St. Patrick’s Day is Friday and that means celebrating all things that are Irish at the nearest pub, right? We here at AllEars.Net are, of course, partial to Disney’s own authentic Irish restaurant and pub, Raglan Road at Disney Springs. Raglan Road will be celebrating the holiday Thursday through Sunday (March 16-19) with its Mighty St. Patrick’s Day Festival.
Deb Wills, Linda Eckwerth and I were invited to a preview of the event, where we were able to experience the entertainment and food and beverages that will be on tap this weekend. If you’re expecting green beer, you will not find it, but if you want to celebrate the Irish culture as it is done in The Emerald Isle, Raglan Road is the place to be.
First, and perhaps more importantly, the beer. Raglan Road will be serving a unique lineup that not only features traditional Irish stout beers like Guinness, but also five adult beverages that are exclusive to Raglan Road from local producers. And one beer — Paddy’s (NOT PATTY’S) Pilsner — was crafted just for the Mighty Festival and will only be available this week.
Paddy’s (NOT PATTY’S) Pilsner comes from Orange Blossom Brewing and is the brewery’s original honey pilsner infused with blood orange extract. It has a light, citrus flavor.
“We went through different flavor profiles, and we felt that blood orange would cater to the masses the most,” said Aaron Ledger, director of sales for Orange Blossom Brewing Company. “Then we experimented with different measurements to make sure we had the right balance, and the folks at Raglan Road paired it with food to make sure that worked.”
We also sampled the other beverages that are exclusive to Raglan Road: Bloomsday Pale Ale, also from Orange Blossom Brewing; Tri Wishes Grand Irish Red, Crooked Can Brewing; Miriam’s Irish Coffee Stout, Coppertail Brewing Company; and Planted Strawberry & Lime Hard Cider, Keel & Curley Winery.
Bloomsday Pale Ale is a refreshing ale full of citrus and other fruit flavors. It’s the kind of beer that can be refreshing on a Florida summer. The Tri Wishes Grand Irish Red just won an award for the top Irish Red Beer in the state, and we can see why. It is a smooth red that finishes clean. Miriam’s Irish Coffee Stout tasted like a full-bodied stout that lives up to its name with more than a hint of coffee. I am not much of a beer drinker, but I did enjoy the Planted Strawberry & Lime Hard Cider, which was sweet and smooth that makes it great with for both entrees and deserts.
During the Mighty St. Patrick’s Day Festival, Raglan Road will be serving its full menu created by Irish celebrity chef Kevin Dundon. At the preview, we sampled several dishes that will be available. There was, of course, a twist on the traditional Shepherd’s Pie, which is made with beef and lamb, root vegetables, red wine jus and topped with mashed potato. Delicious! We also tried the Lemon Herb Crusted Atlantic Cod over Creamed Leeks, which is similar to the The Cushy Cod on the menu. The Braised Lamb Mini Pie with Minted Pea Puree is one of the Pies to Try on the regular menu. Finally, the Beer Battered Monk Fish Fillet with Hand Cut Chips and Tartar Sauce was a slightly different take on the traditional Fish and Chips that usually is made with cod at Raglan Road.
And then there was dessert, each more delicious than the next. We sampled the Bread & Butter Pudding, which was served with crÃ¨me anglaise and butterscotch sauce; the Dunbrody Kiss, a chocolate mousse covered in chocolate ganache with a crunchy base; and the Trifle Sinful, a freshly baked Swiss roll, Gran Marnier, fresh berries, custard and cream. All three desserts are available on the regular Raglan Road menu. (To see the complete restaurant menu, visit the AllEars.Net page.)
Raglan Road features live entertainment every night, but there will be even more acts to enjoy during the festival. There are two stages — inside the pub and outside on the patio — where native Irish (and some Americans) will perform. At the preview, we enjoyed seeing the Byrne Brothers play musical instruments (button accordion, banjo, mandolin, whistle and bodhran), sing and dance. Brothers Luca, 12, Finn, 10, and Dempsey, 7, amazed us with their talents, and they have been wowing audiences in Ireland. Don’t miss them at the festival! They are scheduled to perform at 4:30 p.m. Thursday on the patio; 1 and 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday inside the pub; 2:30 and 5:15 p.m. Friday and Saturday on the patio; and 4:30 p.m. Sunday on the patio.
The Raglan Road Dancers, who perform nightly, will have patrons clapping along to their toe-tapping jigs and reels during the festival. Their fancy footwork is definitely fun to watch — and diners are even invited to join the dancers and learn some Irish dance steps. My daughter still talks about how much fun she had with the dancers on one occasion when she was younger.
And that leads me to assure other parents that Raglan Road’s Mighty St. Patrick’s Day Festival is family friendly. As I mentioned, the entertainment is appropriate and fun for little ones. Less adventurous eaters can select typical American comfort food on their menus if they are not up for trying traditional Irish fare. And complimentary Celtic face-painting will take place from noon to 8 p.m. each day during the festival.
Raglan Road is open from 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. each day during the Mighty Festival, March 16 through 19. A cover charge of $10 will apply to each guest 18 and older on March 17 only.
DISCLAIMER: I was a guest of Raglan Road during the preview of its Mighty St. Patrick’s Day Festival. My opinions are my own, and this did not affect my story.