• Irish • Harbor East
My wife and I had been to James Joyce Irish Pub and Restaurant once before, pre-COVID. We drank and ate at the bar and enjoyed it. I’ve been looking forward to returning since they reopened after renovations. For this visit, I brought my mom here for lunch. I knew this was her kind of place. We dined outside in their indoor-outdoor space. Nice weather. Comfortable. This was a weekday lunch so I had to forgo the Irish whisky and appetizers. We went right to the main attractions. My mom ordered an Irish classic: Shepherd’s Pie. She loved it. It looked amazing! I had one bite. It was sublime. Slow-cooked lamb shoulder with braised veggies inside a shell made with velvety, creamy, potato mash studded with fresh herbs. The top part of the pie looked like undulating potato pillows. The portion was overly generous. Really, it’s too big for a normal person. Expect significant leftovers. I had another Irish classic: the Reuben with a side of French fries. The sandwich was delicious. The corned beef was perfectly brined and cooked. Juicy. Very good rye bread, sauerkraut, dressing and melted cheese. Here again, the portion was bigger than normal. A single napkin is no match for this sandwich. They should supply a kitchen towel. The “grease” is not from the brisket but from the buttered bread. The fries are good if not special. Well seasoned, good texture. I’ve definitely had worse. Service was good. James Joyce would be a great place for happy hour or for a Sunday afternoon/evening during football season. Looking forward to going back.