Sláinte (pronounced slon-cha) is a Gaelic toast, essentially meaning "good health" and common when sipping a dram of whiskey. It’s also the name of a new Irish pub opened in April in Oakland’s Jack London Square from chef and Irish native (from County Donegal) Jackie Gallanagh and beverage director Jenny Schwarz (also of Oakland’s Hopscotch). Gallanagh shares family recipes, and her brother recently moved from Ireland bringing that warm Irish welcome to the relaxed restaurant. Throw darts (under a pic of Bono) or cozy up to the fireplace surrounded by paintings, photos and books of Ireland legends, from Oscar Wilde and W.B. Yeats to Sinead O’Connor, while Enya might play in the background.
THE DRINK TO DRINK: Irish whiskey (try a pot still great like Redbreast or Teeling) and a pint of Guinness are a given. But there are also classic cocktails, including the Gibson or Whiskey Sour. An ideal boozy dessert? The Shamrock Shake, made with soft-serve ice cream, crème de menthe, Irish whiskey and fernet.
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO: Try chips in curry sauce, the all-day Irish breakfast platter, with Irish pork sausages, rashers, black and white pudding (shipped straight from Ireland) and house-made soda bread, or Gallanagh’s family recipe for shepherd’s pie. Save room for that dense, delicious Guinness ginger cake.