Food File: new restaurant in Portobello, carving classes and a food quiz

Marie-Claire Digby rounds up all the food news from the week


Does Portobello in Dublin 8 now rival Ranelagh as restaurant central in the capital? The latest opening in the area is a long-awaited first restaurant from Barry FitzGerald, who left London, where he was head chef at the Harwood Arms gastropub in Fulham, two years ago. Arriving in Dublin with his girlfriend Claremarie Thomas (the couple is pictured above), Fitzgerald’s first job back on home soil was to be launch chef at Etto. “We always planned to start our own business but first wanted to get the lay of the land,” he says.

After six months searching for the right premises, the couple found " a great site on Leonard's Corner" and after a summer spent doing the place up, Bastible is now open at 111 South Circular Road. "It's named after an almost forgotten piece of equipment in household kitchens in days gone by," Fitzgerald says, referring to the cauldron-like cast-iron pots that could be used on or hung above an open fire.

The "neighbourhood bistro" will open for dinner Wednesday to Saturday and weekend lunches. "The set-price menu will change quite frequently so that locals can come and not always have to eat the same thing. But we will have a bar menu and will develop a few dishes that will always feature. Sunday lunch will be all about the traditional, not a poached egg in sight. We have an great wine list too, a lot of which will be available by the glass." Bastible opens to the public next Wednesday, November 4th. See



Gavin McCarthy and Sara Mitchell, owners of the Poulet Bonne Femme rotisserie business with outlets at Avoca in Monkstown, Rathcoole, Suffolk Street and Kilmacanogue, have come up with a fun concept – carving classes.

On Tuesdays November 10th, December 2nd and January 19th, you can get instruction on knife selection and care, pointers on how to carve smoked salmon, turkey, ham and beef , and enjoy dinner with wine. The classes are being held at Salt restaurant at Avoca in Monkstown, Co Dublin. The €125 fee includes dinner with wine, and a gift bag with recipes, an Avoca cookbook, and a Poulet Bonne Femme chopping board and apron. To book, see


Can you tell your tamari from your umami, your grelots from your girolles? The annual Hatch & Sons Supper Club food quiz takes place on November 18th. Teams of four to six can compete, or you can go along on your own and they'll match you to a team. The evening begins with drinks at 7.30pm, with first questions at 8pm and supper to follow. . .Tickets for the night cost €35 per person. You can book by email, hatchandsons1@, or telephone: 01-6610075.