A business park on the edge of Drogheda town may seem an unlikely location for this stylish American-inspired venture by husband and wife team Reuven Diaz and Jeni Glasgow; but, once found, the accessibility and ease of parking make a lot of sense, especially for a restaurant with long opening hours.
Big, bright and spacious, it’s a new build with many imaginative details in the fitting out, and décor which includes some old (a well worn American flag, for example) among the new.
A sense of professionalism impresses guests from the outset, when Jeni or one of her well trained staff welcome new arrivals and direct them to their table, following up promptly with menus, bottles of water and the offer of a drink.
Quality food sourcing is immediately obvious - approved suppliers are used, and credited on Reuven’s interchangeable lunch and dinner menus; he offers a great choice of dishes with a number of sides included in the price of the mains.
So you can mix and match them for yourself: warm potato salad with grilled mackerel and handcut fries with moules marinières, perhaps, balsamic puy lentils with duck confit & sharp gooseberry jam, or creamy mash with slow roasted lamb shanks & shallot reduction. Vegetarians have ample choice – spaghetti alio olio (with garlic ad olive oil) is typical, perhaps with a side of mixed leaf salad.
But beware of being too greedy when ordering, as the house bread – a wonderful individual white loaf, lightly encrusted with sea salt and sunflower seeds – will be presented while you wait, and is hard to resist...
A choice of appetisers and small plates offers flexibility, with sharing plates (seasonal crudités & grissini with dips, cured meats & salami with cornichons, mustard & grissini), and a pail of deep-fried shrimp/whitebait/calamari among the dishes that serve equally as starters or to nibble with drinks.
Crab cakes are a particular speciality (with roasted pepper and garlic aioli perhaps, or served in warm ciabatta with rocket & lime mayo); light, ultra fresh and intensely crabby, they are well worth travelling for.
Desserts include great renditions of old favourites (molten macadamia fudge brownie with toffee ice cream, bread & butter pudding with warm custard) and seasonal options like raspberry mess (fresh fruit, meringue, custard & cream).
This is very good food indeed, cooked and served with style, full of flavour and giving value too – no wonder the world is beating a path to the door. Very nice children’s menu too, and compact well chosen wine list, mainly under €30.
Just a short distance off the M1, this a place to bear in mind for a journey break, but do call ahead - not surprisingly, Eastern Seaboard has taken the area by storm and casual arrivals are by no means sure of getting a table.
*The same team also owns the Brown Hound Bakery and Swine Bar (see entry) a few doors along.