Restaurant: Molly Malone’s (http://www.mollymalonescapitolhillsaloon.com/)
Location: Barracks Row
Total Rating: 3.95
Food: 4, Price: 3, Service: 4, Ambience: 5, Accessibility: 5
Summary: Molly Malone’s has just opened in the former local pub known as Finn MacCool’s. The storefront has been redesigned and done in Spanish cedar. To your left, a semi-private area offers a high-top table with room for a dozen friends and a plasma TV in a rather homey setting; the bar seating offers plenty of space to navigate between the tables. Skylights and ceiling beams have been exposed to let some light in and open up the space. Butternut wood from North Carolina gives the tables, bar backs, and lamps a light and refined look. The walls are decorated with posters and photos - most of which relate directly to Ireland - gathered from around the world. Behind the bar, a Cruvinet-style wine dispenser allows Molly Malone’s to offer 8 bottles by the glass, further distinguishing the new space from your average Irish pub. Soups, salads and sandwiches are available but menu items that really catch the eye can be found under the heading of “Saloon Fare.” Chicken pot pies are made from scratch daily. “Belfast Philly Sliders” combine first-cut corned beef and chopped sirloin with white cheddar, peppers and onions. There’s even a lobster mac & cheese for those days when County Cork fish & chips just won’t do. With kitchen service until midnight during the week and until 2 AM on Fridays and Saturdays, you’ll have plenty of time to try all of them. Upstairs, is a more relaxed atmosphere with Chesty’s 2nd Floor Saloon. The name refers to Lt. Gen. “Chesty” Puller, the most decorated Marine in American history ( a good choice, since the Marine Barracks are right across the street). Closest Metro Station is Eastern Market.
April 2009: I was pleased to finally be able to try Molly’s since first hearing of Finn MacCool’s abrupt closure. The atmosphere is great – with the fresh smells of cedar wood immediately hitting you as you enter the door. The seats were very comfortable and service friendly and fast. Food and beer is a little over priced, but the convenience of their complimentary golf cart-like shuttle that ferries fans between the bar and the stadium is worth it. I will definitely make this a stop before and after Nationals games: There are deals before every home game, including $4 20-ounce beers. The Circulator bus stop is also right across the street.
August 2009: Went again, and there were a few changes to Molly's. The every day happy hour is from 5 -7pm and serves $3 16-ounce beers. We went before another home Nats game on a Friday night and it was packed. We sat upstairs and there seemed to be only one server for the whole floor. Service was slow, she took way to long to take our food orders and even forgot drink orders. Molly's has definitely become more popular since its opening. I tried the lobster mac and cheese and it did not meet my expectations. Although the flavors were alright, the dish should have been baked so that they could meld together. It tasted like a quick thrown together pasta dish and was frankly, a little disappointing dispite the fact that I saw about 4 others in the room order it. Keith enjoyed his steak sandwich and thought it was cooked well - too bad the waitress forgot his glass of water and beer. The free golf cart service to the stadium still exists, but it seems they dropped the private service and purchased their own golf carts to shuttle patrons. Still worked out for us though.UPDATE: Returned to our favorite pre-baseball game spot in order to take advantage of the free shuttle service. It was an afternoon game, so we were one of the first patrons to arrive and ordered off the brunch menu. The omelettes were decent and served with a hearty portion of home fries and bacon. The pancakes were standard and my salad was gigantic with two chicken breast servings on top. Since we were there pretty early, service was on point. Unfortunately, it was not until after we all ate when we inquired about the shuttle to the game and were informed that it would not be running today due to the guy being on vacation. WTF?! Had we known that earlier, we probably would not have eaten there.
What I ate:
County Cork Fish & Chips
Cod and French fries served with fresh lemon-dill tartar sauce
Lobster, Mac & Cheese
Homemade mac & cheese with cheddar, gruyere,
toasted bread crumbs & Maine lobster
Plus Keith ate:
Served with cheese, ham and barbeque sauce and French fries
Flat Iron Steak Sandwich
Seasoned, grilled, & sliced. Topped with melted provolone,
caramelized onions, lettuce & tomato. Served with au jus sauce and french fries
served with maple syrup and bacon