Opening: Rí Rá Irish Pub Brings Authentic Ireland to Georgetown
Rí Rá Irish Pub, destined to become Georgetown's favorite gathering place, boasts cuisine that defies 'Irish pub' standards in the United States, a comprehensive beverage list and authentic Irish décor. The dining room and main bar are now open daily, beginning at 4pm on weekdays and 10am for brunch and dinner on weekends, with breakfast and lunch service scheduled to debut later in January. Rí Rá is also finalizing its Whiskey Room, a comfortable specialty bar upstairs, scheduled to open in mid-January as well, which will offer the most extensive Irish whiskey selection in the Washington area alongside a menu of modern Irish small plates.
The cuisine at Rí Rá Georgetown showcases the best of modern Ireland—the delights of traditional fare created with a nod towards the contemporary. Designed by Rí Rá Executive Chef Christian Struck, the Georgetown menu presents pub favorites, starters, carvery sandwiches and fresh salads, crafted with true Irish flair and prepared with local ingredients. Prior to joining the Rí Rá team in 2003, Chef Struck worked as Executive Chef at the Eastland Park Hotel in Downtown Portland, Oregon. He brings his expertise as the culinary head of the Rí Rá brand, having successfully implemented new menus in major cities including Atlanta and Las Vegas.
“Pub fare in general can be seen as drab and heavy; we work to create items that trend more toward comfort and work the lighter elements in where we can and where they make sense,” says Chef Struck of his cuisine.
What truly sets Rí Rá Georgetown apart is the not-so-traditional. The menu will change with the seasons, something new for the brand. Mouthwatering starters include organic Irish smoked salmon served with boxty blini, capers, pickled onion and lemon aïoli and stout mussels prepared with smoked bacon, Guinness, cream, fresh herbs and a crostini.
A selection of Chef Struck’s dishes may be enjoyed all day including Irish classics like shepherd’s pie—minced lamb, carrots, peas, leeks, savory gravy, and a mashed potato crust, and fish & chips—made only with the highest quality North Atlantic cod, served with freshly cut chips and house made tartar sauce—one of the many dishes served with Batchelor’s mushy peas, a homey Irish accompaniment. Guests looking for lighter options can find burgers and carvery sandwiches such as the Dubliner—a ground lamb & rosemary patty, with grilled red onion, goat cheese, topped with curry aïoli, and the publican Reuben—made with local Sweet Farm Sauerkraut, and traditional corned beef & cabbage.
Come late January, the lunch options will include a burger unique to Georgetown—the 202 with a beef patty, shaved rib, melted Swiss, caramelized onion and horseradish aïoli, served on a savory pretzel bun. In addition, the restaurant offers a healthy selection of salads. The Rí Rá is a succulent combination of cold smoked salmon, baby spinach, pickled onion, rasher, Irish Cashel Blue and lemon dressing.
Entrée offerings expand at dinner with roast pork made with apple & cider poached cranberries, champ and garlicky green beans, topped off with a Magners cider glaze, and roast chicken served with baby spinach & potato tart, spiked peach chutney and rosemary incense.
Guests can indulge with a menu dedicated to “sweet pots” after a meal. Delicious desserts include banoffe pie—sliced banana, house toffee, whipped cream and a biscuit crumb, and the trinity—Bailey’s chocolate mousse, Jameson whipped cream, topped off with decadent Guinness chocolate sauce. Stick around for a nightcap and choose from the extensive selection of Irish whiskeys and after-dinner drinks.
Brunch specialties will be available Saturday and Sunday starting at 10am. The menu boasts delectable sweet and savory options. The savory Quay’s waffle is topped with Irish smoked salmon, house made potato waffles, fried capers and lemon aïoli. The sweet Bailey’s Brulée French toast is made with Irish cream spiked batter and finished with a fired sugar crust and maple syrup.