Dot Com Dining Restaurant Reviews Click on photos (except logo) to see them full-size
DOT COM DINING A Look At San Gabriel Valley Restaurants by SanGabrielValleyMenus.com
Matt Denny’s Ale House Restaurant, at 145 E. Huntington Dr. in Arcadia, is one of my favorite places to eat. The food and service are consistently good. I have eaten there dozens of times, and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys quality food, reasonable prices, and a friendly atmosphere.
I am a creature of habit, and frequently have the chicken marsala, which I always enjoy. You get lots of boneless chicken breast, and the sauce is always delicious. It has never, in all the times I’ve had it, been too runny or too thick, it’s just a good, consistent sauce. I usually get it with the garlic mashed potatoes, (made from red rose potatoes with the skin on), and sautéed vegetables. Tonight, I traded the vegetables for garlic bread, which I’d never had there before, and which I also enjoyed. But even being the creature of habit that I am, I’ve eaten there enough to have ordered other items, and of course, dining at a Coburn table, I’ve tried food that others with me have ordered. I’ve had the baby back ribs - falling off the bone, meaty, and not too smoky on the bbq sauce; the halibut sandwich - a good size chunk of fish (fresh when in season) on a delicious toasted bun; fish and chips - 4 pieces of cod in a beer batter; the beef dip – thinly sliced lean beef on a French roll with au jus; the New York steak – 14 oz. cut topped with a Kentucky bourbon peppercorn sauce, the tri-tip sandwich, the club sandwich, the BBQ beef brisket sandwich. I’ve never been disappointed. And their dinner rolls, are these warm, light rolls that taste so delicious we always have to extra when we visit them. You can even order a green salad as one of the sides that comes with your entrée.
Matt’s has some pretty good desserts, too. I haven’t tried very many of them, because the first time I had dessert there, I ordered the crème brulet, and have never ordered anything else since. I mentioned in a previous article how I enjoyed the flan at Los Gueros, and I did, but the crème brulet at Matt Denny’s surpasses even that.
Besides good food, Matt’s serves a variety of beers, as one might expect in an alehouse. There are 28 draft beers and 17 bottled beers, and some really good wines, as well. And one of the other things I really enjoy about Matt’s – it’s spaciousness. The booths are good sized, and the tables wide enough that my son, who sat across from me, wasn’t kicking me all through the dinner, as he has been known to do at restaurants with smaller tables. It’s one of the little things that make me happy when I eat there.
Matt Denny’s also is great for sports enthusiasts. Pretty much any table you sit at has a view of one or more TVs, but the volume in the dining room is pretty low or off, so as not to interrupt those not interested in the sports. There is a covered patio, with siding and heaters to allow outside dining even in the winter. They’ve just added two cable-ready 32” TVs outside, as well.
Another reason I’m a fan of Matt Denny’s is that owner Matt McSweeny is a pretty savvy marketer. After all, he was one of the first to sign up on the San Gabriel Valley Menus.com website, where you can find his menu. But he also has a monthly newsletter, a birthday club, a VIP club that offers you up to $20/month in Matt Denny’s gift certificates, St. Patrick’s Day parties, a Mother’s Day brunch, an annual golf tournament, Oktoberfest nights, live entertainment during the summer, they are participants in the Nite on the Town discount membership organization, and much, much more.
Matt also likes to give back. Each March, just
before St. Patrick’s Day, he holds a fundraiser as part of the St. Baldrick’s
Celebration. The St. Baldrick’s Celebration, was dreamt up in 2000 by John
Bender and Enda McDonnell, two reinsurance executives from New York City, who
were challenged by a friend and a colleague, Tim Kenny to give back to society.
For quite a while, these men with their colleagues and friends, all of whom have
Irish roots, had been observing St. Patrick’s Day in the traditional way---pints
at their favorite pub, with music and laughter in great supply.
Another thing I like about Matt Denny’s is the common sense approach. This year on New Year’s Eve, Matt Denny’s will host a party starting at 8:00pm. The party will include an open bar, including well drinks, house wines and all draft or bottled beer. Hors d’oeuvres, a buffet of prime rib, shrimp, pasta, chicken, hot appetizers, fruit, vegetables and desserts, a DJ, party favors and a champagne toast at midnight. Now here’s where the common sense comes in. It costs $85.00 if paid in advance, $95.00 if you pay at the door. But get this – If you are not drinking or are a designated driver, your cost is only $45.00.
Matt’s will be celebrating its fifth anniversary in January, on the eleventh, with a special buffet, music and happy hour prices, from 1:00 to 5pm.
You can sign up to receive the newsletter, to join the birthday club or the VIP Club, and find out about upcoming events on their website, at www.mattdennys.com. As I said, I recommend this place for a nice night out. It’s not always quiet (after all, it’s an Irish alehouse with an emphasis on sports), but, in my experience, it is always good.
Bill Coburn is owner of SanGabrielValleyMenus.com, a restaurant website featuring dozens of restaurant’s menus, as well as downloadable coupons. He has nearly 20 years experience in the restaurant business, and has been eating for much longer than that.
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