Being an Astoria resident for the past 8 1/2 years, I’ve seen restaurants come and go and was especially upset when we lost Front Towards Enemy… until I stumbled upon the newest takeover of the space, Passage Irish Bar and Kitchen.
Despite trying the restaurant out on a Monday night, the venue was still pretty lively and full. Maybe that was attributed to the Curried Sheperd’s Pie that was featured on ABC News. We were determined to find out for ourselves though what else made Passage stand out from other Irish pubs.
We started our meal off with a couple of after work beverages. The Violet Femme, concocted of Jameson Black Barrel, earl grey tea infused syrup, freshly torn mint and Chambord-muddled blackberries was extremely subtle and smooth, where the early grey flavor sung through. The Jackie Wilson Said (I’m In Heaven When You Smile), utilized Uisce Beatha Irish Whiskey, ginger beer, fresh lemon juice and muddled strawberries to deliver a fruity and fresh cocktail. You wouldn’t necessarily expect the ingredients to go well together, but they complimented each other perfectly.
We then moved on to food and opted to try a bunch of small plates to satiate our palates. For the Bubble and Squeak Dumplings (our favorite menu item of the night) and the Jameson Spring Rolls, the combination of traditional Irish dishes with Asian influence due to the wonton wrappers, created a unique flavor profile that is all Passage. The dumplings, stuffed with corned beef, cabbage and carrots with a mustard drizzle, give you a mouthful you would expect to have St. Patrick’s Day! For the Spring Rolls, the dish is chock full of pieces of juicy sirloin steak.
We then moved on to the Homemade Scotch Egg and Baked Guinness Mac N Cheese. The combination of the crispy exterior of the egg wrapped in Irish sausage, was given a modern update from the curry mayonnaise drizzle. The mac n cheese rivals any of the fad foods out there with its rainbow complexion, but also goes above and beyond with the extremely cheesy and rich composition.
To make sure we got rolled out of the restaurant we were so full, we ended on a meaty note, with the Passage Irish Breakfast Mussell Bowl. We’re not sure how they did it, but there was literally meat in every mussell shell and pounds of meat within the broth to mimic a traditional Irish Breakfast in a different setting.
Overall, all of the dishes we had were more than solid, they were consistently delicious and filling. The drinks were delightful and made me actually appreciate whiskey! The ambiance was warm and inviting and most importantly, we’ll definitely be back. Passage also hosts a Whiskey Brunch, a Sunday Roast and live music. Expect to see us back during those times!
For more information on Passage Irish Bar and Kitchen, please visit http://www.passageastoria.com.
Photos by Socially Superlative and via Passage Irish Bar and Kitchen’s Facebook