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Dublin next week- Restaurants and Pubs?

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We are from Boston, USA, and headed to Dublin for a week tomorrow... My wife and I are both in the restaurant industry, and thus appreciate fine restaurants, but also are looking to spend a lot of time experiencing "craic" in Dublin! So far, our possibilities list includes:

Restaurants (dinner, lunch, even breakfast):

Chapter One
Patrick Gilbaud
Fire
Chez Max
Ely Wine Bars
Bewleys
Bentley's
Winding Stair
Pearl Brasserie
Pig's Ear

Pubs:

Long Hall
Merry Ploughboy
Brazen Head
O'Donoghue's
Stag's Head
Grogan's Pub
Neary's
The Vaults
Cellar Bar at the Merrion Hotel
Ferryman

Does anyone have any personal feedback about any of these places, or better suggestions? we're bringing our laptop, so we'll be able to check this thread regularly- keep us posted!!!

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  1. Based on personal experience, I'd steer clear of Fire and Bewleys restaurant wise. The Valuts and the Ferryman are a little out of the way unless you are staying in the docklands area of the city. The rest of the pubs are central and traditional with the exception of the Cellar in the Merrion, which is central and upmarket.

    I have also pasted an earlier post below:

    Cheap Eats:

    Gruel, Dame Street - Good Home Cooking, Modest Surroundings
    Dunne & Crescenzi, South Frederick St - Italian anti pasti, panini, pasta etc
    Yamamori Noodles, Georges St-Decent sushi and good noodle dishes
    The Exchequer Gastro Pub, Excehquer St - All the usual gastropub staples

    Mid Level Lunch/Dinner

    Pichet, Trinity Street - Contemporary bistro - very popular
    Winding Stair, Ormonde Quay-Modern Irish Cooking, great wine list
    La Maison, Castlemarket St - Classic French bistro cooking in bright, modern room
    L'Gueleuton, Fade St - French style brasserie with an Irish twist
    Pig's Ear, Nassau St- Good quality Irish cooking with nice views of Trinity College

    High End - Relative Good Value Lunch/Expensive Dinner

    Thorntons, St. Stephens Green - my personal favourite in Dublin. Great lunch deal at the moment for stellar cooking. 1 Michelin Star but tipped to win back second.
    Chapter One, Parnell Square - Very popular, high end Irish cooking and service. 1 Michelin Star.
    Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud, Merrion Hotel. Currently Ireland's only 2 Michelin Star. Sublime service, very good food, very expensive.
    One Pico, Schoolhouse Lane. So far overlooked by Michelin but excellent lunch deal for the standard of food and service.
    Pearl Brasserie, Merrion St. Stunning room with great service and excellent quality cooking.

    1. Stag's Head is lovely in the afternoon but my fave is Kehoe's - very central very Dublin. Don't bother with Bewleys!

      1. Don't leave town without having a pint in Mulligan's in Poolbeg St - try in in the afternoon.
        Warning! First rugby international match of the season (v Italy) Saturday so give it a miss on that day unless you like scrummaging to get to the bar for service. Advisable to book your table on Saturday night as these matches bring a lot of hungry souls into town.
        I like the Mermaid Cafe in Dame St for decent (mid-range) fare.
        For something a little out of the ordinary for Sunday brunch, there is a place (no name) over Foley's pub, corner of George's St and Fade St - you enter by an unmarked door beside l'Gueleton in Fade St. They only seem to open at 1pm on Saturdays and Sundays but our group of five tried different options on the menu and all were happy. Hoping to make it there this Sunday; come to think of it, I'll probably be scrummaging In Mulligans after the match as well..........

        1 Reply
        1. re: SeeDee

          Sorry, hadn't read your plan carefully enough; rugby is next weekend, not this one.

        2. Lucky you! I'm afraid you have nearly finished your trip, but I hope it was wonderful. My husband and I spent a too-short long weekend in Dublin in mid-January 2009. For your sakes, I hope you got to enjoy the very cozy Brazen Head (we stumbled into it without any idea of its history) of a cold afternoon. I still smile at the memories of an impromptu late and wonderful lunch at The Winding Stair and a much-anticipated if poorly planned (on our part) dinner at Chapter One. Our whole visit to Dublin seemed "charmed," and the gracious welcome -- despite our lack of a reservation -- we received at Chapter One was no exception. The management, seeing how disappointed we were, accommodated us on a very busy weekend evening, warning us that we might not be able to linger and yet making us feel more than at home. The food was incredible and the service was impeccable, the more so for our unannounced arrival.

          But the best meal we had in Dublin was also the simplest and one of the most economical. After an extended literary pub crawl (fantastic program) with plenty of pints and poetry but not so much as a peanut to nosh on, we found ourselves hungry and pretty much out of Irish luck after the sidewalks seemed to roll up after 10 p.m. There was still Guinness to be had, but no restaurant fare. In pub after pub we were told the kitchen had closed. Finally, in one pub called the Lanigan's Plough (on the tram line and right by two theaters) close to our guest house, we asked whether the kitchen was still open. (It wasn't.) In our American accents we appealed to the very apologetic bartender, asking him if he knew of ANYTHING that might still be serving food at that hour. He seemed embarrassed but sympathetic when he indicated a major thoroughfare lined with fast food restaurants. We thanked him and headed reluctantly in that direction, vowing to plan our Irish meals better the next day.

          Not a block and a half from the pub, I felt someone touch my left shoulder and assumed the worst. Not to worry. The sympathetic barman had rushed after us to offer, again apologetically, to fix us some hot sandwiches and soup. It wasn't much, he said, because the kitchen staff had all gone, but he felt bad and he would be pleased to fix us whatever he could. Reheated potato soup and carvery sandwiches never tasted so good, or made us feel luckier to be in Ireland!