This Thursday, March 1, the Longbow Pub and Pantry (7316 Third Avenue) will be celebrating the food, ale, and tradition of Wales on the feast day of St. David. In the words of co-owner Michael Colbert, New York City’s only Welsh pub will be getting “as Welsh as we can possibly get.” The celebration will include a special food menu, Welsh whisky and beer made specially available for St. David’s Day, recorded music from a number of popular Welsh bands and singers, and a bar full of daffodils. “The place looks pretty good when it’s all decked out in daffodils.”
A special prix fixe menu will be available for $35, which will include potato leek soup, a trio of Welsh cheeses (Caerphilly, Tintern, and Red Dragon), lamb with mint sauce, and Welsh cakes and tea. A modified version of Longbow’s regular menu will also be available, for those who wish to order à la carte. Welsh whisky and beer will be available, such as Penderyn whiskys and Tomos Watkin OSB ale.
I had a chance to sit down with Colbert last week to talk about Longbow and the upcoming St. David’s celebration. Michael and his wife, Jennifer started Longbow in 2009 as a way of filling a niche in the neighborhood that they themselves were seeking – a nice place to go out for dinner and stay for drinks afterwards, to be able to hold a decent conversation with someone and be able to hear them over the music. The name “Longbow” was inspired by a painting of the Battle of Agincourt, fought in 1415 about halfway though the Hundred Years’ War. Welsh longbow archers under the command of Henry V decisively defeated, with significantly fewer casualties, a French army which outnumbered them four-to-one.
Colbert believes that “beer is the new wine” from the standpoint that Americans are more interested now than ever in sampling from the wide varieties of craft beers and import brews over sticking with standards from Budweisser and Coors. Such a person would be very pleased at Longbow – there is a wide selection of draught beer, and if you like, you can get a small, sampler glass before ordering a full pint.
Rugby is king at Longbow, along with European soccer leagues, such as English Premiership football. When I spoke to Michael, he was getting geared up for the Six Nations tournament this past Saturday, with the first game (a win for Wales) starting at 11am.
During the St. David’s Day celebration, Longbow will be playing music from Welsh recording artists Duffy, Cate Le Bon, Stereophonics, Manic Street Preachers, Catatonia (disclaimer: I heart Cerys Matthews), and Tom Jones. Cultural booklets from the NYC office of the Welsh Assembly will be on hand.
Longbow will be open from noon to 4am on Thursday. Food will be available from 1pm to 11pm.