Irish Heather Long Table
Posted by Degan on December 27th, 2009
Photo credit: Jules
Note: this post was imported from EthnicEats.ca
While we’re on the subject of pubs, I’m well behind on writing about one of my favorites. Way back when I wrote about the Shebeen Whisk(e)y House but since then the Irish Heather et al. has moved houses, acquired chef Lee Humphries and generally just upped the ante in terms of casual Gastown hangouts. They’ve also introduced the Long Table Series.
When the economy turns ugly, you pull yourself up by your bootstraps, call in your friends and sit down to a meal of good, hearty, simple food. Or something like that. But the trick is to find the deals without sacrificing quality. The Heather has always managed to straddle the gap between gourmet gastropub and authentic Irish fare without being expensive, but their new space included a room with a giant table in it that I thought might be for parties or overflow, but out of which the Long Table Series was born.
The idea is that one dish is made each day (although the hardworking kitchen still puts out the Heather’s regular menu for those on the pub side and offers a vegetarian option for the long table dinners as well) and comes with a pre-set beer or cider for $15. The menu is posted in advance, resos are made through email and on the appointed date diners pack in around the table to chow down on what just might be the best deal in the city.
I’ve been twice for the roast suckling pig dinner (top) – mouthwateringly tender with bits of satisfyingly crunchy crackling and mashed potatoes – a feast I can assure you I’ll be back for again. I’ve also had duck leg with colcannon potatoes and foie gras jus, braised short ribs (above), traditional Irish stew with soda bread (and Guinness of course) and a couple of others.
The food is delicious enough to take the table of 50 or so down to a dull roar, but half the fun is jostling elbows and chatting with your neighbours. Filing in from the Shebeen waiting room out back feels like the first day of school all over again – except with beer and no homework.
The menu is published a month in advance but there are a couple more dates left for December, including a New Year’s Eve seating. Dinners have been sold out solidly since the summertime so if you want to get in on the popular dishes, it’s best to sign up soon.
212 Carrall Street, Vancouver