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Found 19 results

  1. I've eaten at Shamrock once. 13 years ago. I liked the rueben, which is what they're best known for. It wasn't amazing enough, though, that I had to get back there within the last 13 years. Pax, Brian If I was being perfectly honest, the main reason I didn't go back was b/c of the owner's pretty well-known extreme politics, but I can understand that that's irrelevant to most people. Heck, it's much less important to ME 10 years later, even though my personal politics haven't changed. I'd probably stop in and try the rueben again if I were driving through and hungry.
  2. I went to The Irish Inn at Glen Echo last night with friends to celebrate the guest of honor's 31st birthday. The restaurant was chosen (not by me) based on experiences in the Pub downstairs - which seemed to be a relaxing corner of the world if you're looking for a professionally-poured Guinness (with noticeable shamrock stamped in the foam) and authentic Shepard's Pie. Unfortunately, the group chose to dine aloft in the more formal dining room to properly pay respect to the auspicious occasion. The restaurant seated our party of 10 in a semi-private niche in the corner of the dining room. Somehow they stuffed a large table with chairs in the space, so to call it intimate is an understatement when you add 10 fully grown adults. Our server was quite green...if he knew the wine list, he certainly didn't show it very well, and it would have served him well to familiarize himself with the correct pronunciation of the daily specials ("chorizo," while perhaps not ubiquitous in Australia from where our server hailed, it certainly is not a hard word to pronounce - or shouldn't be). Regardless, the entire staff was quite attentive and patient with us. Two of our party got lost on the way to the Inn, so we took our time ordering to buy a bit of time for them to find us. We finally ordered appetizers - I opted for the potato-leek soup (~ $10) as I'm in search of a restaurant that does it well. It was a comfortable bowl - nothing that made me want to break out a roll to soak up the remainder at the bottom. Others had the salmon carpaccio which came with hard boiled eggs, capers and marinated cucumber salad, and caesar salads. Appetizers ranged from $15 to $8. Entrees came in a timely manner (maybe they were trying to speed us along but we weren't paying attention)...I chose the Roasted Salmon with herb gnocchi and sautee of early fall vegetables Nicoise ($25). The salmon was cooked to a medium/medium rare and presented over a beautiful array of colorful veggies. Unfortunately there really wasn't much flavor on the plate except the gnocchi which were good - nice consistency, fresh and full of herb. Veggies included cherry tomatoes, baby zucchini, carrot, green beans, and olives - flavorful for the eyes, not the palatte. The surprise on the plate was a generous dollop of caviar...surprised mainly because I have no idea what the chef thought the caviar would add to the dish. Those who ordered the rack of lamb seemed content with the generous portion, the steak eaters seemed slightly disappointed (although they were at the far end of the table and couldn't get specifics), and the fish of the day (a Wahoo? served with potato latke and a grilled tomato coulis) fell just short of expectations. The one highlight I could find was the mashed potatoes. If they had offered a side plate of the mashed Boniato potatoes, I would have gotten two - they were smooth and creamy with a hint of rendered bacon. YUM! The woman to my left was generous enough to share a spoonful or two with me. We skipped dessert, opting to finish drinks and order a few glasses of scotch. Finishing around 10 PM, we were the only remaining diners upstairs (and at least a third of the remaining patrons in the entire restaurant & pub. While dinner wasn't horribly expensive (about $70 per person), I didn't feel the quality of food lived up to the price tag. If I lived nearby, I'd opt to travel down MacArthur Blvd. to Blacksalt or skip up the road to Old Angler's Inn where I could spend the same amount (or a tad bit more) for a much more memorable meal. Bottom Line: it wasn't worth the gas but the company was phenomenal!
  3. A friend has been urging me to watch "The Crying Game" recently, and unfortunately, I kind-of, sort-of found out why before deciding to watch it, but not quite - anyway, I think that a great film should be able to still be a great film even though its Big Reveal is lost. There are advantages to knowing it in advance, because you can take note of the director's brilliance in trying to gently hint at it throughout. Forest Whitaker has always seemed the unlikeliest of stars to me - a dark-skinned, overweight Texan with a physical quirk - but I've always loved him in his roles, for example, "the guy who hustled 'The Hustler.'" Here, he plays Jody, a British soldier in Northern Ireland; his nemesis, a Provisional IRA volunteer named Fergus, played by Stephen Rea (Academy Award Nominee for Best Actor). Both actors are introduced to the viewer virtually immediately. *** SPOILERS FOLLOW *** DO NOT READ PAST THIS POINT UNTIL YOU "KNOW" Alright, there are two ways to watch "The Crying Game" - knowing in advance about Dil (Jaye Davidson, Academy Award Nominee for Best Supporting Actor), and not knowing in advance about Dil. I'd just found out about her a couple of weeks ago, but decided to watch the film anyway - great works of art do not depend on a single reveal. In many ways, I'm glad I knew in advance, because I could see just how much went into concealing things, but also because I got to enjoy the film as an art film, without having to look back and wonder if I would have "really" liked it had I known. This is an excellent movie, and I think in many ways I like it more having "known" about Dil in advance. PS - As much as I love "Unforgiven," Jaye Davidson deserved the award for Best Supporting Actor over Gene Hackman.
  4. I'm not sure how often Nanny's used to have music, but they generally have live music on Saturday nights these days.
  5. I've walked by this place a half-dozen times now and finally looked it up. According to their website, McGinty's: Has anyone been there? ETA: They are featuring a U2 cover band in November. I can't decide whether that's amusing or appalling.
  6. Not surprised at the response from O'Faolain's - they're good people. It's not in Ashburn though, it's in Sterling.
  7. Irish pub from owners of Irish Inn at Glen Echo in former Benny's location in Potomac. Open Thursday 4/21.
  8. Samuel Beckett's Irish Gastro Pub, located near the Signature Theater in Shirlington Village, announced today on their Facebook page that they will open at 3 p.m. this Saturday, January 8th. They caution in the post that they will only have a restricted food menu, and ask patrons to please be patient with us as they smooth out the 'bumps' for the first week. Samuel Beckett's will boast three bars, 280 seats, and two fireplaces in its 5,500-square-foot space. The facade and interior were manufactured by an Irish company, and have been shipped overseas to Shirlington. I've been watching this particular enterprise take shape over the last six months during my trips to Shirlington Village. The interior looks fantastic, and I am curious to see how they approach the food. TSchaad
  9. A hearty congratulations to the newest record holder for worst meal in DC. I didn't think anyone could top the level of awful I had previously found in the area, but huzzah to you guys - you did it! Arriving late morning to see some friends performing in their celtic band, I discovered the full menu was not available. A brunch buffet, you say? Well....all right, but my level of skepticism was high. Justifiably, it turns out. Potatoes half cooked and beyond greasy full on into oily. Bacon about the same level of doneness and viscosity. And the eggs - green. Not a fun Irish St. Patick's Day green but an "Oh dear heaven above what did you do to those eggs" green. And tough. Green and tough. Several of us wisely (we thought) eschewed the buffet and chose to wait for the full "Irish Pub" menu to open up at noon. While it may not actually have anything as pedantic as Corned Beef and Cabbage, it does feature such charming fare as "Banger Rolls" and "Boxty Rueben Bites." One member of our party ordered some sort of chicken dish that was served raw in the middle. Yes, that's right. The chicken was medium rare. Make my pain work for you. Avoid like the plague.
  10. website Just had the most satisifying superior-ly delicious experience at Galway Bay- this irish restaurant knows how to do it RIGHT. from traditional irish dishes like sheperds pie- hearty with beef and vegetables baked under a this layer of fluffy, buttery mashed potatoes, to original dishes, like my oven roasted duck cheese steak, smothered in grilled onions and mushrooms with thin slices of tender, medim-medium well duck on a crusty roll with irish chips- i was in heaven. in annapolis, you HAVE to have the crab dip wherever you go, and Galway Bay's does NOT disappoint, creamy, fulll of shredded crab, served warm in a bread bowl with a side of carrots and celery. We also ordered the mussels- a heaping platter of lemon, garlic and wine soaked delights from the bay. Tender, not too chewy- only one of 30 had that briny, sea water taste i always try to avoid. Crowning glory- the tomato and Jameson's whiskey soup- the best tomato soup i have had since leaving germany in 1998. chunks of deeply ripened tomatoes and sweet onion in every bite, in a creamy tomato base with a zesty, tangy bite to it that we couldn't quite pinpoint, and fresh parsely. perfection. absolute perfection. Lots of excellent irish fare in Annapolis but Galway by FAR was the best we've had in years. not to mention the warm irish atmosphere (deep cherry wood, stained glass, and a frosted glass map of Ireland, good Irish tunes playing lightly in the backgroud) and superior service- Cristy, our waitress, timed every entree perfectly and kept our pints full. try the Galway Red Ale if you are a fan of red beer- it's a smooth delicious finish to every bite of whatEVER you order. I have a full happy stomach and thought i should share. The review- NOT the food. Go enjoy! I've got a case the the "itis" now... nap time!
  11. For those of you who might care, Ireland's Four Courts had a fire in their kitchen. Latest update via Twitter from ARLnow.com is that the upstairs kitchen will be closed for at least a month, and the lunch service during the week is closed - they're open 2 PM - 2 AM weekdays, 10 AM - 2 AM weekends. Hopefully my mug is okay!
  12. Speaking of morbid sentimental songs, one of my very favorite morbid sentimental songs is "Danny Boy", and the late Irish tenor Frank Patterson sang it (below) as well as anyone ever could. I think a lot of people know the first chorus, with its pipes calling, but not so much the second, with the dying flowers and the singer anticipating his or her own death. ("And all my grave will warmer, sweeter be" plumbs the morbid depths, doesn't it?) This song always provokes a question as to the relationship between the singer and Danny. Many interpretations are possible, but I've always imagined the singer to be Danny's mother, saying good-bye as Danny emigrates to America during the Famine. Morbid, sentimental, and heart-breaking. Having just lost my own mother, this is even likelier to make me cry than otherwise. The up-beat big-band version of the tune used as the opening theme for the Danny Thomas sitcom "Make Room for Daddy" has always struck me as rather grotesque.
  13. Hello all, didn't see a thread for this place so I figured I'd start one. Within the last few months, Daniel O'Connell's Restaurant has replaced Bullfeathers at 112 King Street in Old Town Alexandria. I believe they have expanded the space as well. The owners (Mark Kirwan and John Brennan, I believe) have imported most of the interior directly from Ireland. Its handsome dark woods occupy multiple levels, some of which overlook each other. I stopped in on Saturday on the recommendation of a chef friend of mine. This is not your typical Irish pub fare. Here's a link to the restaurant's website: http://www.danieloconnells.com/ (The place is named after a 19th century politician.) The menu features haute cusine with an Irish flair. It was great stuff. After finishing a generously-sized cocktail, I dug into their carmelized onion tart with tomato and goat cheese. The crust was deliciously sweet. Each of the three entrees that came to the table were terrific. The scallion seared tuna was perhaps the best. Also got a sample of the butter-poached lobster with potato gnocchi. Every bite melts in your mouth. My curried diver scallops were great too, and the plate featured tastes both sweet and savory. I'll mention two nitpicks, but they're only personal problems -- that is, not eveyone will have an issue with them. First, the portions sizes of the main courses are not very big. For example, the aforementioned lobster dish was only accompanied by about 5 or 6 gnocchi. But I believe this is intentional, because the menu has a decent selection of sides that can be shared. The entrees range all the way from the high teens to the mid-thirties. If you go in there realizing that you should factor the cost of a side or two into your meal, you probably won't even pay attention to the portion sizes. The only other complaint I had was that the desserts really seemed to focus on the heavy. Again, this is just a personal opinion. I usually like something light and fruity, and the Irish would appear to like their final course to be warm, creamy, and chocolatey. I probably could have done their sorbet sampler, but instead of dishing out the $8, my party decided to hit one of the nearby ice cream shops instead. To end on a positive note, O'Connell's website says they have a $6 weekday lunch menu. Without having tried it, I'd still say that's a safe bet. And our service was outstanding. Our waitress was very attentive and the kitchen had a fantastic turnaround time for 8 pm on a Saturday night. Has anyone else tried this place yet? I'd like to see some other thoughts besides my amateur foodie opinion. edited to add:Ventworm status!! Amateur no more?
  14. Sadly, the Clarendon location of Rí­ Rí¡ Irish Pub lost their lease as of yesterday, and is permanently closed; the Georgetown location at 3125 M Street is still open.
  15. Murphy's, as you can imagine, was packed after the Scottish parade yesterday. We got there just as the parade was ending, meaning we were still able to secure a table downstairs to enjoy lunch, live music, and many pints of Guinness. Murphy's really deserves a shout out for its fish and chips. Not so much the chips, but the fish is really good. IIRC it was only $6.95 or $7.95. Two healthy fillets of cod, I believe. Here's why they're so good. The batter is crisp and light and stays crisp. It also adheres perfectly to the fish fillet and doesn't get mealy. Good stuff, and they pour a proper pint. More than one if you ask, too!
  16. There's been a "coming soon" sign up on this place for what seems like forever; it's roughly across the Florida/Vermont Ave. intersection from the 9:30 Club. It finally opened for business at the beginning of June, and it definitely seems like they're on the right track. The owner, Andy, used to be the manager at the Four Provinces in Cleveland Park, and has been waiting for a very long time (14 months) for the forces of bureaucracy to get their act together. The menu is standard pub grub (shepherd's pie, fish and chips, wings, etc) but it's very well done - chips hand-cut from an actual potato, the proper gravy to meat to veg ratio in the shepherd's pie, and excellent onion rings. They're also taking good care of their beer - really excellent Guinness, Pilsner Urquell in the appropriate pilsner glass, along with Smithwick's, Harp, and the standard domestic offerings. The only real problem is that they're stuck with weird licensing hours - last call on weeknights is 11:30pm, which has to hurt since they can't catch any weeknight post-show overflow. Fortunately, their happy hour runs until 7, so pre-show dining and drinking is an option. Their happy hour pricing extends to food as well, which makes the food stunning value for money - the shepherd's pie and fish and chips are both on the happy hour menu for $4.95. If you're in the area and have a hankering for a pint, or just feel like doing your part to support another independent startup, Duffy's is worth a visit.
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