Sunday, March 9, 2003

Campbell's Scoop

Where to celebrate St. Patrick's Day

By Polly Campbell
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Where to celebrate St. Patrick's Day in true American style:

What started as a saint's day for Ireland's patron has evolved into a joyful and beer-driven expression of Irish-American pride. Like so many immigrant traditions, it has become every American's holiday, Irish or not.

Check out these melting-pot events next weekend, just before the 17th:

• At Vito's in Fort Thomas next Sunday, you'll have a guy named Levey singing Irish songs in an Italian restaurant. Victor Levey will be the guest singer, conducting an Irish sing-along, with help from Vito's singing staff. It will begin at 7 p.m. Sing "Danny Boy" and eat pasta - why the heck not? In another nod to the day, Vito's will be serving corned beef, cabbage and colcannon. Reservations: (859) 442-9444.

• Chez Nora sounds French, but next Sunday it will be Irish. It will be one of the restaurant's evenings of "International Cuisine," with Irish specials including Guinness beer cheese soup, corned beef and cabbage, steak and Guinness pie and Irish rack of lamb with three sauces. Reservations: (859) 491-8027.

• Irish pubs do big business on this big drinking day, but so do others. Nicholson's Pub, downtown, is always busy on St. Patrick's Day, even though it's Scottish. Close enough for most beer-drinkers, I guess.

• There is one nationality that can't join the Irish celebration quite so easily, and that's the English. Cock and Bull English Pub in Covington understands that. For St. Patrick's Day only, the bar will cover its signs and become Kern Alyward Pub. That's what the bar was for 27 years, when Covington was an Irish neighborhood, says owner Craig Johnson.

For the day, it will serve corned beef and cabbage, and chalk the sidewalk green. The pub will open at 7 a.m., and if you show up then, most appropriately in your pajamas, you'll get to join the "7 a.m. Club," whose members are listed on a plaque on the wall.

• If it's true Irish you're after - Guinness on tap, live Irish music and Irish food - here are a few ideas: the Dubliner in Pleasant Ridge, Jack Quinn's in Covington and Claddagh Pub at Newport on the Levee are among the Tristate's full-fledged Irish pub/restaurants, and all will be hopping next weekend and March 17.


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