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May 3, 2013 12:28 PM

Dublin in June


My wife and I will be in Dublin for a week come mid-June. We'll be staying at the Shelbourne Dublin in city center. She'll be working but I have a pass so thoughts on lunch spots, bars, pubs would be appreciated. Thoughts on dinner locations for the two of us are also requested. One very special spot to celebrate our anniversary would be nice.

We are adventurous eaters, omnivores if you will. We like wine, booze, good food and a warm, welcoming environment. Tourist-oriented suggestions are ok (hell, we are tourists) but we are capable of navigating the local scene.

A final thought: if there is a horse track open during our stay, day or night, I will be there. Dining/drinking recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you for your kind consideration.

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  1. There have been quite a few threads very recently about Dublin restaurants. I'd start off by doing a search for 'Dublin,' in the search box above. It's great you have a week as there are so many good places to eat.

    I particularly enjoyed Bewley's for a great breakfast.. also the Avoca cafe for casual meals, especially lunch.

    1 Reply
    1. Hi Steve. We just got back from Dublin 2 days ago. This was the least researched part of the trip with the preceding London being totally pre decided . We did pretty well. Had tea and cake at Bewleys and it was alright. Had quick lunches at your hotel and at ours ( The Merrion) which were fine as we stuck with sandwiches and wine or tea to keep the day moving. Dinner one night on concierge rec at Pepeoles where everything had one too many elements on the plate. Service was good if a little overanimated but it was a Sunday night which isnt easy in Dublin. Dinner second night at One Pico which we liked very much with great service, clean lines in the contemporary room, and very fine food. Good use of local ingredients I had duck and thought it was nearly perfect. Strong wine list as well. For the special occasion I would recommend Restaurant Patrick Guilbard which though pricey was right up there with London's The Square and The Ledbury....close but not quite equal. But only a point or so off. Owner Guilbard spent quite a bit of time with us learning we are from Boston and is a lovely gentleman. I had Turbot and it was fabulous. All the amuses and sweet bites after dinner that one would expect of a 2 star. it is a lovely room and actually part of our hotel. The major misstep is that the service was not as polished as The Square or The Ledbury. We did find a decent wine bar down the street from your hotel called Hugo's where we enjoyed a few glasses. Everyplace we went is well within a 15 minute walk from your hotel. Enjoy the trip! EDIT: I too enjoy Daniel and especially La Folie so i think Restaurant Patrick Guilbard is definitely your special occasion spot.....

      2 Replies
      1. re: Capeannetoo

        Agree with Capeannetoo on Patrick Guilbard. It is close to St. Stephen's Green - beside the Merrion Hotel on Merrion Street, at the back of the Government Buildings.

        1. re: Capeannetoo

          Thank you. It will be a pleasure following up on your recommendations.

        2. Near St. Stephen’s Green will be Coppinger Row (more formal) and around the corner, Damson Diner. I don't know if there will be any horse racing going on during your visit but there are a number of tracks not far from Dublin in Kildare and Meath and even in a suburban Leopardstown.

          1 Reply
          1. re: scoopG

            Thanks. It's my first time to Dublin. My dad was a big fan of Dublin and loved the ponies. A day/night at the races would be great.

          2. Steve, my wife and I recently spent two weeks in France, Belgium, Netherlands, and Ireland. I would have to say two of my favorite meals were in Dublin...

            The best meal we had was at Locks Brasserie in the Portobello section of the city. You will need to take a cab from The Shelbourne, but you will be treated to great food at this casual, one Michelin starred bistro. They offer a seasonal market menu with two courses for €25.00. Split a farmhouse cheese plate for desert and you will be amazed at the quality and value you are receiving. Locks' sister eatery is called Pearl Brasserie and is right around the corner from The Shelbourne (next to Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud) and might be worth visiting for lunch.

            The other restaurant that we really enjoyed was the Pig's Ear which is a 10 minute walk from your hotel. This is another outstanding and reasonably priced Dublin restaurant. Ask for a window table and you will get a nice view of Trinity College from this second story dining room. It’s easy to find, just look for the pink door on Nassau Street…

            The Shelbourne is our favorite Dublin hotel. Try the afternoon tea service and also spend some time in Stephen’s Green right across the street.

            3 Replies
            1. re: wellington

              I agree completely with your recommendations. I just want to point out that the walk from the Shelbourne to Locks is quite doable, though after a big meal it might be smart to taxi back.

              1. re: wellington

                Thank you both.

                I'm looking forward to this trip more and more. My wife and I are experienced travelers and love walking about after a good meal, sticking our noses into interesting places.

                1. re: wellington

                  Thanks for mentioning Locks Brasserie and The Pig's Ear. I only have one dinner in Dublin, but I hope to try either Locks or The Pig's Ear when I'm there.


                  Pig's Ear sample menu:

                2. Reporting back.

                  My wife and I arrived in Dublin at the same time as FLOTUS and her daughters. We were staying at the same hotel. It was raining, traffic was snarled. Not optimal.

                  My wife tended to business, I walked to Pig's Ear for supper. It was not to be. The place was booked so I fell back to Plan B: Pichet.

                  Pichet is a lovely little place on Trinity Street. I walked in cold, was given a two top, made friends with the Lithuanian server and kicked back with a sparkling wine. The steak tartare was good, not killer like Lucifero in Rome, but pretty good nonetheless. Stonebass was the main and it was tasty. A French pinot noir to wash it all down. The cheeseboard was decent.

                  La mere Zou is small restaurant with a fancy address (St. Stephen's). I walked in without a reservation and scored a great table. I tried and failed, yet again, to get a walk-in seat at Pig's Ear. The duck confit salad at LmZ was quite good, aided by a decent French sparkling wine. The braised lamb's neck was outstanding. I washed it all down with a quality St. Emilion. The cheeseboard was outstanding. I liked this place: ambience, service, food were all quite good. I brought Deb here for a dinner and there were no regrets.

                  La Ruelle is a wine bar off Dawson. I went there for a glass and stayed for the nibbles and small plates. Christophe runs a wonderful shop. I returned several times. Bravo, Christophe.

                  to be continued.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: steve h.

                    Flotus and girls ended up in Dalkey with Bono at Finnegan's so I hope they did not cause you too much trouble!

                    1. re: scoopG

                      Local press gushed, others were not so kind.

                      Third time was not the charm in my attempts to dine at Pig's Ear. Rather, it was the fourth time courtesy of Dennis, the senior concierge at the Shelbourne, who arranged my reservation. For those who haven't been, this Nassau Street restaurant is one flight up and overlooks the playing fields of Trinity College. Ambience is superb. Unfortunately, the food is merely ok. Deb's crab salad was mediocre at best, her cottage pie more potato than gravy and meat. My terrine was good as was my braised pork belly. A Chateauneuf du Pape washed things down. We skipped dessert and went to La Ruelle for a nightcap.

                      Odds and ends: the oysters at La mere Zou come from the west coast of Ireland, are not farm raised, and are outstanding. The chicken liver pâté at La Ruelle makes for a great nibble, the mussel/cream/bleu cheese concoction there sounds awful but tastes great. The Horseshoe Bar at the Shelbourne makes a fine martini.

                      1. re: steve h.

                        After Irish breakfasts and Irish pub lunches, we ended up usually eating non-Irish dinners while we were in Ireland.

                        We chose to have our first dinner at La Mere Zou , and were quite impressed. Nice plating, good food. I had the hake, which was a daily special. I'd certainly return, and probably wouldn't have noticed La Mere Zou if you hadn't mentioned it.

                        Our second dinner in Dublin was at Il Posto. The food was quite good, and they had a reasonably priced prix fixe option. I was surprised how full this restaurant was on a Wed night. Our server was a little distracted and challenging to flag down, but the food was good enough that I'd return again.