Restaurant Review: Conor O’Reilly’s? O’Neils?
This Sunday, after feeling sick with a sore throat and congestion but still trying to do chores all day, I went to pick up Alana at work. After a shift that started at 6:30 a.m., you could imagine how tired and hungry she was. While at the grocery store picking up some staples (not actual metal staples, but staple foods), we were not looking forward to our scheduled 6-8 o’clock workout at the BRC (Boulder Rock Club). I commented that I would much rather have fish and chips than work out… and Alana agreed. So, we googled “best fish and chips in Boulder” and the results were pretty clear. Conor O’Neils. Even though its Yelp page made it look more like a bar that was mostly popular with the college kids, we decided that the menu, which boasted a $12 fish and chips (so cheap!) was worth a try.
We drove and walked there and boy were we surprised. It’s tucked in right in Downtown Boulder, on 13th between Pearl and Walnut. It was MUCH bigger than I imagined it would be, based off pictures and reviews. There was the bar as we entered and then there was a “dining room”… and another… and another… and another. Seriously, this place had tons of seating and not all the rooms had huge tv’s, some really seemed that they were there for dining. Since it was post-happy hour Sunday night, and post-football games (I assume), it was pretty empty. We sat in the back, in one of the many beautifully decorated rooms. The decor reminds me of a mixture between the Shire and a fishing restaurant… and a log cabin. Very interesting at the least, not to mention the unique tree in the middle of the restaurant covered in warm-lighted Christmas lights.
Skipping some steps, we got the spinach dip for an appetizer, I got fish and chips, Alana got the Boulder Salad and a side of pub chips. For dessert, I got the Brownie and Bailey’s, and Alana got the strawberry rhubarb cobbler.
The spinach dip was good, and a decent value for the serving size. Would only serve 2 though. The fish and chips were WELL WORTH 12 dollars. My fish was slightly under-cooked, and I had to get my own malt vinegar, but the pub chips were top notch and required no condiments. Alana’s salad was blah… very bland, nothing special. Wouldn’t recommend it.
Same with the cobbler, too much sweetness killed what we ordered it for… the bitterness of the rhubarb (Alana’s mom makes the BEST rhubarb pie, hands down). My brownie dessert was ridiculously amazing and I have wanted another every night since then. No, seriously, I bring it up at least every six hours a day. Worth every penny. So I would obviously say go and get the fish and chips and Brownies and Bailey’s. We didn’t drink that night so nothing for that. However, their selection looked vast enough, especially if you’re in the mood for whiskey. The bill was reasonable and the service good enough to garner our usual 20 percent tip. (My water was always nearly full.)
Now the real treat. Sunday nights at 8 p.m., there is some form of an Irish cultural event, I believe. We got to see and hear, in the room we chose to dine in, luckily, a little Irish jam group? Now it was very traditional with strings, percussion, raw vocals and all the tunes were pure and classic, but they kind of just threw everything together in a very relaxed way. It was lovely with the exception of one string that was always a little off key.
I would completely recommend this place for a nice dinner for a small party on a Sunday night, especially a date for a new or old couple, like ourselves. For a new couple, there are lots of conversation starters that might help spur some conversation and it’s not too fancy or too casual/boring.
- Decor: 4/5
- Service: 3/5
- Food: 3/5
- Value: 4/5
- Overall: 3/5 (Good!)