Arts & Entertainment

Restaurant Spotlight: Public House No. 7

restaurantUpon first entering Public House No. 7, a newly established English pub in Seven Corners, customers are greeted by a familiar smell. “Oh! I know that smell,” tastebuds will exclaim. “That’s grease. Something is fried here!” And indeed, much is fried here. Fish, chicken wings, calamari, and of course, chips – “What Americans call ‘French fries,'” the menu explains – all take a heated-grease soak in a deep-frying vat for the diner’s pleasure.

restaurantUpon first entering Public House No. 7, a newly established English pub in Seven Corners, customers are greeted by a familiar smell.

“Oh! I know that smell,” tastebuds will exclaim. “That’s grease. Something is fried here!”

And indeed, much is fried here. Fish, chicken wings, calamari, and of course, chips – “What Americans call ‘French fries,'” the menu explains – all take a heated-grease soak in a deep-frying vat for the diner’s pleasure.

Many of these fried delicacies make up the appetizers portion of the menu, with all options less than $9. They make ideal mates for the pub’s extensive beer list, which includes some English beers on tap. For those wishing to try fries the English way, there are three options – a basket of chips, a basket of chips coated in gravy, and the chip butty. The chip butty is a delicious oddity. For this dish, French fries are served right on top of a buttery hamburger bun alongside some leaves of arugula and some French fry stragglers that didn’t make their way onto the bun. Though this may seem a strange concoction for American diners, especially those told never to mix starches, their concerns are dissuaded with one bite. The arugula offers a bit of crunch and flavor in what is otherwise a mushy, starchy, but overall buttery guilty pleasure.

Another English dish featured on the appetizers menu is the Welsh rabbit with roasted cherry tomatoes. For those not wishing to dine upon animals of the fluffy and adorable variety, this dish is not to be excluded, as it does not contain its namesake meat. The menu explains that the dish is a take on the “poor man’s meat,” rabbit, replacing it with the poorer man’s meat, cheese. The dish comprises a piece of artisan bread positively drowned in a cheese sauce. While roasted cherry tomatoes bring both sweet and tart tastes to the dish, this is an appetizer for cheese lovers and cheese lovers alone, as the taste of the cheese overwhelms all other flavors.

From within the cream-and-chocolate walls of the pub, diners can enjoy paintings of various English royals and scenes of country life while perusing the menu’s main-course offerings. On the dining room floor, those eating at the restaurant can watch chefs hard at work through a window into the kitchen, and marvel at the dishes coming forth – including the classic fish and chips, featuring a fried and breaded piece of fish so large one would think the head and fins were still attached.

Beyond a unique salad and sandwich menu, with options ranging from $6-$10, a menu section titled “Proper Food” offers a modest selection of traditional English fare, including bangers and mash and shepherd’s pie.

Public House No. 7’s bangers and mash relies on caramelized onions in onion gravy to amp up the otherwise subtle taste of the English sausage. The gravy and sausage are served over mashed potatoes which put up a valiant effort, only melting into an unrecognizable mush at the hand of the gravy at the very end of the meal.

The shepherd’s pie is served in an ample dish, in which pieces of beef, carrots, and peas in thick gravy hide beneath a crusted roof of mashed potatoes. The meat and vegetables stand up to the very rich sauce, offering crunch and subtle sweetness to this ultimate comfort-food dish.

For diners wishing to round out their meal with a sweet treat, the restaurant offers a few standard selections, and of course includes a scone. The Public House No. 7 scone is served alongside fresh berries and whipped cream, making it the perfect ending to a culinary tour of England.

Hours:

Monday – Friday 11 a.m. – 2 a.m.

Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m. – 2 a.m.

6315 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church

703-942-6383

publichouseno7.com