Maryland Fry Bar at Fish by José Andrés - MGM National Harbor
Fish Bar has two fixed price menus of small plates. The larger menu merely has more items. Everything on the small menu is included in the large one, so just decide how much you can eat.
As the name implies, almost all the dishes are deep fried. The breading is a very light tempura. It has a satisfying yet delicate crunch.
You are seated at a small bar. The night we went, there were just 3 couples. This allows the chef to address us jointly, but also allows him to address your individual requests or needs. A very attentive waitress clears each course and refills your drinks.
The food itself is wonderful! There are a few unusual items and the chef calls your attention to them, as he explains every dish he prepares. Our chef, Matt, was a skilled artisan as well as a gracious host.
The management will ask if you are attending a show, as we were, and ask specifically what time you need to leave. We timed it a little too close and got to the theater just after the show started, but it wasn’t due to the Fry Bar holding us up.
All in all, the Fry Bar was a wonderful experience inside a fabulous restaurant, Fish.
The chef was very personable and the service and food were excellent!
This is a unique experience; the bar service is great for meeting new people and interacting with the chef the whole time. The concept of tempura for each course is FANTASTIC! The food is described and then prepared right in front of you; each course is guaranteed to be fresh and hot, while engaging for the person and the senses all together! Our chef had a great personality and really elevated our overall experience to make it a truly special evening! If you like tasting menus, meeting new people and seeing your food prepared in front of you in a very unique way, this is a great experience! BTW the food was also spectacular!!!
The food and service we good. A few mis-steps along the way but nothing major. The biggest issue I had was sitting there and watching the chef use a cutting board that was stained and had mold on it. it was disgusting to see. Then seeing that all of the cutting boards were that way. In a restaurant such as Fish, you would think they could have the boards resurfaced or just buy new ones. Disappointing!
We waited almost half an hour just to get into the restaurant. The line was huge. It took the restaurant a significant period of time to accommodate each party ahead of us. When we got to the front of the line we were told they needed to check with the kitchen before they could seat us. Again we waited and waited for an answer. Eventually, we agreed to take a table outdoors so we could eat something before the concert we were there to attend. Once we were seated, it was another long wait before anyone came to take our order. The food was ok. This was a poorly managed situation from beginning to end.
Matt provided a wonderful experience with outstanding food, wine and discussion about the food.
Food was amazing, our chef was engaging and entertaining. The prices need to be updated because they are not accurately reflected on OpenTable: there are 2 options, both prix-fixe, $65 or $80
We were disappointed to see a menu that was very different in pricing from the reviews & available online information. The tasting menus were $65 and $80, which is a far cry from $40 and $50 (from reviews in 2017 and 2018). The food was delicious, but we would not have come in at that higher price point. It made the meal difficult to enjoy.
Matthew was an excellent chef/host for the evening. Steve was also excellent. Thanks for a great experience!
Went here for my birthday and had an amazing experience. The food was delicious and satisfying! Chef Matthew was great and the staff was wonderful.
Should have researched this more. We just wanted a good dinner before a show, this was a”tour” of several (I think 8) courses with a dedicated Chef. Very small portions, some exceptional, some just OK. The “desert” was grapefruit - that was a big disappointment, and we had been there 2 hours. The final insult was the bill. NOT INCLUDING gratuity, just under $400.00 for three of us. That’s dinner, 3 IPAs and 3 glasses of wine, and (as far as I am concerned), no desert. Chef and Server were both nice.
We shared the bar with 3 other diners. Because it was our anniversary, we were given complimentary sparkling wine while we waited to be seated. The fry chef was very attentive and informative with each item. It was very entertaining watching the fry chef and the other chefs where we sat. Dinner took about 2 1/2 hours.
April was our chef. She was fantastic. We did the full course menu - the oyster dish was our favorite.
We ate at the MD Fry Bar. This consists of 13 very tiny courses of fried food. I thought it was expensive for the amount of food and service. For instance, one course was one fried oyster. The chef would hand us a course and tell us what it was... but he was not conversant as he was preparing things. It was not an immersive situation which is intimated on the website. I think we got stuck with a trainee. The wine pairings were adequate but again overpriced for their signature $45 wine pairing. One wine was very good, the rest rather pedestrian. On our way home, my wife suggested we stop at Wendy's and pick up a hamburger and shake... that tells you something. We were the only people scheduled to eat there the entire evening so maybe we had not gotten the word. It was ok to do it once, but will not repeat.
It was a nice experience but they have doubled the prices in the past year. The tasting menu is $65 for classic (which is a bit boring) or $80 for José’s way. The wine paring is an extra $45. When they first offered this it was $40/50 for tasting and $20 for wine paring. The wine pairing has also changed and it’s not just Riesling anymore. I believe I also read that you received two pieces per tasting, true for some but some are more like two bites. That said the food was very good and I tried things I had never had before. Don’t let the fried food throw you off—it’s very lightly done and not heavy. The chef was very personable and nice to interact with. She was also cognizant of allergies and preferences allowing us to substitute as needed. Given the price I likely wouldn’t do it again but I am glad I experienced it.
Was a great overall experience. Food awesome. Just the rught portions and chef was wonderful Highly recommended
The Experience was AWESOME!!! Our Chef was Fantastic!! Answered every question and explained every dish! Even made an exception to my friends food items since he was allergic to some items! I WILL DO THE ENTIRE EXPERIENCE OVER AGAIN!! Cant wait for the Menu to Change! Everyone from the Front Door to the seating area at the Fry Bar was Polite and Friendly!!! PERFECT 10's ACROSS THE BOARD!
My hubby and I celebrated our 21st anniversary. I wanted to do something different. The fry bar was an awesome experience. Our chef was so nice and food knowledgeable. Our waitress was also very nice and friendly. We had the opportunity to try some amazing dishes i would had normally never had tried. The entire experience was great.
Our server Bell and Chef April work in a cohesive manner and we felt like the only diners in the restaurant. The delightful 12 course meal was prepared with passion and we look forward to our next visit and will insist on having this dynamic duo to make our experience A+ again. Bravo!
Maryland Fry Bar is a unique experience, a price fix meal where small dishes are made in front of you by a talented chef willing to answer any questions you have. Like a chefs table, it’s a once (or few times) in a lifetime experience. We celebrated my mother’s birthday and an early Valentine’s Day.
April was our chef and she was incredible! She explained everything about our dishes and gave us some background. She really knows her business!
We had the pleasure to partake in this intimate 6-seat tasting menu experience. The food was incredible, and April's culinary service was outstanding. Matthew was our server and also added to the enjoyment of the meal. We were concerned about the noise level based on a prior Yelp review, and thankfully was no issue whatsoever. Highly recommend!
Food was excellent, made right in front of you by a personalized chef. Out chef was very nice and cheerful. But the major turn off was a large birthday party near us who were so loud that we couldn't ever hear our chef or talk to each other. Even our chef said that it was very distracting. So if you make a reservation, make sure that there are no planned events in the restaurant to spoil your evening.