EPPING, NH – Friends, countrymen and Phantom Phans far and wide, behold… The Holy Grail.
Located inside an old church in Epping, New Hampshire, The Holy Grail is a casual Irish pub set in a backdrop that, for some, is a religious experience.
“Your quest is over. This is the Holy Grail,” declares owner David Kennedy. “When people walk through the door, they’re overwhelmed as far as there’s just so much for them to see.”
“They walk into the choir loft area and look down over the harp-shaped bar. They check out the stained glass windows. They look at the great mural on the wall. They look at small, little artifacts that people have dropped off and left for us.”
Kennedy has created a restaurant where fun and festive cocktails are served at the bar, and heavenly food flies out of the kitchen to a cozy, comfortable dining room.
“The Holy Grail is an experience,” he describes. “It’s something that you’re not going to find in most places. It’s unique as far as the architecture. It’s unique in the colors brought in by the stained glass windows. It’s different in the types of food that we serve. It’s a family-oriented place where people feel comfortable. They enjoy themselves, and they come back year after year.”
Ironically, The Holy Grail’s starters are quite sinful, including hotter-than-hell Buffalo Chicken Dip served with crispy tortilla chips, and indulgent sausage-wrapped Scotch Eggs served with two types of toppings.
“We serve our scotch eggs with Coleman’s mustard, which is a hot, spicy mustard from England and also an apple chutney, which gives it that little bit of sweetness. It’s just perfect.”
The truly original Irish Nachos feature thick potato slices piled high with housemade corned beef, crunchy bacon and plenty of cheese, all baked nice and bubbly and served with a peppery sour cream.
Of course, the Guinness is always flowing and it’s made its way onto the menu as a marinade for the Guinness Steak Tips, and in a sauté with bacon and mussels.
“For the Guinness mussels we use Guinness to prepare it, and they’re sautéed in a shallow pan with the scallions and the bacon, and it’s prepared and brought right off the stove, right to the table,” said Kennedy. “Just the presentation alone, with the steam coming off of it and the smells that go along with it, is exceptional. It really is.”
Soul-satisfying Shepherd’s Pie comes loaded up with ground lamb, beef, and vegetables, topped with garlic mashed potatoes with a parmesan crust.
While most restaurants serve Boiled Dinner exclusively on St. Patrick’s Day, you can find this Irish specialty all year long at The Holy Grail. Loaded up with slow cooked corned beef, cabbage, carrots, turnips and potatoes, this is a massive meal that will satisfy any appetite – Irish or not.
“It’s just a huge dish,” Kennedy admitted. “Most people are unable to finish it. It’s something that they’re going to be bringing home for lunch.”
That same corned beef is also sliced super thin and stuffed inside of Holy Grail’s buttery Reuben sandwich.
“It kind of almost melts in your mouth, between the cheese and the dressing that we use. It’s one of those things that might be a little messy, but It is worth making a mess.”
Once you’re done making a mess, you’ll want to order some of Holy Grail’s divine desserts like the Raspberry Lambic Cheesecake or the light and tangy Italian lemon cake.
“The sweetness and the tartness of the lemon are the two combinations that, when put together, just serve up a great delight for the senses.”
Whether it’s for the food, the atmosphere, or just the friendly service, you’ll find smiles throughout the awe-inspiring dining room. That’s something that David Kennedy truly treasures.
“Just seeing the expressions on the peopl’se faces when they walk through the door brings joy to me and to my wife and to our family.”
You can find the Holy Grail at 64 Main Street in Epping, New Hampshire and online at holygrailrestaurantandpub.com.
Watch Phantom Gourmet on Saturdays and Sundays at 10:30 and 11 a.m. on myTV38.
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