Arts & Entertainment

Restaurant Spotlight: Ireland’s Four Provinces

restaurant09With St. Patrick’s Day right around the corner, local diners in the celebrating mood need look no further than Broad Street for a lively Irish experience.

restaurant09With St. Patrick’s Day right around the corner, local diners in the celebrating mood need look no further than Broad Street for a lively Irish experience.

Ireland’s Four Provinces, located in George Mason Square, offers a fun and friendly atmosphere within its dining room, decorated of course in shades of emerald green. From paintings of country scenes to various sports jerseys decorating the walls, there is no mistaking that this restaurant is paying homage to its favorite country across the pond, and that doesn’t stop with the décor. The menu features a number of traditional Irish favorites.

On the appetizers menu, diners can find standard bar fare costing between $7 and $10, along with some gourmet treats in the form of roasted brie cheese and some seafood options, but the Gaelic bites stand out as offering a bit of Irish flavor. These bite-sized breaded and fried mashed potato balls filled with corned beef and leek are more potato than filling, but are the ideal dipping instrument for the Irish mustard sauce they are served with, a lightly tangy treat when paired with the Gaelic bites.

Though an entrée menu offers beef, chicken and seafood options from the $16 chicken tullamore to the $20 rack of lamb, the traditional Irish fare portion of the menu offers up unique cuisine to complete the Irish experience.restaurant08

Of the $11 – $16 menu options are a delicious lamb stew (served with large hunks of lamb and vegetables coated in a savory lamb sauce accented with herbs) and the British Isles favorite fish and chips (three pieces of perfectly sized, lightly breaded fish of excellent quality and texture served with thick-cut fries). The shepherd’s pie, as well, certainly doesn’t disappoint. In this dish, ground beef and vegetables fill a large dish topped with mashed potatoes. As the fork dives through the tall, wide dish covered in baked mashed potato, a pleasant surprise comes when the diner discovers the meat mixture beneath to be just as thick as its mashed potato covering. The Four Ps blend of meat and vegetables in thick gravy blending with the buttery mashed potatoes is a treat not to be missed.

When it comes to Irish food, however, the dish that reigns supreme is the corned beef and cabbage, and it is ready and waiting for eager diners on the Four Ps menu. The dish serves up three strips of thick-cut corned beef atop cabbage with a side of potatoes and carrots and a helping of parsley cream sauce. The vegetables are perfectly cooked and seasoned, retaining their taste and a pleasant bit of bite despite the boiling that, in untrained hands, could turn the sides into translucent mush. The corned beef is well seasoned and ideally salty, in the way that those seeking cured beef would absolutely want. Corned beef, however, is a tricky meat treatment, and can be a bit tough in this meal, but it is nudged in the right direction by the parsley cream sauce.

Not to be forgotten in the course of this very filling, wonderfully hearty meal is the sweet ending that brings it to a close. On the $6-range dessert menu are cake and ice cream treats that will satisfy any sweet tooth, with some featuring the creamy whiskey liqueur Baileys Irish Cream sure to put some color in the cheeks of the faces of those in dessert heaven. And for customers lucky enough to stop by the Four Ps on the right day, they may just find the banana and caramel fried cheesecake on the daily specials, a perfectly decadent treat served on a plate of sweet cream with its gooey filling spilling out of a fried cinnamon-sugar shell.

But while the food here is quite good, the atmosphere reigns supreme, making the Four Ps an ideal place for a few pints of beer with unique food and good friends.

Ireland’s Four Provinces is located at 105 W. Broad St., Falls Church. For more information, call 703-534-8999 or visit 4psva.com. Restaurant hours are Monday – Saturday: 11:30 a.m. – 2 a.m. and Sunday: 10 a.m. – midnight.

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