Out for dinner… Dublin and then something really special in Clare… read on!
Whitefriar Grill & The Anglers Rest, Chapelizod.
Finally a chance to update you on some recent restaurant visits and recommendations for you!
Whitefriar Grill, Aungier Street, Dublin 2
A few of the girls from work and myself were attending a recent charity function in the city and decided to take ourselves off to dinner beforehand as a treat for ourselves as we’d been so busy lately. I’d heard a lot about Whitefriar Grill and told them about it so we decided to head in there.
Walking from the car park down to the restaurant it was hard not to notice all the changes that have happened from Camden Street down to Aungier street; so many new cafes and restaurants have opened there in the last years and its looking so much cooler as an area now. You’ll also find some great foodie shops along here like Fresh and Listons.
On to the restaurant, it was a Tuesday evening and we were in early at 6pm for the early sitting. It was naturally enough fairly quiet when we arrived bud didn’t stay that way for very long!
The interior is cool and trendy with exposes brickwork and lovely mirrors and little framed drinks menus on the walls. It’s long with an open kitchen at the end which is always a nice touch.
After a short time perusing the menu – we made our selections opting for just a main and dessert.
I chose the roasted fillet of hake which was served with salsa verde on a bed of caponata and came with some home-made chips. Two of the girls went for the pulled pork sandwich which went down amazingly well and a week on they are still talking about it so it must have been something! The presentation looked pretty cool – served on a board with the pork between two pieces of flatbread and again with some home-made chips. Another colleague went for the burger from the main menu which looked equally as delicious and received rave reviews too.
For deserts we had the warm chocolate brownie with ice cream, and one colleague had the selection of Ice cream and sorbets.
Service was quick and great here, nice selection of wines and beers too. Like the idea of the glasses of wine being available in small or large glass so if you only fancy a main with a small glass you can do that.
Really impressed with the food here was the general consensus of all of us and lots of comments after like “I must tell my friends about this place” and “definitely coming back here” so definitely a thumbs up!!
Anglers Rest, Strawberry Beds, Chapelizod, Dublin 20.
Just a 15-minute drive from Dublin City Centre, this landmark establishment in the seclusion of the Strawberry Beds – next door to the Phoenix Park – has a history that stretches far back as it was once the “main” road to Galway and as such one of the stops that people would use for water for their horses and maybe a drop of something else too! Apparently they also have a ghost or two there. It’s long been considered the favourite watering hole of anglers fishing along the banks of the adjacent River Liffey. Extensive car parking adds to the attraction, especially for tour groups.
Arriving here on a very warm Saturday evening my sister and I were greeted by the sight of many people eating outside the Bar/Restaurant enjoying the sunshine.
We ate inside in the Salmon bar but not before having a tour of the building with Tom Walsh one of the managers in The Anglers. They have a stunning function room which would be perfect for weddings and birthday parties and other significant amounts and can cater for up to 120 up there. I absolutely loved the style of this place, old and traditional but not in the slighted bit twee. It’s very tastefully done. Its full of nooks and crannies filled with all kinds of lovely things. One of the nicest area’s is the Presidents Corner where they have the framed photos of all of Irelands Presidents; indeed our current president had just eaten in there that very week. I should mention that they are primarily a seafood restaurant (part of the Wrights of Howth Group) but do serve other dishes as well so you can be sure that there is something to suit all there!
So after our tour around we took our seat in the salmon bar. We ordered our bottle of Pinot Grigio and then decided on our orders. I had the citrus dressed crab for starters while my sister went for the Brie Croquette. My crab was delicious, delicate and not overpowered by the lemon. The brie too went down very well and was a lovely starter.
For my main course I had the roast fillet of Sea Bass which came with a black pudding mash which was amazing. My sister had the sirloin steak with homemade chips, onion rings and tarragon butter. All finished off too and declared as being fabulous.
There was a lovely selection of deserts including specials of the day but again here I went for the chocolate brownie with ice cream which was gorgeous. I love the hot/cold combination thing so this always wins for me. My sister went for the Vanilla bean apple crumble which was intriguingly served in a jam jar – a sort of deconstructed crumble if you like! Looked really cool and tasted great too.
Too warm to opt for any tea’s or coffee’s at the end we instead decided to take our last glass of wine at the bar. The Anglers has traditional music on every night of the week and ample parking so this place should be a must for tourists. It’s a little off the beaten track alright but doesn’t take too long to get to and its so worth it!
I’ll definitely be going back!
And finally – something reall special!!
One of my most favourite places in Ireland and one that will always have a special place for me is Dromoland castle. Celebrating their 50th birthday this year, the hotel have had many ways to celebrate including the launch of their cookbook which I covered in an earlier blog The Kitchen in the Castle and now they have launched a 1963 Tasting menu to evoke the era in which this great hotel was born!
This is an eight course “Nostalgic Tasting Menu” accompanied by fine wine pairings has been specially created by Executive Chef, David McCann & Restaurant Manager, Tony Frisby. David has been leading the Kitchens in Dromoland since 1995. David’s style is based on a firm classical base, acquired from David’s training in some of London’s top establishments.
Speaking at the launch of the 50th Celebration “Nostalgic Tasting Menu” David McCann said:
“This nostalgic tasting menu project has been so much fun especially with my classical background and Tony’s experience. In 1963 some of the ingredients were not available in Ireland and were substituted to keep up with food fashions of that time. It’s nice to look back and reflect, we have just gone a step further, I do hope you can enjoy our interpretation of Dromoland’s 1963 menu fare”
The Menu was extensively researched by the team at Dromoland Castle which included searching through the menu archives of the hotel from the mid 1960’s. Whilst culinary fads have come and gone over the years, the style of cooking at 5 star level in 1963 was firmly classical but with modern influences starting to appear.
With such classics as Tournedo Rossini and Peach Melba this tasting menu is guaranteed to bring you on a culinary trip down memory lane! Menu costs €80 or €100 with paired wines.
Definitely something to consider!
Thats all for now, back soon with more reviews on restaurants and places to visit in Ireland.