The Bedford is jumping off the St. Paddy’s Day bandwagon. The Williamsburg gastropub is opting for a more arcane celebration this year: The Ides of March.
This ancient Roman holiday dedicated to Mars, the god of war, marked the midpoint of the month named for him (today it is better known as the anniversary of Julius Caesar’s assassination). But instead of a military parade around the Colosseum, The Bedford will adopt the food and drink of the former Republic from March 15thto 17th.
“St. Paddy’s Day takes over everything,” said co-owner of the Bedford, Sean Rawlinson, who has provided this Roman alternative at other restaurants in the past. “[Ides of March] is more of a celebration than a night of debauchery—food-driven rather alcohol-driven.”
Head chef Jason Michael Giordano will prepare a three course feast of heavy, rustic cooking. Dinners will start with fried baby artichokes topped with salsa verde and pecorino romano as an appetizer. The main event will be pan-roasted lamb saddle with braised gigante beans, mustard greens, and asparagus. Desert is saffron almond cake with whipped mascarpone. All will be served for a total of $28.
“Even Roman peasants were snobs,” said Rawlinson. “They wouldn’t drink beer—that’s what the Celts drank.”
For those too noble for St. Patrick’s brutish beverage, “pasca” is a mulled wine made of red wine (Montepulciano), sugar, cloves, black pepper, cinnamon, ginger root, orange zest and spiced scotch whiskey (Caesar’s favorite). Mulled wine is meant to be served warm, but in the event of a sultry March weekend, an iced, sangria-pasca will be available as a substitute. Both are $6 a goblet.
Rawlinson said that normally mulled wine would be overlooked on a menu. “People would never order it,” he said. “The Ides of March gives you a story behind it.”
The Bedford has incentive even for St. Paddy loyalists to drop in: fill your belly with a hearty meal so the Guinness doesn’t hit too hard.
110 Bedford Avenue
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