Forget shops and pubs – it’s restaurants Dubliners want

More visitors to the capital are in search of a good meal than a shopping spree or a pint

Dublin is well endowed with good restaurants in all price categories nowadays, so it is not surprising that half of all visitors make their journey into the city in order to eat out.

According to research commissioned by the business owners’ group, DublinTown, 50 per cent of those surveyed said they visited the city centre to go to a restaurant – more than those who came to shop, or to visit pubs.

Dine In Dublin returns to the capital on February 27th to March 5th, and the restaurants taking part have lined up one-off events, special menus and promotions to tempt even more of us to eat out in the city centre.

70 restaurants

The more than 70 restaurants taking part in the ninth iteration of the festival include Pichet, Rustic Stone, Zaragoza, The Woollen Mills, Fade Street Social, Carluccios, Brother Hubbard, Saba, Fallon & Byrne and Marco Pierre White Steakhouse & Grill.

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Tapas for two on the terrace at Coppinger Row (€25); three courses with two glasses of wine at La Cave wine bar (€35), and a three-course Middle Eastern feasting menu at Brother Hubbard (€50 for two), are among the offers that will be available to book.

"This year's festival is all about creating an unforgettable experience for the public, with each restaurant offering something truly unique, focussing not just on promotional prices," said Richard Guiney, chief executive of DublinTown, which represents 2,500 businesses in the city centre, from St Stephen's Green to Parnell Street.

Interactive

Interactive elements are also part of the plans, and that feature of the programme kicks off this evening (Tuesday), when seven chefs from the participating restaurants will each cook one course for the festival launch party in the Mansion House. Two guests will be chosen to become unofficial commis chefs for each course and will go behind the scenes to help with the cooking.

The chefs taking part are Andrew Rudd (Medley); Tom Meenaghan (Fallon & Byrne); Alan Redmond (Flanagan's); Ana Filipe (Zaragoza); Alfredo Donna (Gino's); Temple Garner (San Lorenzo's) and Stephen Gibson (Pichet). The menu features Lambay Island venison; ricotta tortellini with four-year-old Parmesan; seafood chowder; monkfish cheeks with tiger prawns; prosecco sorbet; rack of hogget and beef short rib.

For details of participating restaurants, offers and booking details, see dineindublin.ie.