Saturday, September 10, 2011

[Review] Eastern Seaboard, Drogheda

I work as a management consultant for a major consulting firm. It's a great job with challenging work and interesting clients. During the 5 years I've spent with my current employer, I've had the privilege and pleasure to work with a wide range of firms, some of which have been well-known household names. Others have been less well-known, like one pharmaceutical firm but which is truly doing something special for people who suffer from rare, degenerative disorders.

My job involves travelling, and I have more familiarity with airport lounges than any sane person should have. I've lived in Brussels for 7 months and Amsterdam for 13 months, but right now, I'm currently back home in Dublin and commuting to Drogheda. To be quite honest, I used to think that the best thing in Drogheda was the M1 road back to Dublin, but that viewpoint has changed recently, thanks to the Eastern Seaboard Bar & Grill (and its sister venues Mo's and the Brown Hound Bakery).

The Eastern Seaboard & Brown Hound Bakery was the recent target of an Irish Food Bloggers Association field trip. Afterwards I read the results of the trip with increasing envy and jealousy. Check out Claire's Brown Hound & Eastern Seaboard summary from her An American in Ireland blog. The Katz Miaow went even further with a 3 part summary - you can start with Part 1 here. The professional accolades have been rolling in as well with Chef Reuven Diaz winning a Best Chef award at the 2011 RAI Leinster Awards.

I've visited the Eastern Seaboard 4 times in recent weeks and I have to say that it is a fantastic spot. It's large and open, with bare concrete floors and exposed walls. Warmth and charm comes from the funky art pieces and furniture arranged throughout and daily specials are chalked onto one of the main columns. In short, it's an inviting and relaxing space.

Stitch and Bear - Eastern Seaboard Interior
Fresh flowers on tables at Eastern Seaboard
So what have I sampled? I'll quickly run through the assortment of dishes that I've enjoyed. Word of warning - as I'm currently eating low-carb, I cannot comment on the bread in any of the following dishes, as it all got pushed to the side of the plate. On my first visit, I sampled the Irish beef burger with cheese, which comes with tangy tomato relish, fried onions and spicy mayo (9.95 + 1.00 for cheese). This dish comes with one side, so I chose the garlic zucchini (courgettes to you and me). The burger was moist and tasty, I really enjoyed the sauces, but the garlic courgettes were the star of the show. Thin slices, gently cooked with a lovely garlic flavour - soulfully good.
Stitch and Bear - Eastern Seaboard burger
Burger with garlic zucchini
For my second visit, I decided to choose two of the smaller plates, so I ordered the Butcher's Board with saucisson, pork rilettes, black pudding & chorizo ballotine and parma ham (€8.50) along with the Ploughman's Plate which featured cheddar, apple and relish (€4.95). Both dishes came prettily served on wooden boards and featured lashings of crusty fresh bread. The Butcher's Board was a visual feast for the eyes, and although the ballotine looked amazing, it just didn't deliver in the taste stakes. Pork rillette was deliciously soft and flavoursome. The Ploughman's Plate featured large chunks of tangy mature cheddar with a rich, darkly sugary relish for dipping.
Stitch and Bear - Eastern Seaboard Butcher's Board
Butcher's Board at the Eastern Seaboard
Stitch and Bear - Eastern Seaboard Ploughman's Plate
Ploughman's Plate at the Eastern Seaboard
On my next trip, I decided to try one of my favourite dishes, Caesar Salad - with chicken and crispy bacon (€10.00). The bacon turned out to be crispy pieces of parma ham and I love the chargrilled flavour on the chicken. Unfortunately, there wasn't enough dressing on the leaves for my liking, and when I got to the bottom of the bowl, the dressing was diluted by the excess water which had drained off the leaves into a pool at the bottom of the bowl.
Stitch and Bear - Eastern Seaboard Caesar Salad
Chicken Caesar Salad with crispy bacon
My favourite dish however, came on my last visit. As I was feeling in a fishy kind of mood, I chose the sesame seeded Loch Duart salmon with soy butter (€14.50) which came with two optional sides - so again I chose my beloved garlic courgettes and wilted spinach. The salmon is described as being sustainably farmed and environmentally responsible and is cooked medium, unless otherwise requested. It arrived looking beautiful with a monochrome sesame seed coating, sitting in a golden brown pool of soy butter. Deliciously soft, flavoursome salmon and I found myself running my finger around the plate to catch every last drop of the beautiful sauce. A definite winner of a dish.
Stitch and Bear - Eastern Seaboard Soy Salmon
Sesame seeded salmon with soy butter
The Eastern Seaboard is the kind of restaurant that every town should have. (All the more amazing that Drogheda has it). I have been recommending it far and wide and with Drogheda Train Station only a hop and a skip down the road, there's no excuse not to visit. And after you've sated your appetite, you can head down to the delectable Brown Hound Bakery to select a box of delicious cupcakes or goodies to take home. You just might end up becoming addicted!

Eastern Seaboard Bar & Grill, 1 Bryanstown Centre, Dublin Road, Drogheda, Co. Louth.
Tel: +353 (0)41 980 2570
Twitter: @eseaboard

Eastern Seaboard Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon

3 comments:

Colette said...

They are really special places to visit. Great food, done really well. I have to control myself and pace my visits to the bakery, and as for Mo's 2 Go, I don't 'go' anywhere else. The Eastern Seaboard Bar & Grill has been my favourite restaurant in Drogheda since it opened. So glad you liked it too.

WiseMóna said...

Sounds like a great spot. I will earmark this one for sure next time we are in Dublin for an overnight. It seems reasonably priced too, which is always important.

Brian said...

That ploughman's plate looks yummy, and really good value! Will keep this place in mind next time I'm up that direction.