By David Minsky
By Jen Mangham
By Bill Wisser
By Laine Doss
By Bill Wisser
By Dana De Greff
By Laine Doss
By Zachary Fagenson
Then again, corned beef ain't what it used to be. For most of us it's better. No longer a fatty, grayish-pink meat with strongly saline attributes, the modern version is lean, bright pink, and only mildly salty. In Ireland they traditionally paired their cabbage with Irish bacon, but at the beginning of the Twentieth Century, Irish-American immigrants substituted the cheaper corned beef and began serving the new combo as a St. Patrick's Day specialty.
Irish stew has likewise been transformed over time. This national dish, once described by Courtine as being witness "if not to the art of living, at least to the art of staying alive," was customarily prepared by arranging mutton in alternate layers with sliced potatoes and onions, then simmering with water over low heat for hours; the usual accompaniment was pickled red cabbage. When Irish housewives began including carrots, traditionalists abhorred what they considered an unnecessary adulteration, but nowadays all sorts of vegetables may appear. The Playwright tosses in celery and carrots with their potatoes, onions, and beef, all in a full-bodied brown sauce given a tangy lift from a shot of Guinness. JohnMartin's adds carrots, celery, and cabbage to their peppery, savory, brown lamb stew. Both versions are sure to satisfy the urge for hale and hearty fare.
Interestingly, or shall I say distressingly, while the Playwright evidently put aside enough Guinness for its stew, it was all tapped out at the bar. An Irish pub running out of Guinness is akin to an army running out of bullets. The cry goes up: Retreat! So much for my Black & Tan, though they were pouring pints of the tan part (Bass Ale), along with about a dozen other draught beers (no doubt their Guinness munitions will be fully loaded next Thursday). JohnMartin's had black and tan on tap, along with Harp, Smithwicks, Stella Artois, and for patriotic wimps, Miller Lite; they also offer an impressive array of single-malt scotches.
253 Miracle Mile
Coral Gables, FL 33134
Category: Bars and Clubs
Region: Coral Gables/South Miami
The Playwright Irish Pub & Restaurant . 305-534-0667. Open for lunch and dinner Sunday through Wednesday noon to midnight, Thursday through Saturday noon to 2:00 a.m
As with just about all holidays, St. Patrick's Day was once a religious occasion (in honor of the saint's death in the Fifth Century). In fact until the Seventies, Irish laws mandated that pubs be closed on March 17. In 1995 Ireland's government began promoting the celebratory approach in the name of millions of tourist dollars drawn to Dublin for the festivities. Which means that if you make it over there, you'll be able to eat your corned beef and cabbage and drink your Guinness Stout. Just like we'll be doing in Miami.