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Posted at 11:36 AM ET, 08/22/2006

Cod Almighty

By Erin

The long-awaited Eamonn's A Dublin Chipper from Cathal Armstrong of Restaurant Eve softly opened its doors last night, but it wasn't more than a few minutes before it was packed to capacity. I arrived around 6:45 to a mob-scene of customers eagerly devouring their paper-wrapped orders of fish and chips.

The small space is beautiful with a long counter and stools in back, chandeliers and dark wood paneling. Customers place orders based on the chalkboard menu and pay at the counter. For the fish, diners are offered the choice of cod, ray or a daily fish special. I ordered the lightly-battered and perfectly moist cod and ray and a generous serving of hand-cut chips. Both fish and chips come with one sauce accompaniment, and there are seven options. I selected the housemade tartar sauce and hot chili aioli for the fish, and for the chips, the perfectly spiced curry sauce, my favorite. Other sauce choices include an Old Bay-spiced mayonnaise (the Chesapeake), a remoulade (Marie Rose) and Dijon mustard (French).

The food is cooked-to-order and arrives in brown paper bags, so you have the option of joining other diners at one of the communal tables or taking it to-go. As the restaurant was already packed-to-the-gills, I greedily grabbed my bag and took it to a nearby park bench.

As one would expect, Chef Armstrong elevates the fast food to a new level. Though the focus is on food from the fryer (I'll have to make a second trip to try the battered "burgher" and the fried Mars bars), the fish tasted light and delicate. The restaurant expects to receive its liquor license this week, but for the time-being, fish-mongers can make do with the Irish sodas.

If you have room for dessert, there are the Mars bars, doughnuts or a variety of Cadbury chocolate bars. Prices are a huge departure from what Restaurant Eve fans have come to expect: The ray is the most expensive item on the menu at $8, and a large helping of chips will set you back $3.50.

"Thanks be to Cod" is the motto on the door as you enter. Thanks, indeed.

--Erin

By Erin  | August 22, 2006; 11:36 AM ET
Categories:  Restaurants  
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Comments

Do you happen to know if they fried their fish and chips in peanut oil?

Posted by: AddE | August 22, 2006 7:38 PM | Report abuse

No, they do not use peanut oil.

Posted by: Camille | August 23, 2006 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Excellent - thank you! Now I'm really excited about it :)

Posted by: AddE | August 23, 2006 4:38 PM | Report abuse

I hate to be a party pooper - I'm always on the lookout for good fish and chips as much as the next gal - but it's disappointing they rely so much on cod, which is severely depleted and really needs to be left unfished for a while to recuperate. Not only unfished, but by extension, uneaten... I'm just sayin'.

Posted by: Reine de Saba | August 23, 2006 6:01 PM | Report abuse

Oh man, just down the street from work! Fish and chips and, gulp, Fried Mars Bars? This will be my supreme undoing...

Did you hear if they are currently taking phone orders?

Posted by: CodOrRayfortheScot | August 24, 2006 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Your review of Cathal Armstrong's new restaurant left out one important element:
WHERE IS IT??? On another point, a reader inquired as to whether the establishment uses peanut oil. You responded "no". Do you think the blog would've been more informative if you told us what kind of oil they did use?

Posted by: WillGiery | August 26, 2006 8:50 AM | Report abuse

Get a life...cod is NOT being severely depleted and, quite frankly, is really the only true fish to use for fish and chips. If you think you need to "save the cod" then don't eat fish and chips...more for the rest of us!

Posted by: Gary | August 26, 2006 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Will - if you click on the above link to Eamonn's, you'll see that it's located at 728 King St. in Old Town.

As for the oil, Chef Armstrong tells me that he uses liquid vegetable shortening.

Posted by: Erin | August 28, 2006 4:15 PM | Report abuse

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