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Reviewed: Neary's

Restaurant: Neary's

  • Cuisine: Irish American
  • Location: 358 E. 57th Street - Manhattan 10022  
  • Pricing: $$
  • Reservations? Nope, sorry folks.
  • Why go? Strong drinks - Irish pride - bygone service - comfort food
  • Photo credits: Because of the restaurant's dim lighting, I wasn't able to snap photos of my own. Everything on this post is from Neary's website.


'Twas the night before St. Patrick's Day...

Having lived in the area for more than ten years, Nicole suggested that, instead of competing with other revelers on the actual holiday, we go to Neary's on St. Patrick's Day eve.  "If we get to Neary's around 6:15PM, I doubt we'd have to wait longer than thirty-minutes."  Longer than thirty-minutes??  Considering that the restaurant is located in *east* Midtown East, I was a bit surprised that there would even be a wait time at all (sorry guys, it's not Soho)!

It wasn't until I approached Neary's that I realized I was in for something special, unique, and *not* your typical Irish pub.  "Proper Attire Required" was posted prominently - yet tastefully - on the front door.  I had high hopes that what this really meant was no residual smells of months-old spilled beer, vomit, and the pungent cleaning supplies used as a mask/band-aid...

Indeed, Neary's was like nothing I've ever experienced in New York.  From the moment I entered the space, I was whisked away to a bygone time when the owners still acted as hosts (in this case, Mr. Neary and his lovely daughter) - the loyal staff were treated as family - guests were greeted by name - and the voluptuous mahogany bar was so pristinely polished, I'll bet you could see your reflection between sips of that perfectly-crafted martini.  
 Photo source: Nearys dot comAfter giving our name and party size to Mr. Neary, himself, we waited about twenty-minutes to be seated for dinner.  "It's going to be an early night for me, fella's," I overheard one bar patron remark after taking the last slug of his cocktail.  "I have to be at church tomorrow for the 8:30AM St. Patrick's Day Mass."

The dining room, a space that could easily pass for that of an old-fashioned steakhouse (dim lighting, red table cloths, walls lined with framed photographs, brass adornments), was fully occupied when we were seated.  After placing our drink orders, our attentive waitress returned with a basket of gratis, run-of-the-mill bread and took note of our entree requests.
 Photo source: Nearys dot comWhile most of our table ordered the outstanding Corned Beef & Cabbage (the best representation I've had, to date), I chose one of the evening's specials: Beef Pot Roast.  I found Neary's food to be positively heart warming and comforting; nothing on our plates was fancy or fussy - but everything was delicious and perfectly cooked and executed.
 Photo credit: Nearys dot comFor dessert, we enjoyed a round of Irish coffees while tapping our feet to some live music, courtesy of one of the Neary's relatives.  A true family affair!

Neary's is an incredibly special place, and my evening here proved to be one of my most favorite and cherished experiences in all of my twelve years in Manhattan.  I cannot wait to return here with my mother who has very thick Irish roots!  Until next time...


Until we eat again

The Lunch Belle

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