|Photo Credit: Heidi Geldhauser|
|Ri Ra Manager Dermot Lloyd|
The manager, Dermot Lloyd, and members of the staff were even imported from Ireland. Ri Ra even has a visa program to bring over honest to goodness Irish people to work at the bar. How's that for authentic?
We were invited to sample some of Chef Kelly Sollinger's more ambitious menu items recently and found Ri Ra is dishing out far more than just traditional bar grub. Sure, wings and burgers are still on the menu, but so are Griddled Boxty, Corned Beef and Cabbage and Jameson Duck.
|(L-R) Griddled boxty BLT, lamb slider, house smoked salmon|
|Dinner came with a side of live Irish folk rock|
|Corned beef & cabbage with haddock & chips lurking in the background|
|The Harbour Bar is all the way in the back of the bar|
We heard from the chef that they tried a number of recipes to get the corned beef recipe just right. I wouldn't normally imagine a bar kitchen giving much thought to perfecting a recipe, and the effort paid off with a faithful rendition of an Irish classic. Their take is a 14-day house brined beef brisket served with braised savoy cabbage, mashed potatoes & Irish parsley sauce.
Still, I'd take haddock and chips any day as my entree of choice. It's crispy ale battered and served with a choice of tartar sauce or Irish remoulade. To me, this is what classic Irish bar cuisine is all about. Heck, it's what classic English, Scottish or Irish pub cuisine is about to me. Ri Ra does this dish justice with a nicely crispy exterior and moist, flaky interior that begs to be doused in vinegar.
The real surprise was how darn good Ri Ra's desserts were. Sticky toffee pudding was quickly dispensed with and Guinness and brown bread ice cream was so darned good that I wish I could go buy a pint of it right now. Consider me an Irish inspired ice cream convert! They served us beers with each course, but I of course had to abstain. I did try a few sips of the Irish coffee they served with the dessert, and found it to be tasty and comforting enough without being too strong that I wished I could have had more.
|Guinness and brown bread ice cream; sticky toffee pudding|
I didn't get to sample it, but one of my favorite things about pubs in the UK was always the Sunday roast. You'd go and spend an afternoon just hanging out in a pub, sometimes even just reading a newspaper, and you'd enjoy a hot meal of some kind of hearty roast. Turns out Ri Ra has a Sunday carvery that includes a roast option, and their dinner menu includes and All Day Irish Breakfast with eggs, sausages and rashers, black and white pudding, a grilled tomato and sauteed mushrooms. Truly, nothing cures a hangover like a fry up. Might have to head back to check that out after Baby V arrives...
1080 Peachtree St NE
Atlanta, GA 30309
*Full disclosure: Although my food was comped, I always endeavor to offer my unbiased opinion of the experience!