Arts & Entertainment

Restaurant Spotlight: Paddy Barry’s

Photo: Jody Fellows
You wouldn’t know it from the outside, but Paddy Barry’s is surprisingly spacious. (Photo: Jody Fellows)

It’s almost impossible not to compare Paddy Barry’s to a certain Little City Irish pub. Formerly Finnegan’s Pride, the new restaurant from Falls Church native Brendan Barry opened its doors last September just up Route 7 in Tysons and has the same feel, atmosphere and a very similar menu to that of Ireland’s Four Provinces here.

The biggest difference between the Tysons and Falls Church pubs is the location. While the Four P’s enjoys a prime spot at the corners of West Broad and South Washington streets, Paddy Barry’s is rather difficult to find, tucked away on the ground floor of a Leesburg Pike office building in the heart of bustling Tysons. With scant visible parking spaces, it’s easy to overlook the place but with validated parking in an adjacent garage, it’s more accessible than it appears.

Irish boxty, or potato pancakes, are covered in a Whiskey-leek cream sauce and corned beef. (Photo: Jody Fellows)
Irish boxty, or potato pancakes, are covered in a Whiskey-leek cream sauce and corned beef. (Photo: Jody Fellows)

The menu – smaller than its Falls Church counterpart – consolidates lunch and dinner into one lineup and sticks mostly to traditional Irish fare, but there’s enough generic options available to satisfy in case corned beef and cabbage isn’t your thing.

Appetizers run the gamut from the ordinary – fried calamari, chicken wings and salads – to more authentic dishes like Irish potato pancakes called boxty served with chicken or corned beef and a whiskey and leek cream sauce. The plate of tiny hash brown-style potatoes is tasty and a solid start to the meal, but skip the chicken and order the corned beef. More standouts are a wheel of baked brie in Guinness batter served with mixed berry jam and a potato and leek soup that’s heavier on the leeks than the Four P’s version and jazzed up with cheddar and bacon.

Irish breakfast with the requisite eggs, bangers, black and white pudding, rashers and tomato is available all day. (Photo: Jody Fellows)
Irish breakfast with the requisite eggs, bangers, black and white pudding, rashers and tomato is available all day. (Photo: Jody Fellows)

 

Main courses consist of all the Irish fare you’d expect to find including a hearty portion of shepherd’s pie, fish and chips, bangers and mash and, yes, corned beef and cabbage but a spicy chicken curry dish dressed up with basil and mangoes adds an unexpected dose of flavor and color into that lineup. All-day Irish breakfast is also here complete with eggs, potato pancakes, grilled tomato, rashers, bangers, black and white pudding and Irish brown bread.

For those who like to eat with their hands, there’s a solid selection of sandwiches like chicken and Irish bacon, a smoked salmon BLT, steak and cheese, a reuben and, for the carb conscious, turkey lettuce wraps. Disappointingly though, the plain Jane Silver Line burger misses a chance at being something more than just a regular old cheeseburger.

Paddy Barry's potato leek soup,  garnished with cheddar and bacon, is jazzier than its Falls Church counterpart's. (Photo: Jody Fellows)
Paddy Barry’s potato leek soup, garnished with cheddar and bacon, is jazzier than its Falls Church counterpart’s. (Photo: Jody Fellows)

Despite how it looks from the outside, Paddy Barry’s is deceptively spacious. While still cozy, its high ceilings, ample dining room seating and full bar provide for a welcoming feel – even if it’s just yards away from jam-packed Route 7.

During the week, the Tysons joint serves lunch and dinner and on the weekends there’s brunch from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. This Sunday, a special three-course Easter menu will also be available with leg of lamb, smoked ham, grilled salmon and more.

Paddy Barry's shepherd's pie. (Photo: Jody Fellows)
Paddy Barry’s shepherd’s pie. (Photo: Jody Fellows)