Short of a flight to Dublin, you won’t find a more authentic place to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Orlando than Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant at Disney Springs. With a trifecta of authentic live music, delectable Irish cuisine and plenty of beer (and exquisite craft cocktails), you’ll want to go early and stay late for the Mighty St. Patricks’ Festival March 16-18.
It’s three non-stop days: noon-1:30 a.m. March 16 and 10 a.m. until 1:30 a.m. March 17 and 18. We officially like to start with an early lunch of fish ‘n chips at Cooke’s of Dublin walk-up window and save our supper for upscale Irish fare in the pub – make your reservations soon at 407-938- 0300 for March 16 and 18; March 17 (St. Patrick’s Day) it’s first-come, first-served with a $10 cover charge for ages 18 and older. Expect a very large crowd.
The food kicks up the sensory experience, and we’re looking forward to sharing plates with friends around a big table, like the new Guinness-braised pulled pork with apple chutney and pork cracklings on a homemade bun, and the handmade gnocchi with seared Georges Bank scallops and crispy pork belly. And of course we have to order the pub’s loin of bacon and cabbage, the authentic Irish dish of St. Patrick’s Day.
Then just sit back and savor the Irish music on stages indoors and out that showcase some of the best entertainers you’ll experience off the Emerald Isle. Irish partners John Cooke and Paul Nolen bring the finest, like everyone’s favorite, the U2 tribute band Elevation. But every year they add something new – this year it’s The Maguires, an award-winning traditional Irish band that includes 17-year-old Emma on fiddle, flute and whistle; 15-year-old Aoife on concertina and uilleann pipes; 12-year-old Sean on bodhrán, and their dad, Philip, on guitar. Six more bands join these two for the three-day fest, with banjos, accordions, mandolins, fiddles, ukele bass and more. It’s the kind of happy music that won’t let you sit still. Reel Republic’s Aisling Egan-Sage on the fiddle – that alone is worth the trip to Disney Springs.
For the full entertainment schedule, go to raglanroad.com. And don’t be lookin’ for any green beer – that’s an American invention that you won’t find at authentic Raglan Road.