The Food Guy: Loop Restaurant Out of the Box for St. Patrick’s Day


With the Chicago River turning green last weekend and St. Patrick’s Day on Friday, everyone is getting a little Irish this week, as are many kitchens.

NBC 5 Food Guy Steve Dolinsky says it’s the only time corned beef and cabbage or Shepherd’s Pie is showing up anywhere. But he’s taken a different approach, looking for an authentic taste of Ireland that can be enjoyed all year round.

There’s more to Irish food culture than corned beef, cabbage and potatoes, right? Luckily, the Irish owners of one of the best restaurants near Millennium Park stick to the basics and focus on high quality seafood and The focus is on spirits.

This time of year is full of contradictions for the team at The Gage, an Irish-owned bar and restaurant, given its Michigan Avenue address and proximity to Millennium Park. But around St. Patrick’s Day, things take a turn for the better.

“It’s easy to see that in coffee and smashed potatoes, everything can be like Irish cream. I can show you.”

Let’s start with Finnan Hadd’s riff, also known as smoked haddock cake.

“You can think of it like a crab cake, made with smoked haddock instead,” he said.

Shredded salad topped with dill crème fraiche tartar sauce. Haddock also appears in his Chowder, Dublin Bay Seafood, which starts with monkfish and shrimp.

“It’s a main course chowder, lots of seafood and really high quality stuff. We fly it all ourselves, cut everything up in house, cut up whole fish,” O’Hare said.

After being sautéed with green onions, the chef adds carrots and potatoes to thicken the chowder. Seafood stock enriched with fresh cream, jumbo crab, mussels and fresh herbs are added. Served in a huge, deep bowl, the dish is finished with fresh dill, half a lemon and a few slices of teppanyaki bread.

There is shepherd’s pie, but it’s not what you’re used to at your local pub.

“We don’t do minced beef and instant mashed potato shepherd’s pie. By slowly simmering high-quality meat, it’s finished with plenty of umami.”

When it comes to drinks, the bars here are ambitious and more than just a place to have a beer.

“Black and tan is great, Irish cream is fine, but we wanted to be on the same page with both the quality of the spirits and the interesting history of Ireland,” said O’Hare. Aged Cognac, Caribbean Spice Bitters

Grainne O’Malley – the most famous female pirate in history – so we added apricots and champagne to the traditional pirate punch, rum and Madeira – a fortified wine. It’s a really cool way to lean into both Irish history and great cocktails,” said O’Hare.

These dishes will be on the menu for a long time beyond this weekend. If you love Irish whiskey, there are nearly 20 earthy, peated whiskeys to choose from.

You can go here:


24 S. Michigan Avenue



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Written by Natalia Chi

Chicago Popular; Chicago breaking news, weather and live video. Covering local politics, health, traffic and sports for Chicago, the suburbs and northwest Indiana.

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