Scotch Eggs and a Baby Guinness

Scotch Eggs and a Baby Guinness

The dining room at St. Andrews

We needed to try a new place for pre-theater dinner: we’d pretty much exhausted our usual haunts. Bella and I decided that a classic Scottish pub would be a refreshing change, and I was told, on good authority, that there was nothing more authentic in the city than St. Andrews in the Theater District for just that kind of meal. I arrived at around 5:30 pm, and loved the pub on site: How could you not love a dark, atmospheric bar, with shelves and shelves of different scotches, a convivial crowd, Scottish plaid wallpaper, great vintage photos of golfers playing on the St. Andrews links (which is, by the way, the largest public golf complex in Europe, something I had to google after dinner to discover, as I know nothing about golf), and seriously good-looking bartenders that not only are actually from Scotland, but wearing traditional kilts?

After Bella arrived, we scoured the menu, though we knew ahead of time what we were ordering. I had recently had a disappointing experience with a Scotch egg at a restaurant in Princeton, so I was ready to try the real thing. And Bella, my oh-so-adventurous foodie friend, was going for the kill: she ordered the haggis, a traditional Scottish dish comprised of the innards of a sheep—lungs, liver, the whole she-bang—cooked in the sheep’s stomach, and served with neeps (parsnips) and natties (mashed potatoes). Graeme, our affable and charming bartender, told us that U.S. import laws forbid the shipment of the sheep’s stomach to be used, so this was a slight improvisation on what you might find in a Glasgow kitchen, but the dish WAS made with liver, the heart of the sheep and oatmeal, so as close to authenticity as you can get on W. 45th St. in New York City.

Haggis—a traditional Scottish dish made with neeps & tatties

Meanwhile, my Scotch egg was sheer perfection: the hard boiled egg, wrapped in sausage meat, coated in bread crumbs and fried, was both pretty and hearty. It was sided with fresh greens and a light vinaigrette dressing: Bella, meanwhile, was enthralled with her haggis. 

Scotch eggs and salad

Other popular items on the menu, Graeme told us, was the signature burger with truffled cheese and bacon onion jam, and the slow-roasted-till-they-fall-off-the-bones barbecue baby back ribs. As far as a good adult beverage to pair with your meal, the pub has on hand some 250 single malt scotches, as well as some 20 draft beers, popular choices like Stella Artois and Sierra Nevada Pale Ale along with Belhvaen Kilted Pilsner (a Scottish draft), Goose Island IPA 8 (from Illinois) and Boddingtons 8 (from England).

Finally, to remain in that Great Britain state of mind, we ended the evening with a Baby Guinness—Kahlúa and Baileys Irish Cream, served in a shot glass. We joyfully toasted our decision to visit Ireland and Scotland next summer, if, for no other reason than to have a dish of Haggis made in a genuine sheep’s stomach. We can’t wait.

St. Andrews Restaurant & Bar, 140 W. 46th St., 212.840.8413