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With all of the cuisines available in Las Vegas, Irish fare is certainly represented both on and off the Las Vegas Strip. But the Nine Fine Irishmen Irish Pub at New York New York Hotel and Casino offers authenticity, unbelievable food, and eclectic entertainment all in the heart of “New York City” in Las Vegas.
There is an unbelievable history behind the pub. The Nine Fine Irishmen Irish Pub was inspired by the stories of nine Irishmen whose lives were entwined during the tumultuous year of revolution in Europe 1848. These were men of hugely varying backgrounds, temperaments and character. Charles Gavan Duffy came from a prosperous Catholic merchant family. John Mitchel was born into the family of a Unitarian minister. William Smith O'Brien was the son of one of the few old-Irish Gaelic Catholic families to be assumed into ruling Protestant ascendancy.
Patrick O'Donohue came from impoverished small farming stock while the others - Terence Bellew McManus, Richard O'Gorman, John Blake Dillon, Thomas Francis Meagher and Thomas D'Arcy Magee came from backgrounds of varying degrees of middle class prosperity.
They were all members of the Confederates, the principal organization of the Young Ireland movement, even though their political ideas spanned a wide spectrum of beliefs. Several of them were sentenced to death for their revolutionary activities but granted clemency by Queen Victoria. Five of the men, were exiled to Australia, three escaped to North America and settled in either the United States or Canada and one went into self-imposed exile in Australia. All made a name for themselves in their adopted countries, holding political office including one becoming Governor of Montana, enjoying financial success and leaving their legacy centuries later.
Nine Fine Irishmen Irish Pub pays tribute to the spirit of people living their destiny and New York New York Hotel and Casino wanted to embrace that spirit in every way. The 9,000-square-foot bar was designed by the Irish Pub Company with bricks and mortar shipped directly from Ireland for the project. This is a pub of huge proportions featuring a grand Victorian-style bar, ornate cottage areas, hidden alcoves and nooks, and two levels of outdoor patio dining with a spectacular Las Vegas Strip view. This is truly a little piece of the Emerald Isle in the heart of Las Vegas.
The food is traditional Irish with some unique tastes and textures. Chef Heberto Segura is actually from the Dominican Republic but says, “I feel Irish in my heart.” Moving to the United States at the age of 15, and cooking various cuisines, Chef Segura traveled to Ireland to study the food and bring authenticity to Nine Fine Irishmen Pub. Chef Segura said, “People are no longer trying to leave Ireland, in fact many people from different countries are moving in and bringing in their influences. Curries are being used from India, cheeses and oils are being used from Italy and Spain. Potatoes and cabbages are still being used but being infused with American and European influences.”
For starters, there is the Steak & Stout which are mini pies of Guinness braised rib eye tips and mushrooms, the Sausage Pail with ale battered and spicy sausages with Guinness and honey mustards or Lump Crab Cakes with cabbage slaw and a spiced red pepper remoulade. This is a meal in itself. The crab just melted in my mouth and the Steak and Stout is sweet and savory.
A traditional Irish soup offered is Colcannon, a full bodied cream of potato, cabbage and traditional bacon (not bacon strips) that looks and tastes like sausage. For salads, there is the Tomato Stack of vine ripened tomatoes with goat, Cashel blue and farmhouse cheeses or Herb Crusted Goat Cheese with arugula, oven roasted tomato and a toasted hazelnut vinaigrette.
Entrees are tastes and textures that combine flavors in the sauces with a subtle spiced meat. For example, Banger & Mash is a mild Irish sausage enhanced by a mustard mash, grilled seasonal vegetables and smooth mushroom jus. The Irish Stew incorporates tender cuts of lamb, potatoes and vegetables in a traditional broth. Shepherd’s Pie is port wine infused prime beef and vegetables with creamed potatoes, again blending of mild and spiced (not spicy). The Poached Pear Pizza is topped with roasted tomatoes, farmhouse and blue cheeses and sweet onions. The favorite of Fish & Chips is beer battered cod filets and traditional chips served in a wired basket and homemade tartar sauce for dipping.
The desserts define the word decedent. The Bushmills Bread and Butter Pudding is a buttery baked brioche with whiskey cream and caramel sauces and OMG describes it. There is the Bailey’s Trio of chocolate shots of Original, Caramel & Mint Bailey’s. Try the Sticky Toffee Cheesecake with warm caramel or the Black and Tan Cake with dark, milk and white chocolate but plan to take some home. The desserts are that rich and that good.
Irish Beer and whiskey are offered as well as some wine. Beer is a drink that dates back to the ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia and Egypt. In its earliest forms, it was made from grains, or bread, which was allowed to ferment and liquefy. Over time the process evolved, with most Europeans settling on barley and wheat as their grains of choice and flavorings introduced with the addition of "grut", a mixture of herbs that varied from brewer to brewer. Hops came next, adding flavor and acting as a preservative and eventually replaced grut as the primary flavoring agent.
The next evolution in the brewing was the shift from top-fermenting yeast, a successful process when a relatively warm climate, typical of the Ireland and Britain, allowed fermentation to take place at room temperature. In colder climates, such as German areas of continental Europe, bottom-fermenting yeast proved more successful for fermentation. The result was a split between the ales (of which stout is but one type), popular in Ireland and Britain, and lagers, popular in German regions. Irish brewers came to use roasted barley for their ales and stout and became a national preference. It is opaque ale, almost black in color and with a creamy head. Ingredients vary with the brewer but generally include dark roasted barley, which contributes a slightly roasted character and hops with a medium-to-high bitterness.
It is said that whiskey has been made in Ireland since the Irish monks brought the distillation process back from the Middle East. In Gaelic the drink became known as "Uisce Beatha" which means "water of life." The Normans called it "fuisce" and eventually it evolved into "whiskey."
Barley, clear waters, and peat for the fires to toast the barley are the key ingredients.
Barley is allowed to sprout then dried in a kiln, (In the making of Scotch whisky the barley is malted over an open peat fire.) This difference in the malting process leads to much of the difference in the eventual flavor of the two spirits.
The toasted barley is then "mashed", that is ground into "grist", a coarse flour. Mixed with water, the starches become sugars and the liquid is referred to as "wort". The wort is mixed with yeast and the sugar begins to ferment. After about two days, the liquid is known as "wash". The whiskey is next triple distilled, meaning that the alcohol is separated from the water and the liquids alcohol content goes from 8.5 percent to 80 percent. The distilled liquid matures in oak casks, for at least three years under Irish law. In a process similar to what the Scots call "blending" for their whisky, the Irish "vat", or mix, several whiskeys to achieve the taste they desire. Once mixed, water is added to bring the final whiskey to 40 percent alcohol and the whiskey is bottled and shipped.
There is entertainment at Nine Fine Irishmen and the musicians play an exciting mix of Irish music in its many forms, from its roots in the heartlands of Ireland through the United States, Canada and Latin America. There Irish jigs and reels, French-Canadian waltzes, tunes from the Appalachian mountains, bluegrass and Creole music, Klesmer from New York and the vaudeville dance hall music of the 1920's.
We certainly can’t forget about St. Patrick’s Day when everyone is an honorary Irishmen. There will be the 5th annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Saturday, March 15, 2008 at New York New York Hotel and Casino. This parade will begin at 10 a.m. inside Coyote Ugly. At 10:50 a.m. the parade will continue down the escalators, in front of the Big Apple Bar, around to the front desk, past Il Fornaio, around the Bar at Times Square and out the ESPN Zone exit. The parade will then march south on the Brooklyn Bridge and stop at the main Celtic Feis stage. At this time, the new inductees will be honored into the Wall of Fine. There will be views from the Pub, great food and special entertainment for three days to commemorate St. Patrick’s Day on Monday.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone!
Nine Fine Irishmen
New York New York Hotel and Casino
3790 S. Las Vegas Blvd.
Las Vegas, NV 89109
Open Daily, 11am - 11pm
Bar open until 2:45am