2005-05-18 / Restaurant of the Week

Copper Kettle Offers Family Dining, Great Food

The Copper Kettle is a friendly, neighborhood restaurant and bar that welcomes families to fresh, inventive meals at affordable prices. Owner Patrick Tunney, who hails from County Meath, Ireland, is a most congenial host who welcomes all his customers with a warm smile and urges them to feel at home in his quaint establishment.

The hefty wooden bar serves fine beers, ales, cocktails and wine to a sedate crowd that gathers to converse quietly or watch a game on the flat screen television. There are a number of comfy booths in the front bar area for dining, and a spacious dining room in the rear that features upholstered banquettes and linen-dressed tables. The pleasant wait staff makes you feel like family at the Copper Kettle.

Where The Copper Kettle really shines is its food, surprisingly upscale for such an inexpensive, local restaurant. Their fine starters include chilled prawn cocktail served with zesty sauce or Irish oak smoked salmon served with greens, cream cheese, capers, onions and toast points ($6.50). Sweet and meaty homemade crab cakes are served with tartar sauce ($9.95). Favorite stand-bys are here also, including oversized, stuffed potato skins and spicy Buffalo wings. Homemade potato leek soup or their other soups of the day will whet your appetite for the delicious entrees.

The Copper Kettle does a fine job of meat, fish and chicken, so whether you choose an item from their standard menu or one of their tantalizing nightly specials you can’t go wrong. Black Angus steak was served to us with a slice of liver paté underneath that caught the wonderful reduction sauce. The meat cut like butter and was rich and flavorful. The New York cut sirloin (14 ounces) and the sliced sirloin steak with mushroom sauce, both $15.95, are equally tender and flavorful. Who could resist herb and mustard encrusted rack of lamb, cooked to medium-rare delectability? Certainly not I, so I’ll be back soon.

Fresh fish dishes include a fabulous salmon fillet wrapped in puff pastry, served on a julienne of fresh, colorful vegetables. Tuna should be eaten very rare to optimize its freshness and flavor, and that’s how Copper Kettle’s grilled tuna steak topped with a light sauce of lemon and capers ($14.95), is prepared. It’s a staple on the menu for its high quality and expert preparation. Baked Boston scrod in lemon, butter and white wine sauce is flaky and tender ($13.95).

Chicken chardonnay made with a creamy white wine sauce with mushrooms ($13.95) is one of the chef’s signature dishes. Pan roasted half chicken will please even the finickiest eater. I enjoyed the French cut chicken breast, served on a bed of sautéed, julienne red cabbage. Copper Kettle’s prices are very reasonable, especially when you consider that all entrees come with a fresh salad or homemade soup, seasoned rice or potato and fresh vegetables.

If you’re eating light, Copper Kettle makes healthy, satisfying salads, such as lightly spicy Cajun chicken salad. The Cobb salad, tossed with bacon, beets and bleu cheese, is another classic.

Desserts include apple pie, classic strawberry rhubarb pie, chocolate mousse cake and fruit topped cheesecakes. Their specialty coffees are sweet and creamy enough to be dessert themselves. I went nuts over the “Nutty Irish” coffee made with a splash of Bailey’s and Frangelico for a steaming cup of coffee with a kick. There’s a whole menu of coffee drinks to choose among.

The Copper Kettle is a great place for lunch. Offerings include juicy burgers, beer battered fried shrimp or shepherd’s pie, a traditional Irish dish. Speaking of Irish tradition, Copper Kettle serves an excellent Sunday brunch from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. that includes a complete Irish breakfast with eggs, black and white pudding, bacon, sausage, and grilled tomato. Traditional eggs Benedict or eggs Florentine, with sautéed spinach and Hollandaise sauce, also make great choices. I’d love to come back on Sunday and try the cinnamon French toast, made with thick slices of challah egg bread, cinnamon and a touch of vanilla and topped off with apples. All Sunday brunch items come with choice of beverage, Irish soda bread, home fries, tea or coffee, making Copper Kettle an ideal choice for a cozy, affordable Sunday brunch.

Visit The Copper Kettle for the great food and friendly, family atmosphere, whether you stop in for Sunday brunch, lunch, dinner or an evening cocktail. There’s something for everyone at this comfortable local restaurant and bar, located on a quiet street in Woodside.

The Copper Kettle

50-24 Skillman Avenue, Woodside

718.335.7596

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