Brunch on a Cold Fall Day at an Upper West Side Irish Bar

Mediocre Pub Grub with a Special Side Service at St. James Gate Publick House

One of the fun things to do when you live in New York City is to go out for a brunch on weekends. Almost all of the restaurants I saw since I have been here offer brunch menus that are served only on weekends (Only a few places serve brunch everyday.). So today a friend and I follow this New Yorker’s tradition once again for a brunch at one of his favorite brunch places on the Upper West Side. My initial idea was to go somewhere in West Village (Saw some cute restaurants last night when we went out for Italian food at Piadina – cute restaurant but the food was not good) but it was so cold out so we did not want to travel too far.

So this place is an Irish pub called St. James Gate Publick House. You see…I would not have thought of going to an Irish pub for a brunch. Normally, when I think of Irish pubs, I think of good beer, night scenes, sports bar and mediocre pub grub. It would be interesting to see what it’s like to go for brunch there.

The Outside of St. James Gate Publick House. All glass exterior.

Looks like he is a resident here 🙂

The interior of St. James Gate Publick House, very rustic with dark wood and naked aged wall. 

The bar with two LCDs.

The frizz of Duvel, a Belgian beer that is not too bitter and quite smooth.

What sets this place apart in my mind is the complimentary muffins they give out. Although they were not the best muffins I have had in my life (In fact, it is more on the other extreme – oh well they were free so I can’t complain right?)

I opted for the Achill Sound –
($9.95). You can pick to have either mixed green salad or home fries. The salad comes with balsamic vinaigrette dressing, which was pretty good. In fact I am very thankful that they serve balsamic vinaigrette instead of those boring ranch, thousand island or french dressings that most pubs do.

Although the overall taste of this sandwiches was nice, the ciabatta is way too dense for me. I always like my ciabatta to be crispy on the outside and a little bit too hollow on the inside – this one was not.

My friend opted for a simple scrambled eggs with smoked salmon with potatoes on the side ($11.95). This dish turned out to be delicious. The smokiness of the salmon did not overpower the creaminess of the eggs. 

The potatoes were lightly salted and the crispiness was perfect. The core of the potatoes was a little bit hard and the outer rim was soft so it was great.

The service was professional and the food was mediocre. However, in my opinion, I think the food is better than normal pub food. What stands out the most is the free toasts and muffins they provide free of charge (Not sure if it is their normal practice though). The bill came to be around 30 bucks. Not such a bad value for money (given there was one beer). I don’t think it has that edge that will draw me back there again though – if you get to go there, you be the judge!



St. James Gate Publick House
441 Amsterdam Ave. (At 81st Street)


So..what do you think? :)

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