Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Fiddler's Hearth Public House
Occasionally you find yourself in a restaurant that is more than just a meal, it is an experience; with the worn tables, old church pews, and mismatched chairs, Fiddler's Hearth in downtown South Bend is just that, an experience. The roaring fire, invitation to sit with and meet strangers, and family crests on the wall will have you feeling like you have stepped across the ocean and in to a Celtic pub. We chose a corner booth so as to box in our toddler, skipped the extensive beer list, and ordered the pub pretzels with Welsh rarebit cheese sauce to hold us over until we ordered lunch, and for $6 they did the trick. The pretzels were pretty non traditional, no folded shape, deep brown crust, or giant pieces of rock salt, just simple, homemade, golden sticks that were lightly salted and delicious; my hubby reports that the cheese was "a little different," but he dipped every bite of his two pretzel sticks in it, so I don't think that different was a bad thing, plus he loves cheese. Not only is my hubby a sucker for cheese, he is also a sucker for fresh seafood, so it didn't take him long to settle on the Molly Malone stew, a tomato and white wine broth for $12 that was chock full of large shrimp, scallops, muscles, cod, crab, clams, mushrooms, and barley, served with a crusty slab of bread that had a hint of what we suspected was ginger. He described the broth as light, was amazed at the amount of seafood that filled his large bowl, and scowled when I suggested he share a bite with the little man...I can only assume that meant is was too good to even give up one bite.