It's halfway there
So far, so harmonious. Then the orchestra stops playing, packs up their instruments and a kazoo band arrives. My catch of the day is sole, which lives up to its name. It’s like the rubbery underside of a Converse covered in “seaweed butter”, which turns out to be a few tiny flecks of pickled-tasting green stuff. The fish doesn’t taste fresh. I flip it over at one point to see if the underside tastes better. It’s worse. There’s a lovely roasted lemon half to go with it and “sumo” chips, which raise the existential question of whether a chip can be too thick? If we had to make an emergency dash southside we could paddle-board over the Liffey on one.
Jeanne’s flat iron steak tastes smoky but instead of the well-done she asked for it’s oozing blood, which I like, but she can’t face. “It’s a bit much to set yourself up as a grill restaurant and get the grill bit wrong,” she says.
Her dessert, a Rhubarb Mess, is a very tidy line of poached champagne rhubarb, artful blobs of lemon curd and teeny meringues and cream. Mine is the real mess. It begins with a thick layer of piped cream (a shudder since my days as a waitress when I sprayed it onto overpriced desserts). Underneath there’s a mud-thick salt caramel ice cream with lumps of rubbery popcorn in every second spoonful. I fish for the promised candied peanuts but each lump turns out to be popcorn. Halfway through I give up.
It’s early days and the starters show that they’re doing something right here. But when the best dish in an expensive grill restaurant is a plate of gnocchi you have to wonder how it will all pan out. Dinner for two with a bottle of wine, sparkling water and a mint tea came to €114.80.
The Morrison Grill, Ormond Quay, Dublin 1, tel: 01-887 2400
WHAT THE NUMBERS MEAN:
Our new ratings system gives an overall verdict out of 10, reflecting not just the food but also the room, the service and the value. If a restaurant scores 7.5, I don’t think you will be disappointed. The highest I have awarded so far has been an 8. The half point deduction might mean a small wobble in a course, a lack of atmosphere, or a bill that seemed a bit steep.
THE VERDICT:A strange meal of two entirely different halves
Food provenance: Great, Iona Farm supplies the vegetables, mussels come from Kerry and Tom Lynch supplies the pork
Wheelchair access: Yes
Facilities: Large and beautiful