The covered outdoor seating area at the back of Anderson’s Houseboat in Killybegs was a bit affected by cold winds and sleet the night I visited, but during the summer of 2021 it made a bang, according to his wife. owners husband Garry and Mairéad Anderson.
The couple try to serve up 140 more servings a day when outdoor dining is the most desirable item any restaurant can have, it’s the difference between what could be a bad year bad and one of the reasons for optimism. If there is an icy wind, it will remain in place, although locking doors and restricting indoor eating seems to be a thing of the past. In the future, Andersons thinks, more people will prefer to eat out. (Though perhaps not on a bitter February evening.)
A recent account of the trials and tribuls (in a nutshell: costs up, staff down) that veteran restaurateur Russell Norman went through as he tried to open his new restaurant, Brutto, in Clerkenwell , London, must have been at odds with the Andersons and others who have opened restaurants over the past few years. After two years of successful deals at their Killybegs Seafood on the Old Pier, the couple opened the Boathouse in December 2019. To say it’s been a roller coaster since then would be an understatement. . “We still don’t know what the full year’s trade looks like,” said Garry.
I half thought to try both of their locations in one day – fish and chips for lunch, cheaper for dinner – but Seafood Shack was closed for several weeks due to construction work. It will be back up and running soon for those who want a fix.
Killybegs is set to become a tourist hub along the Donegal stretch of the Wild Atlantic Way, with capital currently being pumped into regeneration, including new residential spaces and home conversions. The old bank has turned into a hub for travel and telecommuting. In a few years it will look quite different than it does now, with a resort town vibe that underpins a working fishing port, one of the deepest in Europe, where a billion a large percentage of fish arrive in Irish ports.
Given its name and location, it should come as no surprise that Boathouse is primarily a seafood restaurant, with Garry’s The menu focuses on the best that landed right in front of his restaurant. In fact, there are plenty of options for non-fish eaters, but we’re here to enjoy the feast from the sea.
Crab with garlic and chili sauce is simple and delicious, the scallops with creamy vegetables are uniquely prepared, while the halibut and halibut in butter and garlic topped with cheddar make for a treat not to be missed.
The black sole is impeccable, the butterfish is served with tomato sauce – a seasonal dish that can feel more refreshing – while the hake is with tomato and herb crust, with samphire garnishes. , accompanied by white wine and cream sauce. A school of fleshy halibut rests on a pile of colcannons, accompanied by black pudding and a rich beef patty with anise accents. The flavor is rich, and it’s one of the restaurant’s most popular dishes for good reason.
Each of these main courses comes with a substantial portion of vegetables – delicious carrots, smooth beans and broccoli from a faraway land, plus a potato. It would be difficult not to comment on the sheer quantity of the food. I am always amazed by the generosity of serving sizes outside the capital, and Boathouse is no exception. And you know what? We ate everything, including every last potato.
A classic chocolate tart is redundant for the request but decent.
The wine list is short and while it could be improved to include some natural/low intervention wines, for the price it’s a revelation. We drank Jean Loron’s Gamay Noir from the bottom of the list (31€), and with a light drink and sparkling water our bill for three came to 159.20€ before serving.
There’s nothing trendy about Anderson’s Boathouse, which is busy even on a Wednesday night, with friendly service and food that pleases everyone, and while I’d love to see them get rid of the square plates and crockery. the glass is too thick, please serve a wider range seafood, and with a greater focus on seasonality, there is nothing to complain about the fish here is fresh and well cooked.
The soup of the day is avocado squash risotto which will set you back 23.50 €.
Crab claws, bone-in soles and vanilla brûlée ice cream for two will cost 107€.
Anderson’s Boathouse Restaurant, Main Street, Killybegs, Co Donegal, andersonsboathouserestaurant.com
https://www.independent.ie/life/food-drink/food-reviews/andersons-boathouse-restaurant-review-theres-little-to-complain-about-when-the-fish-is-as-fresh-and-well-cooked-as-it-is-here-41403558.html Anderson’s Boathouse Restaurant Review: ‘No complaints about the fish being as fresh and well cooked as here’