Weekends are a challenge this time of year. It's hard to be outside for long enough to tire out the kiddos and there are only so many board games and crafts one can do in a day. So, a place where you can get out of the house, have a great meal and entertain the whole family is key. Fortunately, we have just the ticket (two, in fact) for a food- and fun-filled night that’s sure to give you and your kids the perfect end to a looong winter's day. Best of all, you won't break the bank in the process.
Our one-two punch starts off at the recently opened Celtic Corner, located in Hawthorne. Serving up classic gastropub fare with a twist (and lots of new American thrown in for good measure) this place not only has the luck of the Irish on its side, but also the culinary talents of acclaimed executive chef (and author of “The Preppy Cookbook”) Christine Nunn, who previously hit it out of the park at such iconic Bergen County establishments as Picnic and Grange.
Start your night with a yummy craft cocktail, concocted at the beautiful bar constructed with authentic Irish woodwork. Then settle in to watch the sport du jour on one of the HUGE flat-screen TVs dotting the walls—you'll definitely want to remember this place the next time your favorite team plays their biggest rival.
Then feast your eyes on the menu, which is full of Emerald Isle-inspired pub grub favorites, from sausage burgers topped with Irish bacon, to Guinness stew, Irish poutine, crunchy calamari, BBQ wings, bangers and mash and beyond (including more than a few gluten-free and kid-friendly options). Don't leave without sampling the shepherd’s pie, stuffed with braised lamb and vegetables in savory gravy and topped with cheddar-and-herb-flecked mashed potatoes.
While the food alone is worth the visit, it’s Celtic Corner’s location—downstairs from Billy’s Midway Arcade—that makes it a must. Showcasing classic video games from the 50s to the 90s, this all-ages arcade is a great place to burn off some of those just-consumed calories (or send your kids if you want to watch the end of the game in peace). Billy and his team have spent years collecting video game machines—everything from fan favorites like Ms. Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, Asteroids, and Frogger to air hockey tables, pinball machines, and more. It’s like stepping into a time machine and coming out during those summer days spent at Fun N Games on the boardwalk down the shore. Best of all? You don’t need to bog yourself down with rolls of quarters. Pricing is based on how long you play, $7 for a half hour to $25 for an all-day pass of unlimited play.
This evening of good food and nostalgic fun will make you feel like you've found the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Score!
312 Lafayette Avenue, Hawthorne
(973) 949-3767 Billy’s Midway Arcade
312 Lafayette Avenue, 2nd floor, Hawthorne (973) 304-4530