An Irish steakhouse makes sense on so many levels, because a “regular” steakhouse, while delicious, can be a bit stuffy and overpriced, and most lack the casual, fun vibe that permeates great bars at the Jersey shore. Irish pubs, on the other hand, provide just the right amount of class in which to eat a steak dinner, but are notoriously great places to unwind with a round (or three) of pints and are consistently free from even the faintest hint of pretentiousness. It’s a win/win situation and Cattle ’n Clover in Wildwood has nailed it from all sides.
What to expect:
The building that now houses Cattle ’n Clover was once the venue where Chubby Checker first performed “The Twist,” which started the international dance craze. So from a historical perspective, you might say this place was built for good times. That good-time vibe continues today at Cattle ’n Clover, and owner John Sheppard wouldn’t have it any other way. A veteran bar owner with a family history in the business, Sheppard has had his hand in the Wildwood bar scene for years. At Cattle ’n Clover, the young mix with the not-so-young in a way that makes you forget there was ever an age gap in the first place. A night here can seem like a celebration — even if the only thing you are celebrating is surviving a rough week at work.
Food and drink:
No Irish pub worth its salt would step to the plate without a respectable number of whiskies behind the bar, and Cattle ’n Clover is no exception. With more than 50 varieties in house, fans of the brown water will be more than satisfied. Beer lovers aren’t forgotten either, as Sheppard has a nice variety of taps as well as his own ale, the wildly popular and aptly titled “Shep’s Ale,” which is brewed by Tuckahoe Brewing Company.
Friday happy hour is not to be missed, with a $3 craft beer of the day, 64-ounce “Big Ass” beers for $5 and $9 “Stoli Dolis” (regularly priced at $14).
If you are looking to nosh, steaks are the obvious choice, but the real treat here is their Shepard’s Pie — an Irish classic that is a real standout on the menu.
Coming up: Tuesday, May 19, brings the much anticipated return of Cattle ’n Clover’s “wing night,” featuring free wings from 7 to 10 p.m. and music from The Animal House Band.
Live music: Fridays and Saturdays feature live music by Johnny’s Cousin Steve and The Flip-N-Mickeys. On Tuesdays, DJ Frank entertains the crowd from 10 p.m. to close.