When you think about savory Guinness stew, traditional bangers and mash, and lagers, stouts and cream ales, you are probably not thinking Plainville. But now you can be.
Waxy O'Connor's Irish Pub, a small restaurant chain well-known in Florida and Massachusetts, has arrived in Connecticut, with its essence and tastes of the Emereld Isle and more.
Adjacent to the Fairfield Inn & Suites on New Britain Avenue, the pub is all Irish from first glance with its casual, clubby style featuring themed pictures, mirrors, bric-a-brac, signs and stained glass that together make a décor that conveys an atmosphere of warm Irish hospitality. A pool table, dartboard, cozy booths, high tops and a generous-sized bar are inviting.
"All the Waxy's look the same because we want to make sure it does transform guests to an Irish pub," says general manager Linda Ryder. Everything from the bar to the millwork are built in Ireland, she says, and shipped to the United States for assembly.
"Waxy's fills a niche, and re-creating an authentic Irish pub is part of the rustic charm that appeals to people in the United States," she said. "And the end result is something a little different."
Based on an Irish tale of a candle maker named "Waxy," a word that eventually became slang for "lucky," it seems the luck of the Irish has already settled on the menu.
Head chef Dave Torrillo, formerly of Damon's Tavern & Sports Bar in Hartford, blends the best of Ireland and the United States when it comes to comfort food for serious diners and the bites and gnoshes for those who just want to hang out.
Irish standards, including bangers and mash, lamb shepherd's pie, and corned beef and cabbage rolls are a sure thing for those looking for authentic Irish fare. The taste of Ireland continues with a Ploughman's plate featuring Irish sausage, artisanal cheese, dried fruit and flatbread crisps, and rarebit pretzels served in a homemade "rarebit" beer cheese sauce with Guinness mustard.
"We have a scratch kitchen," boasts Ryder. "We make our own stews, our own sauces, our own mashed potatoes and other vegetables. Nothing is microwaved or defrosted."
For those not so into Irish food but into the Irish vibe, the menu has such standards as sliders, wings and chicken tenders, hamburgers, mac n' cheese and fries with a choice of gravies.
The place serves a rotating selection of more than 42 beers, ales, stouts and creams, as well as such creative cocktails as the Waxy Clover, a blend of Captain Morgan rum, Midori and blue curacao; and its popular Irish Tea, a mix of vodka, gin, whisky and amaretto.
"Irish night" is officially on Tuesday when live acoustic music by Irish musicians is featured, and on the weekends, more live music, Irish and otherwise from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Happy hour is Sunday through Thursday from 3 to 6 p.m. with drink and appetizer specials.
>>Waxy O'Connor's, 400 New Britain Ave., Plainville, is open at 11 a.m. daily. The kitchen closes at 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday; and at midnight Friday and Saturday. Information: 860-846-0789 and waxys.com.