Best Irish Pub - 2004
The Plough and Stars
The greatest thing about a good Irish pub is its congenial, courtly, somber, gregarious, witty, sentimental, surly, musical, poteen-fueled ambience, and the Plough is all of that in a beaker of brew. From the sidewalk out front one can hear the sound of clinking glass, ruttish laughter, and the occasional angry expletive. The pub's long, dark, scarred-wood interior features a small stage on which Irish music is performed almost every night of the week, including step-dancing, if you like that sort of thing, and there's a jukebox that plays Christy Moore, Michael Cooney, and U2 betweentimes. Pool and darts are available for the athletically inclined, and when the fog rolls through the Avenues, you might as well be in Ballybunion of a November's eve. Most important, the affable barkeeps know how to serve up an ebon Guinness with a creamy head at cellar temperature or even a Harp or a Magner's if you're so disposed. Also available are Bushmill's, Jameson, and Redbreast whiskey from the Old Sod for those especially somber, or congenial, evenings.