The Bards: Irish Literrati Chaperoning Pints Imbibation
Apparitions of Ireland’s renowned writers gather at The Bards, Rittenhouse’s choice Irish gastorpub, where the finest of fare and drink that’s served is indistinguishable to those of the ole’ green isle. The first sight inside the doorway is the outcropping of a thatch-roof cottage adjoined by two-seat tables overlooking the 20th St thoroughfare. The walls further in are lined tip to toe with homages to influential Irish authors (Oscar Wilde, William Butler Yeats, James Joyce, Jonathan Swift, and so on). But the reflections behind the bar and in the kitchen are what draw in the crowds. If by chance you’ve heard of some obscure Irish spirit or stout, it’s certain you’ll find it here, including Guinness’s anniversary brew—a tad more sour and bubbly than it’s traditionally milky viscosity. And The Bards is one of the only bars in Philadelphia that carries it. Likewise, it’s a rare commodity to find authentic irish cuisine–but not at The Bards. Appetizers include Guinness Brie with cranberry compote, Boxty, a set of potato cakes filled with your choice of chicken, shepherd’s pie or broccoli and cheddar, and Irish onion gratinee; Dublin Sliders and Grilled Sirloin for the sandwiches; Banger and Mash (roast pork sausages, whipped potatoes and grilled onion demi) and Armagh Steak Frites with grilled vegetables and Jameson-mushroom demi for the entrees. Authenticity is one thing, good eats is another: At The Bards, with will be delighted with both. And—one of my personal favorites—Guinness bread pudding with custard lies in waiting on The Bards dessert tray. So if you’ve got a taste for stout and the company of the ghosts of authors past, then The Bards is for you. And trust me, you’re in good company.