Wookiee Hut Cuisine presents:
Irish Cottage
Forest Hills, NY
Review by SuSu & Runt

In his album Lock 'N Load, Denis Leary says he went to a bookstore and "saw a book called Irish Cuisine and I laughed my ass off!" Even when being charitable about it, no one would say the Irish are famous for fine dining.

But the Irish Cottage actually does a great job presenting traditional British-style food. Admittedly, there are differences -- not at all like the typically and famously greasy or overboiled stereotypes. There is Shepard's Pie, Fish and Chips (breaded or battered), Irish Breakfast (baked tomato, grain and blood sausages, Irish bacon, potatoes, soda bread), Quiche (tomato today ... for some reason, the Brits like quiche ...), French Onion Soup -- the standard fare. For a short while, the McNulty family (the owners) tended to try to be trendy, offering such things as burritos and jalapeño poppers. Didn't work all that well, but they seem to be back to basics again.

The restaurant is a small room lined with little booths, the type you'd find in a cheerful breakfast nook at home. In the center of the room is the "adult table" -- Queen Anne style table with six chairs. It's quite homey, with decorative knick knacks all around, frilly curtains on the windows, and a friendly young waitress with a lovely Irish accent. She was inexperienced -- maybe a visiting cousin -- but very nice and attentive. There were framed family histories, portraits of firefighters who had died at the World Trade Center, heraldry shields and coats of arms, paintings of the Irish countryside. There is also a working fireplace for chilly weather, very cozy! In true Irish style, of course, only half the space was allocated to the dining room. The other half is a full service bar, complete with Irish beers on tap and in the bottle.

Weekend brunch offerings are $12, and include the aforementioned Irish grilled breakfast, Eggs Benedict, etc. No pancakes or waffles though -- maybe that's just too American (though they do have good coffee). I think they want to preserve the illusion that you're in an Irish country inn. No need to take the plane, just come to Irish Cottage!


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