408 E. Main Ave.
Bismarck North Dakota 58501United States
New in 2010, this Irish bar offers a pleasant atmosphere and passable Irish dishes alongside standard tavern fare.
A dark wood bar and tables and flat-screen TVs accent this long narrow space in downtown Bismarck. You'll find dozens of pints and bottled beers, including a handful of Irish brews, plus "married pints" that mix two ales. Appetizers include the usual mix of bar offerings, given cheesy Irish-influenced names (Irish nachos, Celtic crab cakes, Mussels Malone). We tried the Emerald Island dip, a garlicky spinach-artichoke spread served in a bread bowl ($8.99), and the Pound o' Fries, a pile of waffle-cut potato and sweet potato fries ($6.99). Both were perfectly passable, but nothing special. Sandwiches run $7.69 to $9.29; the Tuscan Veg comes with balsamic-marinated tomatoes, onions and olives, blue cheese and mozzarella cheese on focaccia with garlic aioli ($7.69) and was a refreshing alternative to the standard bar fare. For dinner, we tried the shepherd's pie made with ground beef, peas, corn, carrots, onion, garlic, rosemary and thyme, topped with mashed potatoes and melted Colby-Jack cheese, and served in a bread bowl ($12.69). The portion is huge, easily shared and, aside from the cheese, does its heritage proud. Other Irish entrees include a delicious corned beef with creamed cabbage ($10.99) and a Guinness Irish stew ($13.99). Our evening at Blarney Stone included watching a drunken patron stumble from his stool and jig before he made his way out the door. We had a good time, but what makes an outing here most memorable is probably the company you keep while you're there.