Norwalk’s only true Irish pub has a new location and look. Owners Ollie and Michael O’Neill and partner Donal Leahy, who purchased a large building in 2007 near their 10-year old restaurant and renovated it, creating a major expansion of their business.
The stately turret-style brick facade of the building with its cone-shaped roof and arch-shaped windows, surrounds 3500 square feet of interior oak and glass with Celtic knot designs, claret banquettes with matching stools and chairs and deep-hued multi-colored ceilings, all blending to form a classic Irish pub look.
Norwalk artist Kevin Callahan painted an Irish country scene that hangs over the fireplace.
The brothers opened O’Neill’s Irish Pub & Restaurant on St. Patrick’s Day in 1999 and have earned the reputation of providing a warm, welcoming environment, good company, great food and drink with true Irish hospitality.
O’Neill’s is within easy walking distance to shops, theaters and the Maritime Aquarium in South Norwalk. General manager is Maggie Connelly.
Working with the restaurant partners, O’Neill’s executive chef Ezequiel Cortes has designed affordable menus for lunch ($4.50 to $11.95), dinner ($4.50 to $21.95) and Sunday brunch ($19.95). The Sunday brunch is complete with Bloody Marys, pints and mimosas. In addition to fresh roasted turkey and lamb, pancakes and made-to-order omelets, there is beef and Guinness pie, traditional shepherd’s pie, Irish-style chicken curry with saffron rice, and a variety of desserts.
Signature items are the Tipperary blue and gold burger with Angus beef, dressed with blue cheese and golden fried onions; shepherd’s pie topped with a layer of mashed potatoes; bangers and mash, served with carrots, turnip, steamed broccoli and cauliflower drizzled with sauteed onions and brown gravy; Irish rasher and apple sandwich; and Gaelic steak. Irish scones made with a recipe from the O’Neills’ mother, are a temptation in the bread basket.
The pub stocks a wide variety of Irish whiskeys, imported beers, and single malt scotch. The bar seats 26 and offers 13 taps. You will enjoy the Guinness, and you won’t find a better pour than from this tap, which includes state-of-the-art equipment to ensure proper gas level and temperature.
Luncheon favorites are vegetarian quesadillas, fried calamari, crab cakes (two served with a sweet bell pepper aioli for $7.95) and honey-glazed barbecue baby back ribs. Under “Pies & things” are traditional fish & chips and Celtic pie, featuring cubes of spicy lamb. Sandwiches ($7.95 to $10.95) include a choice of numerous sides.
Dinner entrees are served with the pub’s signature mashed potatoes, carrots and turnip and steamed broccoli and cauliflower. Pan-fried calf’s liver, Frenched pork chop and grilled Black Angus sirloin steak are among the choices.
Signature desserts, $5.95, are creme brulee and chocolate marquise.
O’Neill’s menu has something for everyone and you’ll have a lot of fun at the spacious new location.