Saturday, November 17, 2007
Daniel O'Connell's Restaurant and Bar
Last night, being a Friday night, we took a walk up King Street to find something to catch our fancy. For whatever reason we were really in the mood for some fish and chips (minus the fish part in Kym's case). Originally we had planned to Eamonn's, which I had heard from a coworker has some of the best fish and chips you can find in DC. However, when we got in there I couldn't understand what they were thinking when they designed the layout. There appeared to be plenty of floor space yet hardly any tables or chairs. Certainly nowhere to possibly sit down and with the prices they were charging, that really wasn't going to fly, so we ducked out and kept walking down King Street.
After a good walk, we finally came across a place that looked like they might have what we were looking for, Daniel O'Connell's restaurant and bar--basically an Irish pub/restaurant. The place looked pretty busy and the prices not too extravagant (at least on the bar menu) so we headed on in. I didn't get a chance to see the downstairs, but the upstairs, at least where we were seated felt rather packed in and claustrophobic. Nothing too crazy, but certainly not one of the restaurants strongest points.
We started off with a couple of drinks. I tried the O'Connell's-brewed Ale which I didn't think was particularly good. And as I found out when I got the menu, unlike most places I've been to that brew their own beer, it was not less expensive than any other beer on the menu.
As planned, I ordered the fish and chips. Kym, on the other hand, didn't have a single vegetarian entrée available to her so was forced to go with a starter salad and a side of chips. I'll never understand why restaurants who already serve burgers don't just keep a few vegetarian burgers in the freezer.
The food took a while to arrive and when it did wasn't great. The chips in particular were poor as they tasted old and reheated which is completely unacceptable when you consider how cheap they are to make and how much they were charging for them. Also, as any restaurant serving food from the British isles should, they had malt vinegar on request, but unfortunately it was a wide-mouth bottle clearly designed for pouring out into measuring cups in a kitchen, not for sprinkling onto chips. Kym's salad was too small of a portion for a $9 salad, the dressing wasn't great and the goats cheese was very sparse. My fish wasn't too bad, but the batter was a bit on the soggy side.
Lastly, the service was pretty poor. It took two tries to get the dessert menu, Kym's coffee arrived cold and the replacement cup didn't return until after the dessert was finished when she had been looking forward to having it alongside the dessert.
Not a place I recommend, certainly not on a busy night.