Or...for all those non Gaelic speakers out there, a very Happy St. Patrick's Day to you all!
St. Pat's day on P.E.I. is a big deal. Everyone goes out in green with their most cheerful smiles and give out happy greetings and well wishes. We really catch the spirit here and everyone who can, celebrates in their own special way. Whether it be with green beer, lively music, traditional foods or any other assortment of Irish themed activities.
Me? Well, I decided to have my own sort of St. Patrick's Day celebration and that was to head down to The Claddagh Oyster House and satisfy my taste for sweets at one of the Island's most popular St. Patrick's Day destination. And while the party went on upstairs at the Ole Dublin, the Claddagh was the perfect fine-dining atmosphere with lilting Irish tunes and absolutely deliciously rich desserts.
I had never actually been to the Claddagh before today and while I'd passed it's door many ways on the stairs up to the Ole Dublin Pub, I was truly impressed when walking inside. The first thing that left my lips was "wow". It's warm and inviting with rich woods, a lovely fireplace and feature water wall. Talk about celebrating St. Patrick's Day in style.
I went for the gusto and actually had two of their house made desserts, an Almond and Pear Tart and White Chocolate and Raisin Bread Pudding. Two uniquely decadent desserts both prepared with truly impressive skill by Chef Mitchell.
First, was the Almond and Pear Tart with house made hazelnut butter ice cream... My head is swimming with delight just tying the name. Take a look at this elegantly plated masterpiece!
The rich and creamy, the ice cream atop of this tart, had that signature house made lusciousness. The smoothness and purity of the hazelnut flavor made it a perfect balance only to be topped when paired with the rest of the dessert. The crust was like nothing I'd ever had before, the edges were candied with light sugar and it was like a rich cloud, enveloping the sweet pears and almonds within it. The pears, which were, mind you, perfectly tender and sweet (which essentially means nirvana to a pear lover like me.)
Every aspect of this dessert paired perfectly with the next and all together created a truly lovely combination of tastes. The nuts gave a heartiness, while the pears and ice cream were fresh, the two balancing each other like a complimentary couple. Plated with elegance (and deliciousness candied nuts), I couldn't have asked for anything better...
But! Yes, there's a but. You can't forget that this was my double the decadence and while there could be nothing better, a dessert that was just as charming (but in an entirely different way) was on it's way.
And that, my dear, was the White Chocolate and Raisin Bread Pudding with...wait for it...Irish Whisky, Brown Sugar Sauce! Oh, and if that wasn't enough, there's vanilla whipped cream too. Seriousy, Claddagh, seriously?! Are you trying to make me live in your restaurant? Because after all this, I really, really wanted to.
I mean, wouldn't this make you want to move in too?