BANG, on Merrion Row is recommended in the 2017 Michelin Guide. I worked across the road for nearly 2 years. A school friend was formerly their pastry chef. It’s been there, quietly, consistently, for years. Yet somehow, I only visited this week. Keeping up with new openings is enough to keep you plenty busy . Seemingly, we’re all guilty of it. In the afternoon leading up to our dinner booking, our plans were met with the same response from fellow city-centre-regulars, that being “Oh I’ve heard about it so often, but never been!”
Well now I’m telling you, fix that immediately. You won’t be sorry. I was – but only that I hadn’t been sooner.
A little while back, Date Night was kicked up a notch with a very generous voucher for Taste at Rustic.
It’s a bold move, I feel, naming a restaurant in such a way that you’re making a promise to the customer of a pure, unadulterated, sensory experience. But once you dine there, you understand why.
The Fade Street/George’s Street junction, on the south side of Dublin city, has become something of a mini kingdom for Dylan McGrath, to the extent I’d conspire that there could be a network of secret tunnels under the road. Rustic Stone, has expanded from it’s initial incarnation as the flagship restaurant, to housing the Rustic HQ featuring the original Rustic Stone on the ground floor and in the basement, a chic cocktail bar, aptly named Bar at Rustic, on the first floor, and most recently, the Japanese-inspired cherry on top; Taste at Rustic.
Super Miss Sue’s sprang up on the scene what seems like a lifetime ago. There was always a sense that these guys were set about doing something different, from the moment that subtly snapshot of a retro Roz Purcell popped up on social media. Soon it became clear this place was far more then just posh fish and chips – and it’s become a real flagship for the group as they ooze New York chic, as well as waft the scent of hangover heaven, out onto Drury Street.
On my “Must Try” list for quite some time, I was invited along by Zomato to sample their brunch menu – something I physically can’t refuse even if I tried; and at last I got to see what all the non-stop fuss was about.
There’s less of a hype around The Winding Stair, more an ever-present hum. A hum of appreciation for the epicurean excellence that pours from the room. With something of a magic touch, the team behind the Winding Stair are also responsible for The Woolen Mills just a few doors away, and The Washerwoman in Glasnevin.
I booked us in on a whim for date night, a part of my mind waking up to remind me I had meant to try the food here. I left, full, and giddy at just how good it was.
There’s not much on this street. It’s the back of most places, a way to somewhere else. But soon, a familiar aroma seeps from under heavy, blackened doors. The monogrammed handles suddenly appear, framed in the mighty doorway, adorned with plaques and stars.
We push through, and it’s not so secret any more. The bar area bustles, tables chatter, a bed of music rises and falls under the volume of the crowd inside. A family of tourists are being apologised to, as there won’t be a table “for about another 45 minutes”; we slip on through; it pays to call ahead.
We sit by the wall, glancing at the food menu out of habit and then taking a look around the room; realising we’ve lost count of how many time’s we been here. Himself smiles from across the table, “Our place…” he says.
Growing older is inevitable, growing up – optional; said a wise person somewhere on the Internet. There’s something about Sophie’s, the rooftop eatery and late bar a-top Dublin’s newest boutique hotel, The Dean; that’s both sophisticated and childlike – that made me think of that phrase.
And I think that’s why I loved it so much.
Whether it’s pancakes for lunch or sitting on swings waiting for the lift; it’s a place of polar opposites. Old fashioned, modern, chic and childish. It strikes me as something of a Neverland.
I have a theory that meat-eaters are afraid of vegetarians. I guarantee you this, if you were to organise dinner I would not be the awkward guest. I will always find something to eat. I know far pickier, meat-eating, people.
Even in a steak house, there is a meat free option. But the real question is, is it any good?
Brasserie Sixty6 is a classic example of a meat-lover’s haven, and yet not long ago my fellow-veggy sister and I headed along for dinner, and guess what – we got along just fine.
It was Boyfriend’s birthday and we were heading into town mid-week. Generally he doesn’t stir before 11am, we were pushing noon and he was craving a proper breakfast. Late breakfasts are a weekend luxury generally, so cue a bus journey of searching “all day breakfast dublin” and that’s when we came across Hatch & Sons.
Having heard good things before, I was excited to try out this Stephens Green-side coffee shop that promised an all-day baked-eggs special which fit right into Boyfriend’s Birthday Breakfast plans.