Sunday, November 8, 2009

Paddy Malone's

Last night I surprised my wife and went to Paddy Malone's in Jefferson City with our Friends Jason & Jennifer.

I had never been there, but it had great reviews from other Jennifer had never been to an Irish Pub Environment (other than McNally's in Columbia), so it was looking to be an adventure.

The pub itself is really easy to find, and going to the front door gave a great view of the Capitol Building

Inside didn't disappoint either. The pub is a cross between an Authentic Irish Pub and an Americanized one....but with the flavor very tastefully done. My personal favorite was in the Pub Proper....where all the tabletops had a hand painted "logo" for an Irish City .

Paddy Malone claims to have the best Guinness in Missouri (with great attention to detail), so I decided to kick the night off with that. Debi also went with Guinnes, while Jenn was drinking Amaretto Sours and Jason was having Whiskey and Coke. We also ordered appetizers (Chips and Cheese with Guinness Cheese Sauce, Loaded Tator Tots and the Fried Portabella Mushrooms). We were originally going to work through those and then order real food....but the waitress advised that we wait until we got through the portion size.

The drinks arrived, and I was casually amused with the Shamrock in the foam. I know you are wondering, did the Guinness live up to the hype? I don't know of the best in MO, but I'm pretty sure it's right up there. Perfect temp and very creamy head. When I drank it, the glass striated very well and it arrived ready to go (no waiting for the beer to settle). Since Guinness is my favorite beer on tap.....I know it well, and I was inpressed. Debi said "Very Tasty".

Jenn and Jason liked their drinks (although I can't remember the whiskey in Jason's). Jenn thought the bartender was pretty liberal with booze in her, so that always brings high marks.

Before our food arrived, I followed the Guinness up with a Harp. Again, great temp and very crisp. Service (IMO) was very fast and the waitress was friendly and joked with the table.

When the appetizers arrived, I'm glad our server "scared us off" because there was a lot of food. We all sized an area, I started with the Mushrooms, and dug in. All I can say is Mmmmmm Mmmmmmmm Mmmmmmm (Barak Hussein Obama). Mine was great, the Cheese Sauce was VERY good (with the fries crispilly delicious)and the Tots were not bad. Debi made an astute observation that everyone's favorite was what they started opinions might have been skewed. I tend to think that was the case.

Next round was a Smithwick's, one that I believe I've only had once before. Very good, with a nice Carmel finish. It was hoppier than I expected and that caught me off guard. I loves me some that was a definite two thumbs up.

After eating, Jason and I explored the patio for cigars. I went with a Gurkha Exotica De Oriente and he had a Crusado from my stock. The patio is the only smoking area of the Pub, but they went to great lengths to accommodate smokers. It is covered, heated and service didn't drop off. They even went out of their way to keep our drinks on our inside tab vs making us run two.

I reviewed their Scotch list, and it too was impressive. I instantly saw Laphroiag and knew what I was drinking for the remainder of the night. I will say, Laphroiag is not for the faint of is a Peat Bomb in a bottle, and if you are not prepared it can scare you off scotch for life. Jennifer was impressed that adding just a little bit of water smooths out the liquor and really activates the nose. I was in heaven.

Coming back in from Cigars, I went looking for the bathroom...only to find the other section of the bar, where a pickup Irish Music group were playing. Rounding up everyone, we migrated into there and settled in for a couple of sessions. The group was fun to watch and they covered the "Classics". Jenn was in awe, her only forlay into Irish Music had been what is experienced on St Patrick's Day and this was totally different. I did notice that they tended to cover the Chieftains quite a bit, but hey....that doesn't bother me any, and the lead singer tried to always give an explanation of the meaning of each song. Reels, a few hornpipes and some good singing really rounded out the night.

A quick note about the decor of the side room. It's VERY Irish, and is currently being painted with art inspired from the Celtic style, mostly derivatives of animals from the Book of Kells . It's a tight environment and I think this really inspired the guests to participate with the songs. When the room is done, it will be a really nice addition.

Overall, the night was a total success. Good Music, Drinks and Friends made for a great evening. The bill for all four of us was really reasonable (less than $150 with tip, and that is with me drinking a LOT of top shelf scotch) and I would go back again in a heartbeat. If I were to make one recommendation in Jeff City, it would defiantly be..........Paddy Malone's.

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