Thursday, March 24, 2011

Fado Introduces Ireland to America

If Celtic Crossings is an Irish pub that has immigrated to America, Fado is the first American-born child of Irish immigrants.  In most ways, Fado imitates a true Irish pub brilliantly, but it offers a bit more variety in true American fashion.

Before I get into Fado's many fantastic qualities, I am compelled to indulge myself with a small tangent.  This is because no matter what the quality of the pub had been, I would have given it a rave review for having Strongbow Cider.  Strongbow is by far the most popular cider in the U.K., and yet it is very difficult to find in the U.S., especially on tap.  During my time in England I grew very fond of Strongbow, so discovering that a pub not only had Strongbow but also had black currant to go with it made my taste buds soar.  At the same time, it shows Fado's devotion to authenticity, for there is not a bar in Ireland that does not have the makings of a real Snakebite.

Personal tastes aside, this is a truly incredible pub.  Though larger than a traditional Irish pub, it has many of the same qualities, notably dark wood, a long bar, low lighting, and rustic, antiquey decor.  However, it also offers much more, from the wooden menus and Gaelic translations to individualized place settings with quotes from famous Irishmen.  The pub's layout is unique, for the bar is oval-shaped and is surrounded by booths and tables on all sides.  But the really spectacular aspect of the atmosphere is the second floor which is modeled after a ship, complete with hull and sails.  The layout was clearly designed to allow customers to sit and talk for long periods which epitomizes pubs in Ireland.
As for alcohol, the pub has a large selection of Irish and European beers, Irish whiskey, and a full bar.  However, unlike the traditional Irish pub, it also is fully equipped for cocktails complete with a drink menu.  The sangria blanco is particularly tasty.  The food is even better.  With a large number of tables, the pub is clearly equipped to be a restaurant as well as a bar.  This is fortunate because the food is fantastic.  Everything we ordered was delicious beyond words and authentic without falling into any Irish pitfalls (except for the very Irish soda bread.  If you've never had it, you're not missing anything).
This pub is truly an amazing amalgam of old and new, Ireland and America.  I can tell you right now that this is where I'll be spending St. Patrick's Day.  In every sense, it takes the best of both worlds to create an Irish pub that does not forsake its American soil.

Fado Irish Pub
100 W. Grand Ave.
Chicago, IL 60610
(312) 836-0066

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