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Irish Eyes (Lewes)

/ Updated on May 30, 2014

The Irish Eyes Pub and Restaurant in Lewes is an interesting place. On one hand, the food is admittedly bar fare, i.e., OK, but not fine dining by any stretch of the imagination. And it's not meant to be. On the other hand, it is a fun place. Lots of live entertainment, and view across to Lewes town center is without equal. Irish Eyes has more outdoor dining space than most restaurants have in their entire building. The huge facility hosts catered events. So the ratings have to reflect all that, not just the food. Irish Eyes in Lewes is exactly what it claims to be.

That being said, there are indeed some highlights on the menu (though I admit there's definitely something to be said for lounging by the water with a cold beer). In the appetizer department, you have to start with the Fried Pickles. The are cut into quarters, then lengthwise, which makes them easier to eat (they come out very hot, so beware). I suspect these are a commercial product, but the coating is even and good, especially with the little ramekin of mayo mixed with fiery and garlicky Sriracha sauce. You could put Sriracha on a flip-flop and I'd eat it.

The Buffalo Wings are standard, with the expected Frank's Louisiana wing sauce-style coating. Don't expect them to take your head off, even if you order the “hot.” Spice Wimps, rejoice: There are 8 other coatings from which to choose. By the way, IE people … fresh celery next time, please, instead of warm, rubbery green things?

Two appetizers that are unusual for a bar include the “Almost Famous” Cucumber Bruschetta. Imagine Greek tzatziki sauce meets Italian Bruschetta. Interesting, and quite good to boot. The second is the Scallops and Grits. The grits were a bit thick (apparently they been allowed to cool in the window. Shame!), but they were full of cheesy, bacony taste, and the scallops were perfectly cooked. Many of the appetizers at Irish Eyes are touted as vegetarian, and our resident Veggie-Head, Deb Griffin, has already passed meatless judgement. See her commentary in Grilled Cheese & Beyond.

Of all the soups, the Maryland Crab stands out. The required tomato broth is full of crab pieces and vegetables. They are also known for their Crab Dip, served in a toasted boule with tortilla chips. It's fun to eat the bowl as the dip disappears. The Wedge BLT salad is massive. Ours was cool and crispy, with lots of bacon, tomatoes and the surprise addition of cucumbers and croutons. It could serve as a meal in itself, though The Foodie would never actually do that.

I suspect that the Fried Clams (actually “clam strips”) are also of the frozen variety, and they are OK. The good thing about some of these high-end frozen appetizers is that they are consistent and not subject to the vagaries of seafood availability. Cocktail sauce on the side was nice, especially with a couple of shots of hot sauce. Another generous salad was the Walnut and Blue Cheese. Mixed greens are dressed with a nice raspberry vinaigrette. The salad could serve as a light meal if anybody is so inclined.

On one of our visits, I had the Hammer sandwich. Black Forest ham is pressed between panini-style sourdough slices along with arugula, tomatoes, onions, pepper jack and mayo. All that melted cheese on that tasty ham: How can that be a bad thing? The burger has lots of high points, and one glaring low point.The meat was quite good, and every one we had was cooked to our specifications. The universal complaint on all our visits was that the roll is simply too big. It's a nice fresh hard roll, but the meat and the toppings get lost in it. It should have a center slice cut out of it, or maybe just be smaller. It is so filling and unwieldy that many of our companions couldn't finish the burger itself. A pity, as it was actually good. This applies equally to the Black & Bleu burger and the Andouille burger. The size of the roll diminishes the tasty toppings.

Entrees that stood out on our visits included the Shepherd's Pie (well-seasoned and the potatoes were soft and buttery) and the Key West Scallops & Shrimp. Our scallops and shrimp were tasty and well cooked, but they arrived at the table disappointingly tepid. I will not send things back like this, as the typical kitchen will simply shove them into a microwave and return them to the table as molten lava. So we just didn't eat them. The Fish & Chips arrived hot, but, alas,the fish coating was damp and soft. Again…too long in the window? Who knows. They looked better than they tasted.

By the way, on one of our visits, they had Coconut Shrimp as a special starter. These were wonderful, and nicely kicked up with slices of ginger–a clever idea I had never seen before. We ordered another one.

I usually don't make a big deal about service unless there's attitude, but I wanted to mention the server we had on our last visit. He was fairly new, and he spent most of his time “in the weeds.” He was still learning the POS system, and our service was spotty at best. BUT (and this is important), he never freaked out, was courteous, polite and willing to please every minute of the time. We tipped him well, because he was quite obviously doing his very best to please his customers. That goes a long way. A learning curve is finite. Attitude is forever.

Irish Eyes Pub and Restaurant is at 213 Anglers Road, right on the water in Lewes. As you cross over the Canal going north, make your first left and follow it to the end. If you hear a big splash, you've gone too far. There is also an Irish Eyes in Milton, and that location and Lewes both have regular live entertainment. See the current schedule here.

The one in Rehoboth Beach closed at the end of the 2013 season. Note that menus change often around here. This article is a combination of 4-5 visits, so take a look at the current menu here just to make sure. (L., D., Bar) Price range: Moderate +.

Off-season Specials & Hours

Specials & Moods change quickly. Always call a restaurant first.

pp = per person.
BOGO = buy one, get one.
Bloody = bloody mary.
domestics = American-made beers (e.g., Bud).
imports = foreign beers (e.g., Heineken).
Rails = non call-brand alcohol.
Prix Fixe = one set price.
Mains = entrees.
Margs = margaritas.
Chix = chicken.
AYCE = all you can eat.
Lite = Miller Lite
drafts = draught beer.
Early Birds = arrive before a certain time.
Apps = Appetizers.
bottles = beer in a bottle.
à la carte = order off the menu (no prix fixe).
crafts = micro/artisanal brews (e.g., Old Leghumper Lager)

213 Angler's Road
(302) 645-6888

Open 11am-1am
Live entertainment in season!
Happy Hour 3-7
Home cookin' Day!
Open 11am-1am
Live entertainment in season!
Happy Hour 3-7
Shuck & Shrimp Day!
Open 11am-1am
Live entertainment in season!
Happy Hour 3-7
Grilled Cheese Day! Starting at $11!
Open 11am-1am
Live entertainment in season!
Happy Hour 3-7
Burgers, Blues & Brews! Live Entertainment!
Open 11am-1am
Live entertainment in season!
Happy Hour 3-7
Music & Meatloaf! Live Entertainment!
Open 11am-1am
Live entertainment in season!
Happy Hour 3-7
Fish Fry-Day! $15 fish & chips
Open 11am-1am
Live entertainment!
Happy Hour 3-7
The Rehoboth Foodie

About the Author

"My goal is to promote Rehoboth Beach dining while remaining honest and impartial. I don’t gush unless a place deserves it, and I don’t pull punches, either. With so many good places to eat around here, it just doesn’t make sense to waste the calories — or the money — on anything less." View all articles written by The Rehoboth Foodie

Add Your Comment
  1. Avatar Robertine Cale says:

    Most of the bartenders are friendly. There is an older bartender whose disposition can get ugly if you question him. He seems to gave a small group of regulars that he gi was es the best service. The food is good

  2. Avatar beansu11 says:

    Great food, great environment but service was slow.

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