Kells Irish Restaurant & Pub, a 25-year-old Downtown institution, has some serious Irish pub cred. New head chef Dawn Farley hails from Dublin, Ireland, itself, and she's giving the menu a revamp.
Her goal is to lighten up Irish classics and give them a Northwest spin. So expect a bigger emphasis on local, organic, sustainable ingredients. Almost everything is made from scratch, including several meats smoked or cured in house.
She's been serving several of the new dishes as menu specials since her arrival last fall, but now they'll become staples of the updated menu. You can sample them at Kells' free public tasting party on Feb. 19 from 5 to 7pm.
Farley is no stranger to organic, seasonal cooking. In 2008, she and her husband, Kevin, whose parents live in Portland, opened their own restaurant called the Kitchen Garden Café in Wicklow, Ireland. It had a three-acre walled garden that provided all the organic produce they needed. But after 10 years of visiting the in-laws in Portland, Farley says the pull to move to Portland was too strong.