For more than two centuries, ruddy-faced Scotchmen have been celebrating Robert Burns's birth, on January 25, 1759, in the form of Burns Night, a ritual supper of haggis — a love-it-or-hate-it highland classic consisting of a sheep’s stomach bag stuffed with ground offal and oatmeal. But of course the evening wouldn’t be complete without loud bagpipes, plenty of Scotch, and a reading of Burns’s “Address to a Haggis” upon presentation of the quivering hot bag of guts:
Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o' the puddin-race!…
Sound like your bag? (Sorry.) Well, there are three restaurants in the New York area that will be hosting Burns Night celebrations.
• St. Andrews Restaurant (Sat. at 8:15 p.m.; space available)
This one's got it all: a piper, poetry, haggis, and a full four-course menu matched with four single-malt Scotches. $57.95.
• Argyle Restaurant (Fri. and Sat.)
212 Kearny Ave., Kearny, N.J.; 201-991-3900
Yes, it's in Kearny, but it's Burns Night! They don't have haggis on every corner. Dinners served at 6:30 and 8 p.m. $13.95.
•New York Caledonian Club (Sat.)
All Souls Church, 1157 Lexington Ave., nr. 79th St.; 718-920-8563
The haggis shows up to make its ceremonial appearance Saturday, with cocktails at 5 p.m., dinner at 6, and céilidh dancing after. $100.
We won’t be there, but raise a glass of "water of life" (uisge beatha) to the haggis for us. We’re sure the haggis will appreciate it.
Burns Night [Wikipedia]