Spring has arrived and with St. Patrick’s Day tomorrow, local restaurants are getting in on the spirit of the holiday with Irish inspired menus. I recently visited Laguna at Doubletree Hotel at SeaWorld, where they are offering a special St. Patrick’s Day menu available this week only. The special menu will be available at both Laguna and Sonoma, along with drink specials available at all hotel bars. The restaurants’ St. Patrick’s Day special menu items will include:
- Cheddar ale soup
- Warm cabbage salad with bacon and Roquefort
- Corn beef and cabbage hash – potatoes, lean corn beef, cabbage, peppers, & onions with a fried egg on top, served with soda bread
- Irish lamb stew– a variation of traditional shepherd’s pie – stewed lamb with peas, carrots, parsnip, and onions over mashed potatoes in a rich gravy
- Guinness braised beef short rib– Served with Brussels sprouts, Irish boiled potatoes and topped with a stout cream sauce
- Bailey’s Irish Cream and Nutella cheese cake
- Apple amber– Irish chocolate potato cake with caramelized burnt oranges
And drink specials at ALL bars- including Sonoma, Laguna, The Crazy Squirrel, and Barefoot Bar, will include:
- Irish Coffee is HALF PRICE all day!
- Specialty Drink of the Day: Irish Mule
- Jameson Flight- includes Jameson, Jameson Caskmates, Jameson Black Barrel: $18
Laguna specializes in serving an all day menu offering a wide variety of appetizers, salads, signature sandwiches, steak and seafood in a casual atmosphere.
The Irish Mule was a twist on the traditional Moscow Mule, using Jameson Whiskey instead of vodka to make a crisp and refreshing drink. The Irish Tea was sweeter with peach schnapps and Jameson. Irish Coffee was a sweet yet strong dessert drink with Bailey’s and Jameson that packed a punch at the end of the night.
Gidia Shrimp is a must try, sautéed with tomatoes, garlic, butter, and white wine, it is a savory and satisfying appetizer to start the meal.
Wonton Pork Tacos are a reinvention of carnitas tacos, with a crispy fried wonton shell in lieu of a flour tortilla. The crunchy shell was light and added texture to the pulled pork, with the chimichrri sauce, cotija cheese, and purple cabbage adding familiar tastes to the tacos.
In the spirit of the beach theme of Laguna, seafood entrees such as Lobster Ravioli and Scallops & Grits are transformations of favorite comfort foods. The Lobster Ravioli’s spicy cream sauce was great, but the Scallops & Grits were even more distracting for me, with blackened scallops, cheddar grits, and Chorizo gravy bringing in the flavors of the South.
Dessert was a Dulce de Leche Cheesecake encased in a chocolate hard shell, it was rich and creamy and a delicious homage to the Latin American influences in Florida.
With such an assortment of flavors mastered, I am confident in the success of the special St. Patrick’s Day menu, and with Laguna eyeing renovations in the future, I am looking forward to another great dining experience soon.
Thank you to Carli Brinkman of The Mayfield Group PR and DoubleTree by Hilton Orlando at SeaWorld for a great night!