Father’s Day isn’t the only holiday taking place this weekend. This weekend also marks Bloomsday, the celebration of James Joyce’s massive book Ulysses that takes place on June 16 of each year. A refresher for those of you who chose not to slog through Ulysses in college: the entire book takes place on June 16, 1904…not coincidentally also the date of Joyce’s first date with his wife. Aww.
Bloomsday is a huge event in Joyce’s native Ireland, where thousands of revelers crowd the streets, so it’s a bit surprising that it’s never much caught on in the Hub. If you want to have your own Bloomsday celebration, bring a friend to one of Boston’s many Irish pubs and have yourself a reading over a few pints of Guinness and some fish and chips. Below, three of our favorites.
•James Gate is probably our favorite neighborhood pub. You could sit in the formal dining room and eat seared tuna and artichoke fritters. Or, you could sit at the communal table in the pub and drink pint after pint while chowing down on bangers and mash. We’ll take the latter every time.
•Or is our favorite neighborhood pub the Druid Restaurant? Even we, who have exactly none of the Irish in us, feel like proud Dubliners when we step into this Inman Square gem. We are powerless in the face of their perfect shepherd’s pie.
•If you must go a little more upscale for Bloomsday, for god’s sake, do it at Goody Glovers. We love the chutzpah of putting an Irish bistro smack in the middle of the North End and the food is not half bad either.