St. Patty’s Day Specials Worth a Pot of Gold
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Every year on March 17, the Irish and the Irish-at-heart across the world gather to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. The holiday, which first began simply as a religious day of feasting in honor of the patron saint of Ireland, now has become an international feting of all things Irish, marked by a plethora of parades, dancing, fanciful themed food and a heck of a whole lot of green.
And speaking of themed food, Dining Out was the delighted recipient of an open invitation to see just what St. Patty’s Day-inspired cuisine will be taking up residence at Ocean House March 17. Call it the luck of the Irish, or simply a wee bit of gastronomic good fortune, but we were more than pleased to partake in this delicious preview.
“We decided to get festive this year and offer our patrons some St. Patrick’s Day-themed selections,” explains Ocean House general manager David Nagaishi. As it’s always exciting to try something new, fans will flip over the innovative trio of taste bud temptations that Ocean House is cooking up. Yet loyalists to the long-beloved Ocean House classics can take comfort in knowing that their favorite staples still will be served (and savored) March 17, alongside St. Patrick’s Day specials.
“We will be serving our classics that evening,” assures Nagaishi. “We know people come here expecting their favorites, time and time again.”
Ocean House promises patrons “casual elegance on the beach at Waikiki.” It’s hard to imagine what more one could ask for in a restaurant than what is found here. The prime dining spot, located at lovely Outrigger Reef on the Beach Hotel, delivers not only sublime oceanfront seating, but also heavenly haute cuisine in a class all its own.
We all know that corned beef and cabbage are synonymous with St. Patty’s Day, but Ocean House more than one-ups the briny beef, replacing it with a primo portion of pesce. Brown Butter Garlic Basted Onaga ($39) is a colorful creation presenting a generous serving of pan-seared onaga set atop a luscious layer of Yukon Gold potato and chive puree. Beautifully garnished with chives, sauteed Irish cabbage, onion, bits of real bacon and slivers of carrot, the ample meal is one main course you could say is well worth its weight in (a pot of) gold.
“Some people mistaken the puree by expecting mashed potatoes, but it’s so much more than that,” Nagaishi explains. “The puree is more refined, like a smooth and creamy sauce.”
Steamed Mussels and Clams ($16) are then brought out in a gleaming silver pot. As the lid lifts, revealing Penn Cove clams and New Zealand mussels steamed to perfection in a garlic tomato herb broth, the enticing aroma dances an Irish jig around the entire table, causing us all to inch our chairs just a wee bit closer. Garnished with real strips of bacon and served with a side of drawn butter, it just doesn’t get much better than this.
Until dessert, that is. Kona Coffee Bailey’s Irish Cream Sundae ($9) is one sinfully decadent sweet that even a saint like Patrick himself couldn’t resist. One huge freshly made macadamia nut cookie cozies up to a Superman-sized scoop of Kona coffee ice cream before it’s paired with whipped billowy clouds of Bailey’s Irish Cream, drizzled with chocolate and given just a pinch of fresh mint (and yes, they do know it’s green.)
And after sampling and celebrating, we’ll leave you in love — bearing a belly full of bliss and an only slightly altered Irish blessing:
Wherever you go and whatever you do, May the luck of the Irish (and Ocean House) be there with you!
Outrigger Reef on the Beach Hotel
2169 Kalia Road, Honolulu
Daily, 7-11 a.m. (breakfast); 5–10 p.m. (dinner)