brookline Village? Real tiny but good, cozy food (the Shepherd's Pie and oxtail soup are pretty solid) and a proper pint.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: bizzy50

                    I agree - matt murphy's is great and would be the perfect spot. Also, a friend of mine is from Ireland but lives here now and loves when we go to the Public House in Brookline. Great fish n'chips!

                    1. re: hotdog annie

                      Matt Murphy's is absolutely top-notch all around. I'd recommend the Druid for pints, and then you'd be in the neighborhood of all sorts of delicious options- East Coast Grill, Oleana, etc. Not to mention that the Druid's food is also pretty great.

                      I also second the motion for the Independent, and if you're feeling like going on a gastro-pub adventure, I'd recommend the newly-opened Biltmore in Newton Lower Falls. You will be pleasantly surprised.

                  2. The current movement in Irish cuisine (for several years, actually) is basically the same as anywhere else: seasonal cooking using the best local ingredients. Find out what your friends like to eat most, then take them to the area's best examples of that food.

                    2 Replies
                      1. re: Bostonbob3

                        Agreed. And I'd think you'd want to take friends from various countries to restaurants that have food they can't normally get. It might be nice to compare but very often, the Bostonized version of whatever isn't gonna compare to what they get back home.

                      2. porterbellys in brighton, if it's still there

                        1. Definitley Matt Murphys

                          1. I have enjoyed The Burren in Somerville (Davis Sq.). The food is quite good and perfect pints. Great atmosphere with lots of locals and Tufts students. They have live Irish music 7 nights in the front room and various local and international acts in the back room. If you perfer to get out of the city, The Peddlar's Daughter in Haverhill is very authentic. Owners come from Ireland and the food is fresh. Handcut fries are one of their specialties. Up the Dubs!