This chain of Irish Pub restaurants has about 15 locations around the Midwest, most of them aiming for a mid- t0 high-market for pub food and drinks. Claddagh goes for sort of a dark, close-in British bar, lined with fireplaces and old bottles and other trinkets, despite that most of the restaurants are in fact located in nice developments with a patio and a nice view. Claddagh has a lot of the right ingredients, a lot of the right preparation methods, but some of the bar’s technique could use improvements.
Claddagh’s Signature Burger, one of the specialty items on the menu as well as one of the “unique” items, is made with an over medium egg, bacon and a house jam. Some of it is good. The bacon (a piece of bacon is called a “rasher” in England) is a thick cut slice much more like what you’d see in an English burger. Unfortunately, not only is the burger only a quarter-pound patty, but it’s served on a half-pound patty bun, and the result is a burger that is more bread than anything else. At $10.99, it’s also priced like a half-pound burger, and definitely costs more than it should.
Same story on some of the side dishes. The fries are good, they’re made the way you might find fries in England, where they brine the potatoes for a time before cutting them into wide strips and frying them. But the vegetables of the day — which were squash and some other veggies, were completely bland. Maybe they were warmed up, but they could have used a lot more of something. Maybe they need to be sauteed, or maybe they need to be warmed up a little longer. Something.
The restaurant is otherwise a nice concept. Food takes a while to get to you, and price points are a little bit high considering what you get with your money. There are televisions throughout the bar to evoke something of a sports bar concept. The bar also offers live music on some nights, so it has a number of different appeals to go along with the close-in fireplaces, the variety of beers on tap, and the patios with great views. The Newport, Kentucky location is right on the river across from Cincinnati with a top-notch view.
Claddagh is a cool concept, with a general appeal that gives you a number of reasons to go back. If you don’t mind the price and wait, of course.
- Food takes a while to get to you and the price points are on the high end. That said, the food here is made with some of the English preparation methods that are otherwise hard to come by.
- The fish and chips are a popular option, and in fact there’s a “double” option if you really like them.
- There are lots of beers on tap, televisions for sports, and live music some nights, so a lot of appeal.