The Best of . . . Food and Drink
From posh nights to quick bites
Best tasting menu
The Greenhouse, Joshua House, Dawson Street, Dublin 2 thegreenhouserestaurant.ie
The tasting menu means putting yourself in the hands of the chef. And you are in brilliant hands with Mickael Viljanen. The €72 surprise menu gets you five courses of the best stuff to come into his kitchen, tweaked, twirled and coaxed into greater loveliness on the plate
Honourable mentions: L’Ecrivain, Fade Street Social, Brioche CC
Best expensive eats
Thorntons, Fitzwilliam Hotel, Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2 fitzwilliamhoteldublin.com
Yes the room has all the personality of a boardroom but with food this good who cares? Kevin Thornton gives you all the luxury ingredients you’d expect from fine dining. Foie gras? Check. Dublin Bay prawns? Check. But then he throws in things like pigs’ feet and poitín sauce. He also has a vegetarian menu.
Honourable mentions: Chapter One, The Greenhouse, Pichet CC
Best wine bar
Ely Wine Bar, 22 Ely Place, Dublin 2 elywinebar.ie
Dublin has always catered well for the pint-and-kebab crowd. When the Ely Wine Bar opened the glass-and-nibble types got a look in. It has a great wine list and a simple take on good bar food, with value Kilkee oysters, platters of tasty meats and cheeses and a smoked Irish meat plate for €10.95.
Honourable mentions: Bagots Hutton, Fallon & Byrne, French Paradox, Ruelle, Olesya’s CC
The Cliff Townhouse, Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2 theclifftownhouse.com
The place might no longer be called an oyster bar since Richard Corrigan left but the Cliff Townhouse on Stephen’s Green still has an excellent oyster and champagne bar. Six Galway oysters will cost you €14.50 and a dozen are €24.50.
Honourable mentions: Gravediggers, Mitchells of Howth, Temple Bar Market CC
1 Windsor Terrace, Portobello, Dublin 8 locksbrasserie.com
Slide into the comfortable caramel leather chairs, look through the window onto the canal. Swans , cyclists and runners will glide by, y ou might see a heron in a death match with an eel. Cyclists and runners pass by and dogs snuffle along the bank. This restaurant has long been the home of the long lunch. It’s a beautiful room and the food is now Michelin-starred: all the more reason to go for the more reasonably-priced lunch .
Honourable mentions: Pepperpot Café, Coppa Café, Yamamori, Cavistons CC
Nisheeth Tak, Rasam, 18-19 Glasthule Road, Co Dublin
It’s a tap dance on a tightrope to make people feel welcome and well looked after without crowding or putting them on edge. And Nisheeth Tak nails it in Rasam. One of the nicest things about him? You get the impression he really enjoys his job.
Honourable mentions: Chapter One, Trocadero, Dax CC
Whitefriar Grill, 16 Aungier Street, Dublin 2 whitefriargrill.ie
Rabbit livers. Steak. Pork and leek sausages. The Whitefriar Grill’s now-infamous mixed grill is the cornerstone of its brunch’s popularity for all but the militant vegetarians. This Aungier Street establishment is hip without being hipster (though: yes, there is a DJ), all indigineous well-sourced food, laidback atmosphere and excellent cocktails.
Honourable mentions: Fumbally Café, Coppinger Row, Brother Hubbard, Odessa, Lennox Cafe DG
Roasted Brown, Curved Street, Dublin 2
filmbase.ie The suggestion there’s better coffee than reigning champ 3FE’s might be anathema to purists, but Roasted Brown deserves plaudits for lending new life to its difficult upstairs space . Plus Ferg, Dan and Rob are some of the friendliest, most informed baristas you’ll meet .
Honourable mentions: 3FE, Urbun, Brother Hubbard, Fixx DG
Best cheap eats
Musashi, 15 Capel Street, Dublin 1, musashidublin.com
Capel Street has come into its own in the past couple of years, with superlative cafés, pubs and karaoke dungeons. Musashi is an unassuming sushi and seafood joint where €115 will buy enough of the city’s best sashimi to last a week. Much-loved by vegetarians , you need to book at weekends.
Honourable mentions: L Mulligan Grocers, Brioche, La Dolce Vita, Green 19, Rigby’s DG
Best supper club
Living Dinners, Henrietta Street, facebook.com/LivingDinners
Living Dinners’ array of plant-based eats migrates from venue to venue. T his sporadic supper club provides raw food and seasonal produce and has a reputation as one of the strangest eating experiences around.
Honourable mentions: Clonskeagh Castle dinners, Firstdate.ie, News of the Curd, Greenman’s Kitchen DG
18-19 Moore Street, Dublin 1
Who says the French are pretentious? Ruth Savill and Yannick Forell’s Paris Bakery fits perfectly with Moore Street , providing well-priced , well-sourced bread in a café that is always kept hectic . Try the anaconda roll, a mish-mash of sourdough and baguette dough .
Honourable mentions: Caviston’s spelt, Manning’s Bakery, Bretzel, Arun Bakery, Rolys DG
Best pizza slice
DiFontaines,22 Parliament Street, Dublin 2
Pizza is not a substitute for a well-rounded diet, but then , a well-rounded diet is no substitute for DiFontaines.As close an approximation to a New York pizzeria as we’re likely to get on this side of the Atlantic, from the pop of the cheese right down to the smoking, bantering chef.
Honourable mentions: Paul ie’s, Credo, Peppe’s, Dave’s Pizza, Steps of Rome KMcD