Happy St. Patrick’s Day, readers! I finally visited Ireland in 2014 and was captivated by the Emerald Isle and its people. On my visit to Dublin I visited a lot of historic pubs but historic restaurants were few. I went with friends to dinner at Lord Edward, a venerable pub and seafood restaurant (the third-floor restaurant has since closed but the wonderful pub and lounge on the first two floors remain open). And I had steak dinner at the elegant steakhouse Shanahan’s on the Green, which is fairly new (established in 1998) but it feels like a classic restaurant so it’s getting coverage on Le Continental.
Shanahan’s is owned by John Shanahan, an American entrepreneur of Irish descent who takes residence in the U.S. but visits Ireland often so he opened an American style steakhouse. Remember commercials for “Hooked on Phonics” which aired a lot on the radio in the 90s? It was John Shanahan who started that company with is background in music.
Shanahan’s is located in a pair of preserved historic Georgian townhouses built by architect Richard Cassells (aka Richard Castle) on lovely St. Stephen’s Green in the center of Dublin. The restaurant is elegant with Rococo decor, white linen tablecloths, plush furniture and carpet in red and gold, fine silverware, and waiters in ties with waistcoats. This is a restaurant for dressing up.
One of the best features of Shanahan’s is the cozy Oval Office Bar in the basement. The bar is dedicated to American presidents of Irish ancestry and its centerpiece is JFK’s rocking chair behind the bar, which he used on Air Force One. It’s a great place to have a cocktail before dinner or a whiskey after dinner.
Shanahan’s only serves Certified Irish Angus beef from Aberdeen-Angus cattle, a breed developed in Scotland and imported into Ireland in the 19th century. The dinner menu features five beef steaks as well as lamb, pork, and seafood dishes. The prices are in line with high-end American steakhouses and steaks are à la carte (some entrees come with sides). I opted for the 18 oz New York strip sirloin, a side of creamed spinach (served in a copper pan), and french fries. The steak had great flavor but I think next time I would order the rib-eye or filet. I felt like my steak was more like top sirloin than NY strip (top sirloin is my favorite low-priced steak but this was not low-priced).
The service was top-notch. Definitely a top pick if you are in Dublin and craving a steak in an elegant, old-fashioned dining room.
Shanahan’s on the Green
119 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, Ireland
Phone +353 1 407 0939
Open Mon-Fri 5:30 pm – 10:00 pm, lunch only on Fridays 12:30 pm – 2:00 pm, Sat 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm