St. Patrick’s Day is Saturday and there are lots of places to celebrate locally with Irish-themed food and drinks, starting with the 39th annual Lexington St. Patrick’s Day parade and festival. The board of directors of the Bluegrass Irish Society is dedicating this year’s Alltech Lexington St. Patrick’s parade to Pearse Lyons, Alltech’s founder and a longtime Bluegrass Irish Society supporter, who died March 8.
The day starts at 8 a.m. with the 12th annual Shamrock Shuffle 3K to benefit Lexington Habitat for Humanity. The festival kicks off at Robert F. Stephens Courthouse with the annual blessing of the Kentucky Ale keg at the Alltech tents on the courthouse plaza at 10:45 a.m. Local Irish dancers, musicians and pipe bands keep the entertainment going all day beginning at 11 a.m.
The parade, with civic activist Ginny Ramsey as grand marshal, begins at 1 p.m. and goes down Main Street from Midland Avenue to Mill Street. The parade is the longest running citywide civic event in Lexington.
▪ Carson’s, 362 East Main Street, is having brunch from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Make reservations as the parade goes right by — cold or sunny, the patio will be open. Carson’s will be serving shaved corned beef brisket Benedicts, reuben sandwich on marbled rye, corned beef and cabbage egg rolls with spicy mustard, and Guinness stew. It also has Guinness on tap and Irish whiskey.
▪ Winchell’s, 348 Southland Drive, will have a full line of specials, including corned beef and cabbage, shepherd’s pie, bangers and mash, fish and chips and, yes, green draft beer.
▪ Ramsey’s Diners, all four locations, for the 29th year, will become O’Ramsey’s, with slow-cooked corn beef and cabbage, Irish stew, Blarney veggies, Irish soda bread and Missy’s Baileys Irish Creme Cheesecake. They’ll have balloons, green beer and drink specials.
▪ Holly Hill Inn, 426 North Winter Street in Midway, will celebrate with a gourmet dinner March 16-17. Chef Tyler McNabb’s four-course menu features entrées of roasted leg of lamb, seared Atlantic sea bass and forager’s pie, a rich vegetable stew baked in a baby cast-iron skillet. An Irish whiskey-bourbon whiskey taste-off will be available, as well as special beers and wine pairings. Tickets for the Celtic Nation dinner are $55, including tax and gratuity, and available through Eventbrite.com.
Holly Hill Inn also is offering traditional Irish food during Irish GastroPub Nights on Wednesday and March 23 and 24. And a full Irish breakfast is available in addition to the regular brunch menu at Holly Hill Inn this month. To reserve a seat for Pub Nights or brunch, go to Hollyhillinn.com/reservations/ or call 859-846-4732. Menu details are available at Hollyhillinn.com/menus.
▪ Red Mile, 1200 Red Mile Road, is hosting a Shamrock Shindig on Saturday. The 1101 Grill will be serving up corned beef and cabbage for $4.99. There will also be green beer and live music.
▪ Dudley’s On Short, 259 West Short Street, will celebrate at both brunch and dinner on Saturday. For brunch they’ll offer a local corned beef hash topped with a fried egg. At dinner time, chef Mark Richardson will do an innovative take on a tradition with a pasta dish of corned beef and cabbage with housemade rye pasta and a mustard cream.
▪ Oscar Diggs, 155 North Limestone, will open at 9 a.m. on Saturday with an Irish-inspired menu of lamb shepherd’s pie, fish and chips, Guinness mustard wings, corned beef hash and eggs, and cocktail-based cupcakes.
▪ Minton’s, 760 North Limestone, will be serving brunch 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. The menu includes boxty — Irish potato cakes served with sour cream, apple sauce, and caramelized onions with a side of sausage links. Open-face corned beef on Irish soda bread with cabbage and brown gravy. Bangers and mash are also on the menu.
▪ Good Foods Co-op, 455 Southland Drive, will have an Irish-themed hot buffet beginning at noon, with herb-crusted Parmesan tilapia, corned beef and cabbage, cabbage steaks with Irish white beans (vegan), veggie shepherd’s pie, Irish sage-roasted mushrooms, gorgonzola blue cheese Brussels sprouts, salt and vinegar roasted potatoes, Irish soda bread, potato leek soup, cocoa porter beef stew and more.
▪ Lynagh’s Irish Pub, 384 Woodland Avenue, will have a special St. Patrick’s Day menu including corned beef or Irish sausage with eggs and colcannon until 11 a.m., Guinness stew, vegetarian shepherd’s pie and much more. Drink specials include Irish bottled beers and green beer.
▪ Shamrock Bar & Grille, 154 Patchen Drive, will open at 8 a.m., and the location in Hartland will open at 10. Both will have traditional Irish fare, Guinness, Jameson and green beer.
▪ Azur, 3070 Lakecrest Circle, is having a St. Patrick’s Day brunch on Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., serving three Irish-inspired courses along with scones and tea service. Menu includes Irish potato Farles, corned beef hash and Cadbury chocolate brioche bread and butter pudding. It’s $25 per person plus tax and tip. Make reservations online at Azurrestaurant.com.
▪ Brasabana, 841 Lane Allen Road, is having a St. Patrick’s Day brunch on Sunday, too, from 11:30 to 3 p.m., with an Irish-Latin buffet, including colcannon potato cakes with habanero aioli, corned beef hash with chipotle stone ground mustard, jalapeno soda bread and more. It’s $15.95 per person, plus tax and tip. Reservations available at Brasabana.com.