A weekend in Dublin
My girlfriend and I will be making a quick stop in Dublin in August (by quick I mean get there Saturday afternoon and fly out Sunday afternoon). We won't be wandering around much - probably a tour at the Guinness Storehouse and a leisurely stroll through St. Stephen's. That said, we're looking for advice in terms of dining options, as always :)
Saturday dinner: I read about The Greenhouse on various forums and it seems to be making waves in the city. To that end we've made a reservation there. Has anyone been? Any recommendations pertaining to their menu?
Sunday lunch: I'm finding to my dismay that a lot of restaurants are closed on Sundays. Where would be a good place to go (something low-key and comfortable is what I have in mind)? We'll be staying around St. Stephens and have to start heading to the airport by 2:30PM the latest.
We just got back from our trip, with Dublin being our last stop. I kinda miss Europe already.
With Greenhouse closed for their annual holiday, we had to look for plan B. Didn't turn out to be so bad at all, because we were able to get a last-minute reservation at Thornton's on Saturday night. The prices were quite steep, and since we were already nearing the end of the trip we wanted to be a *tad* more budget-conscious, so we opted for the pre-theatre menu. Between the two of us we were able order six different things: scallops and fowl to start, rabbit and lamb as mains, and raspberry mille feuille and chocolate fondant to cap it off.
I'm not a gastronome by any stretch - just someone who likes to eat. Everything was good, including the bread (tomato and basil was my favourite...they also had onion and chives, pistachios, raisin and walnut, and some other ones), and the complimentary smoked mackerel appetizer with a tomato consomme in ice-cube form (as a palette cleanser). There was nitro usage somewhere in there. The standout dish for me was the lamb: loin was tender, sweetbread was tasty but not over-fried or over-salted, and the braised shoulder was intensely flavourful and unctuous (in a good way!).
Sunday lunch happened at Avoca (we had just finished a tour at Trinity College). We got the Irish Breakfast and the Fish Pie. Delicious. Nothing fancy just hearty brunch food. Didn't have time (or room in the stomach) to try their little pastries and what not.
Thanks everyone for your input - maybe I'll try the rest of the suggestions next time I come to Dublin!
The best restaurant on the Green (and one of the best in the country) is Thorntons. www.thorntonsrestaurant.com
It's not cheap, but there is a good value pre-theatre menu if cost is a consideration.
You're within easy walking distance of plenty of other places too, depending on what you are looking for.
I didn't see this post until it was too late - except not really, because that's where we ended up going anyway!
We did go with the pre-theatre menu as well - the food was fantastic, and even though we were underdressed compared to the other guests (I assume some of these people were staying at the Fitzwilliam) the service was spot-on.
The Greenhouse is probably the best restaurant in Dublin at the moment IMO. If you are only going to dine here once then opt for either the seven or five course tasting menu with matching wines.
The night I dined there the stand out dishes for me where:
Foie gras royale with apple and walnut. Each spoonful held a different proportion of ingredients giving a different flavour for each bite. This was paired with a delicious desert cider that worked really well. I didn't think I liked foie gras, but I loved this.
Green Tomato with goats milk sorbet, white chocolate ganache and toasted peanuts. Just amazing, best desert I've had in a long time. (I have also heard great things about their passion fruit sorbet).
You'll have a wonderful meal whatever you choose.
For casual fare I agree with DublinChow on Avoca and although I haven't been myself friends recomend Green Nineteen on Camden Street, http://www.green19.ie/. Camden St is about 5 min walk from Stephens Green, although restaurant doesn't open till 12 on a Sunday.
The Shelbourne Hotel serves a fairly traditional Sunday lunch and is on St Stephens Green. One Pico serves a more high end Sunday lunch and is very nearby.
Eden in Temple Bar is more relaxed than the two options above and serves a lovely brunch. Your options really are quite restricted for central Dublin on a Sunday.