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Sunday, March 16, 2014

Peachy Picks Neary's! Congratulations to Jimmy and Una on 47 years of Excellence. Our Coverage Sponsored by Fresh Origins

Una and Jimmy Neary
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When you look up hospitality in the dictionary of any language, you are bound to see a picture of Jimmy Neary beside it.  Hands down, Neary's is the best place in the world to be for St. Patrick's Day, and Jimmy makes every day a celebration.  He started Neary's and today, runs it with Una, his brilliant daughter.  Tomorrow Neary's celebrates its 47th Anniversary and we are both thrilled and honored that Jimmy and Una celebrated with us. Whom You Know first featured Neary's in the summer of 2010:
Though we've featured beautiful restaurants from Boston to Washington with a large concentration in Manhattan totaling somewhere between 250 and 300 as of now, there is no place like Neary's, particularly on St. Patrick's Day.  So, Peachy Deegan clicked her ruby red heels and went to 358 East 57th Street and Jimmy greeted her with a smile, and she began sipping a splendid Cabernet.  We continue to Highly Recommend Neary's and this post is a celebration as well as a review.  Pay particular attention to the videos: if you like Peachy's writing, you're going to LOVE Jimmy's talking.  Your dinner tastes that much better when there is a such a history behind it and people that care like Jimmy and Una and their veteran staff. 
If you carefully read Whom You Know, you know that Peachy used to live in Cork City because she was a student at UCC.  Mary O'Connor, above, came to New York from Cork at the end of 1975 and has been at Neary's since 1976.  Right before Neary's, Mary managed the John Barleycorn Hotel.  Mary hails from Youghal in County Cork and is a rookie at Neary's, having been there for 38 years.  Two waitresses have been there 46 years each, one for 44 years and another for 47 years.  We've never heard of any other place having this kind of devotion measured in years.  And, you're not going to want to leave Neary's either!
Jimmy's sparkling personality is the piece de resistance at Neary's and you feel like getting a fantastic dinner is only a bonus, because he is that terrific as you see in the videos.  Never before have we used so many videos in a dining review, but that's because Jimmy is in a class by himself.  Peachy ordered the Marinated Herring with Capers and Onions as an appetizer.  It was terrifically fresh and refreshing, and it was presented beautifully.
A colorful green salad was our next course, and every mouthful was perfectly bite-sized, and it was exactly as we want a salad to be.  Ripe tomatoes, flavorful onions, and green lettuce graced the salad plate.  Peachy wanted oil and vinegar on the side and they happily complied.  If you like blue cheese dressing, know that this is a specialty of Neary's.
Not on the menu are the stories of Jimmy Neary himself.  They are the best part!
Listen to his history:

His sense of humor is unparalleled:
The shrimp scampi was in a word: exquisite.  The shrimp was seasoned and grilled to perfection and every succulent bite was to-die-for; Peachy could eat this all the time, and few places do Shrimp Scampi as well as Neary's.  We've heard it said that Neary's is the Irish 21 Club, however, we'd say the 21 Club is the American Neary's.  Neary's is a gorgeous atmosphere as well with chandeliers galore, beautiful seating and carpets.  There is only one Neary's.
The last time we had Irish coffee this excellent was at Neary's in 2010.  A lot of other places have tried hard to do it just as well, but they can't.  Only Jimmy can do this best.
Of course, you know who ordered Peach Melba...and it was entirely PEACHY!  Creamy vanilla ice cream highlighted by peaches and raspberry sauce was a total dream.
Finally, if you are from County Sligo, know that just like there is a Miss New York, Miss America and Miss Universe every year, if there was a Mr. Sligo or a Mr. Ireland, Jimmy would be wearing that crown and sash.  Here's what he has to say to Sligo:
Our esteemed panelist adds:
I had no idea what to expect when I walked into Neary's on 57th street since this was my first time, but from the moment I walked through the door I knew I was in for something special. Steeped in history, Neary's is unlike any Irish restaurant or pub in the world. The sophistication of a New York City establishment with the heart and soul of an Irish gentleman is what Neary's is. From the minute we arrived, we were welcomed with open arms from the bartenders, to waitresses and of course Mr. Jimmy Neary.  Jimmy, the owner, caretaker and comedian of Neary's greets guests with an enthusiasm that is unrivaled from any other owner I have ever experienced. On the evening we arrived Neary's was in full celebratory decor as it was getting ready for its 47th anniversary on St. Patrick's day. That's right this beloved establishment is tried and true, evidenced by the long standing return clientele which includes politicians, celebrities and presidents.

As we were seated at the table we were warmly greeted by our fantastic server, Mary O'Connor, a warm and lovely Irish lady who has been with Neary's for over 38 years. Mary really made it her job to ensure not only were we well taken care of our entire visit but that we were enjoying ourselves as well. I started with a lovely crisp pinto grigio and listened to Mary's recommendations of the many meat, poultry and fish options. I started with a wonderful appetizer of wild Irish salmon served on a bed of lettuce, onions and capers, and accompanied by toast. What a great way to start a meal, the salmon was so fresh and tasty, loading my toast with capers and onions, I could not have been happier.
As we continued our meal, we continued to get to know Mary, and were introduced to Jimmy's daughter Una, who often works at Neary's when she is not at her day job at Goldman Sachs. Una is just as passionate about Neary's as her father, it's evident to see Neary's is a labor of love.
Listen to Una:

As we continued our meal, we had lovely fresh salads with chopped tomatoes and onions. I of course, had to try the homemade blue cheese dressing, which was great, so rich and creamy. On Mary's recommendation I ordered the broiled lamp chops with mint jelly and mashed potatoes. I must admit I am fussy when it comes to my lamb so I was a bit nervous as to how it would come out. I am so glad I listened to Mary. The lamb chops were fantastic, broiled to perfection and loaded with sweet and decadent meat. I can say they were some of the best lamp chops I have every had. Oh,  I can't forget the mashed potatoes, so rich and creamy, I could eat them every day.
After a while, I forgot I was at a restaurant because it felt more like a party, chatting with the tables around us and the lovely staff, you begin to realize this is all part of the Neary's experience. And what experience would be complete without homemade rice pudding and an Irish coffee. The large serving of yummy rice pudding was amazing. Loaded with creamy raisins and cinnamon, I couldn't get enough.  

Of course, we just had to have Irish coffee and it was fantastic, sweet, creamy, hands down the best Irish coffee in the world!
The worst part of Neary's was leaving, after a lovely evening meeting new friends, telling jokes, sharing stories and excellent food I didn't want to go. As we left though I smiled, I knew I would be back again, to see my new friends and the best Irish hospitality in all of New York.

Peachy Picks Neary's.
Neary's is Highly Recommended by Whom You Know.

358 E. 57th Street
New York City, NY
Tel: (212) 751-1434

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