7 Spots for St. Patrick's Day Dining in Metro Phoenix -- Plus Green Velvet Cupcakes

This year, St. Patrick's Day falls on a Sunday, which means you'd better prepare for one hell of a hangover on Monday morning. Get some extra work out of the way this Friday so you can make the best of one of these seven St. Patty's celebrations in the Valley. And if you'd rather drink at home (where you won't need a designated driver), we have a few suggestions for places to snag a green-tinted treat or two.

See also: - St. Patrick's Day Guide 2013 - 15 St. Patrick's Day Food Fails

St. Patrick's Benefit Celebration at Renegade Tap & Kitchen

Get drunk for a good cause at Renegade Tap & Kitchen on Saturday, March 16. The St. Patrick's festivities — including bagpipe performances and kilted bartenders — will take place a day early (perfect for you 9 to 5ers), and a portion of the evening's proceeds will benefit the families of fallen firefighters from Surprise, Chandler, and Mesa. From 6 to 10 p.m., the kitchen will be serving traditional corned beef, cabbage, and shepherd's pie, among other Irish specialties, and the bar will be pulling hearty pints of Ireland's best ales. Patrons are encouraged to toss extra donations into the firemen's boots on the bar, which will replace the usual tip jar. To reserve your place at the party, call 480-614-9400.

Cowboy Ciao

There will be a St. Paddy's Day Sommelier Showdown at Cowboy Ciao on Sunday. The five-course dinner kicks off at 6:30 p.m., and each course will have not one but two wine pairings. Owner Peter Kasperski will go head-to-head against Quench Fine Wines' brand ambassador/Leprechaun Ryan Patrick McLaughlin. Dinner will be composed of re-imagined Irish favorites, and the full menu will be a delicious surprise. The five-course dinner with 10 wine pairings is only $60 per person. Call 480-946-3111 to reserve your spot.

Sandbar Mexican Grill

Half-Irish, half-Mexican? Believe it or not, there's a St. Paddy's party in town just for you! The traditional Irish holiday gets a unique cultural infusion at Sandbar Mexican Grill. All three locations will be offering "Hola, Green-Go" specials like corned beef and cabbage tacos ($10), green Shamrock-aritas ($5), green beer ($3), and Green-schläger shots ($5). The all-day celebration will include live music provided by local bands and DJs.

Arizona Biltmore

Irish native Gordon Maybury is the new executive chef at the Biltmore, making this Arizona landmark a prime destination for an authentic St. Patrick's Day dinner, served Friday through Sunday. Wright's will feature an arugula salad with Jameson whiskey grain-mustard-cured salmon and yogurt dressing ($15), pan-seared wood pigeon with bacon and cabbage and black pudding ($36), and roast loin of Irish lamb with celery root puree and poitin jus ($45). Dessert will be an Irish sherry truffle ($11). Frank & Albert's will be offering a full Irish breakfast ($15) from 6 to 11 a.m., including bacon, sausage, black pudding, tomato, and black beans. Lunch and dinner specials include Irish nachos, hand-cut potato chips loaded with Irish cheddar, sausage, bacon, sour cream, and jalapenos ($11), and Chef Gordon's family recipe for shepherd's pie ($19). Reservations recommended; call 602-381-7632.

Tonto Bar and Grill & Cartwright's Sonoran Ranch House

Chef Eric Flatt's two restaurants are serving specialties for the Irish holiday. A hearty dinner of housemade corned beef brisket with cabbage, potatoes, and green beans or carrots will be available ($18) to pair with the Luck-a-tini cocktail of Ketel One, ginger ale, melon liqueur, and fresh lime ($13). Dessert will be a baked meringue topped with whipped chocolate, Guinness stout cake, and caramel-infused cream served with a lucky chocolate gold coin ($11). To book a table at Tonto, call 480-488-0698; Cartwright's 480-488-8031.

Taggia at FireSky Resort

Saturday and Sunday there will be Irish specialties on the menu at Taggia in Scottsdale. Start with a soup of potato and Irish cheddar puree topped with smoked ham ($8). For lunch, the Reuben sandwich gets a holiday makeover with Irish cheddar and hot mustard ($10), and for dinner, enjoy braised beef short ribs, toasted garlic cabbage, roasted fingerling potatoes, and whiskey demi-glace ($22). Don't leave without dessert, which doubles as a nightcap. A beer float is made with vanilla gelato, hazelnuts, and caramel sauce ($6). For reservations, call 480-424-6095.

Hidden Meadow Ranch

Nestled in the White Mountains of northeastern Arizona, this getaway will be serving holiday specials all weekend long. Start your Celtic celebration with a breakfast of Irish coffee cake topped with Bailey's whipped cream and Irish whiskey chocolate sauce or a brunch plate of homemade corned beef hash with potatoes and Hollandaise sauce. For dinner, choose from beer and cheese soup, braised beef with purple cabbage and roasted potatoes, or a sweet treat of Bailey's mousse pie drizzled with crème de menthe. The restaurant will also be one-upping the typical green beer with the Leprechaun Kiss cocktail, a mix of vodka, lime juice, crème de menthe, and Sprite. For reservations, call 928-333-1000.

Need to stock up on green foods for your private St. Paddy's party?

  • "Get Lucky" with Whoopie Baking Co.'s seasonal flavor, Bailey's Irish Cream buttercream fluff sandwiched by Guinness-infused chocolate cake with a kiss of Jameson whiskey ($3 each, or six for $15).
  • Green bagels are being kettle-boiled and baked at Bruegger's from March 15 through 17.
  • Urban Cookies Bakeshop, known for going all-out for any and every holiday, has four limited-edition flavors available through March 17. Get your green on with Green Velvet cupcakes, or choose from Irish Coffee, Irish Cream, and Chocolate Clover varieties.

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Dominique Chatterjee