Dublin City Food: A taste of the city.
In welcoming and familiar surroundings, Dublin City Food serves up some not so familiar dishes
Restaurant Title: Dublin City Food
Address: 7, St Andrews Street, Dublin 2
Phone: 01-485 3273
Choosing a venue for a meal to mark an occasion can be a delicate balancing act. You don’t want your amour to be choking on dried-out chicken while you declare your undying love. Nor do you want to deliver your killer “it’s not me, it’s you” line in a half-empty restaurant as the delighted waiter and other diners look on, like it’s an episode of Eastenders. Birthdays need lively places. Anniversaries need romance. New job? Splash out on somewhere special.
So, what of farewell meals? When someone’s moving abroad it’s tempting to bring them to an old reliable, where you have a good idea of the menu and what to expect. But when a new restaurant chooses the name Dublin City Food, it does offer itself up as a good spot for a final taste of the capital.
Cousins Brendan O’Connor and Adam Dickinson opened Dublin City Food as a soup-and-sandwich joint on the ground floor of the Andrews Street premises last December. With each sandwich named after an area of the city ending in “o” (Pimlico, Rialto, etc) it is as Dub as could be, and smoking its own deli meats in the basement kitchen, it is also serious about food. Last month the restaurant “proper”opened on the first floor.
We arrive on an impossibly hot Friday night (how un-Dublin) and climb the rickety, tea light-strewn stairs. It feels like we’re heading into one of those comfy old Dublin flats we’ve all been in over the years. The room has distressed walls with mismatched furniture and art. The cooking is done downstairs – even the coffees are made down there – so there’s none of the usual restaurant paraphernalia on view. The CD player, blasting out funk, keeps jumping. Only two other tables are occupied, and as we’re ushered to our seats by the window, our fellow diners look up to see who’s coming in and smile. It’s all very homely and familiar.
The menu, however, is anything but, with seasonal dishes that offer a nice twist on what you’d expect from a mid-budget Dublin restaurant. There are three starters, six mains and three desserts, a daily special – a 10oz rib eye, aged for 28 days, which we’re assured will change our lives – and a neat wine list of half a dozen reds and whites, from which we order a bottle of 2012 Perrin Ventoux.
The set menu is €25 for two courses and a glass of wine, or two people can have two courses each and a bottle of wine for €60. We opt for the a la carte – mostly in fear of offending if we don’t order that rib eye.