Kilpatrick’s Publick House, Ithaca, New York

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During our stay in Ithaca, Mike and I ate dinner at Kilpatrick’s Publick House, which is a cozy, pub-style restaurant and bar in downtown Ithaca with a huge menu.

We were initially seated in the front of the restaurant, which is very homey and inviting with a fireplace and a large mural on the wall (and I have to add that there’s good lighting for taking pictures because of nearby windows!).  Unfortunately, there was a table of about 12 rowdy patrons (our waitress told us they had been there for happy hour) right next to us who were so loud that Mike and I had to scream to be able to hear each other.  We ended up moving to a secluded booth in the back of the restaurant, which was very quiet and private but had very dim lighting. 
I would have sacrificed the conversation and my hearing (ah, the commitment of a dedicated food blogger, right?) and stayed near the windows for the good lighting, but I was vetoed…which is why I had to use a flash on the pictures.
The service was wonderful – our waitress (Jocelyn) was attentive and the food arrived quickly.

Our Wonderful Waitress, Jocelyn

Once we were seated in our private booth, we were served fresh rolls.  The rolls were small (two bites per roll) but delicious.  They had a nice crusty exterior with a yeasty smell, an open crumb, and a slightly sourdough-y flavor.

Fresh Rolls, Hot & Delicious

The house salad was brought out with two different house dressings, apple vinaigrette with garlic and orange honey mustard.  The orange honey mustard was a little too sweet for me, but the apple vinaigrette was the perfect balance of sweet (from the apple) and savory (from the garlic).

House Salad with Two House Dressings — Apple Vinaigrette with Garlic & Orange Honey Mustard

To start the meal, Mike ordered Wings over Ireland, which was basically Buffalo wings.  The wings came with celery sticks, blue cheese dressing, and herbed garlic aioli.  The wings weren’t the best wings I’ve ever had (I thought they were just a tad overcooked), but the blue cheese dressing and the aioli were fantastic.  The blue cheese dressing was both slightly sweet and slightly tangy, and it had large chunks of blue cheese.  It was one of the best blue cheese dressings I’ve had.  The aioli was incredible and Mike and I thought it was delicious paired with everything from wings, to raw veggies, to French fries.

Wings over Ireland, Served with Celery, Blue Cheese Dressing, & Herbed Garlic Aioli

As an appetizer, I ordered the Prata Cake, which was described as:  “A hearty blend of chunky baked potato, blended with fresh herbs, gorgonzola and cheddar cheese then deep fried and served with cranberry and raspberry dipping sauce.” 

Prata Cake with Cranberry & Raspberry Dipping Sauce

I was pretty disappointed with this dish.  Instead of having a chunky, baked potato interior, it was shredded potato and quite dry.  Also, as you can see, the fresh herbs, gorgonzola, and cheddar cheese that were promised to be inside were very sparse (I actually couldn’t taste them at all).  I was excited for the cranberry and raspberry dipping sauce, as I thought it would have a nice sweet/tart flavor that would complement the cheeses in the cakes well.  Unfortunately, the flavor of horseradish completely dominated this sauce (and horseradish wasn’t even in the description!).  I ended up slathering on some of the herbed garlic aioli instead.

Prata Cake Interior

For his main course, Mike ordered the Gaelic Filet, which came with a delicious Brotherhood Cabernet Suavignon Reduction; he substituted French fries for the mashed potato that it was supposed to come with.  The steak was cooked perfectly (tender, juicy, and flavorful) and the wine reduction was the perfect accompaniment to it.  The fries were delicious (especially with the aioli ;) ) – golden and crispy outside and soft and tender inside.

Gaelic Filet with Brotherhood Cabernet Suavignon Reduction

Golden French Fries

For my main, I wanted to order the Sheppard’s Pie, which sounded amazing:  “Tender Beef Marinated in Jameson Whiskey and Guinness combined with potatoes, carrots, celery and onions topped with creamy potato and our toasted hazelnut crisp.”  Sadly, they were out of it.  Our waitress recommended Corned Beef and Cabbage and I’m glad she did because it ended up being absolutely fabulous. 

Corned Beef with Cabbage & Chunky Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

The beef was fork-tender and very flavorful with the corned beef spices.  The cabbage was tender and mild-flavored, and the mashed potatoes were garlic-y in flavor and rustic in texture with chunks of potato and pieces of potato skin included.  It was an amazingly delicious meal, especially topped with malt vinegar.  The portions were very generous also – Mike even helped eat my meal and we still had about two-thirds of it leftover.  And the leftovers were just as fantastic.

The Perfect Bite

Mike and I both enjoyed this delicious meal and we would definitely go back next time we visit Ithaca.  (I’m still dying to try the Sheppard’s Pie!  ;) )

Kilpatrick’s Publick House

130 East Seneca Street

Ithaca, NY 14850

Tel.:  607.277.8900

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  1. says

    I had a friend who lived and went to college there ( I think it was Cornell?) anyway I ad heard how neat the place was and sure enough you are confirming it! Looks good!

  2. says

    The Prata cakes look so delicious…too bad they weren’t exactly what you were hoping. What a unique combination though.

    I am seriously in love with the picture of the bread and butter though. I can almost taste it!

  3. says

    It sounds like most of the meal tastes good so I guess, it was a success. Eating out is usually fun.

    We don’t get to eat out often because of hubby’s problems. You asked about the garlic powder. If I use more than a pinch, he does not feel well. Since, I don’t let him know when I do that and it is rare, it is a real reaction.

    One can live without garlic. It is just not fun.

  4. says

    that’s what i call good eatin’! both of those dressings sound interesting and unique, and although your potato cakes were disappointing, they sure look grand. nice find!

  5. says

    Your post reminds me that corned beef and cabbage should be more than a once a year dish – it is so delicious! That aioli sounds perfect!

  6. says

    I had really high hopes for the Prata cake, Faith. What a disappointment. I wonder if I can fiddle around and find a great recipe for that?
    Happy Memorial Day!

  7. says

    Faith, between the bread, the prata cake, and the delicious beef, I am in food overload. It all looked so delicious! But really, why aren’t you working as a restaurant/food critic?? Your write ups of the places you dine at are unbearably well-written, well-crafted, and deliciously descriptive. I feel like I at there too! Thanks for an awesome review and an even better mental meal!!

  8. says

    I love that you took a picture of your waitress :) A good server is so important for a nice meal out…coming from a prior server herself, that is!

    The food all looks wonderful, especially the aioli – I could dip anything and everything in a good aioli. Spoken like a true dietitian, huh? ;)

  9. says

    So fun to go on a date with you guys! Glad to read the majority of your meal was tasty. I too am a huge fan of Shepherd’s Pie. As a matter of fact that was the first recipe post I ever put on FFC….a sweet potato version. xo

  10. says

    I love reading restaurant reviews and this one certainly pleased! I totally would have sacrificed my hearing for good lighting lol. The things we bloggers do…

    That beef and cabbage looks fantastic, as does Mike’s steak. Those Prata cakes had such promise…I might try to create what they SHOULD have been.

  11. says

    Aw, love that you posted a pic of the waitress! Give a much more personal feel to this place! The last time I was in Ithaca, I only managed to eat at Pita Pit!

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