The Annapolis installment of Fado Irish Pub & Restaurant offered a much better experience than its Washington, D.C. counterpart. My biggest gripe there was that people would hover around your table, hoping to grab it once you were through eating. Not so in Maryland’s capital, where a host/hostess will seat your party. They take reservations too.
Such was the case last Saturday night. When three of us arrived thirty minutes prior to our 7:30 reservation, there was no wait. We were taken directly to an elevated section of the restaurant where our reserved tables sat marked and waiting. This was a big difference from D.C., where you’re on your own for seating.
This location is relatively new, within the past year or two. Lots of dark woods with not much wear. Seating options are vast, varied, yet flexible. There are many tables for 2-4, a few tables with a shared booth-style seat, bar stool seating for 3-6 throughout the restaurant (pictured), and a fairly long bar with standard accouterments. For as dimly lit as dinner service was, the restaurant still had a great deal of life and brightness to it. As the manager with a firm Irish accent (but whose name I didn’t catch) explained to us, they were going for the aesthetic of modern-day Dublin rather than the worn establishments of decades past. I don’t know if that’s the case or not, but it looks beautiful.
The boxty-wrapped Corned Beef Rolls were amazing. I think you could make a whole meal out of two orders. The boxty was soft, thick, and flavorful. The corned beef was tender and juicy, the cabbage crisp, and the mustard dressing sweet and tangy. You might want your own order, since they’re hard to share.
I also had a taste of a few other sauces before our entrees arrived. The Guinness BBQ sauce was sweet with a nice zingy spice about it. The curry sauce (that many order as dip for fresh fries) was very good too. Not as earthy as Thai curries, but still very rich and delicious.
I would have no problems recommending the Homemade Shepherd’s Pie. The filling was a nice combination of meat and vegetables, covered in a rich and savory brown sauce. The potatoes topping it were slightly crispy around the edges, but creamy everywhere else. No salt or pepper required.
For as upscale-looking and well decorated as this new location is, prices are reasonable. Perhaps because it’s a bit of a walk from Church Circle, but most entrees fall into the $11-16 range. Andy’s dinner and beverage service was excellent, having no problems with our table of fifteen. The manager went out of his way to haggle jovially over group drink prices with a few MBAs in our party. Even though we weren’t planning on staying there all night, the staff and management went out of their way to start our night off right.