New pop-up cafe celebrating the humble egg

Food File: Your weekly food news round-up

Blue Hare’s bacon, egg and cheese sandwich.

Blue Hare’s bacon, egg and cheese sandwich.

 

Julie O’Mahony traded a career in advertising, including three years in a Madison Avenue agency in New York, for a culinary adventure that took her to the Ballymaloe Cookery School.

She graduated from the 12-week course in July and is now running Blue Hare, a Dublin pop-up celebrating the humble egg.

The weekend-only brunch offering is based at Lock 6 Cafe, opposite The Barge pub in Dublin 2. It is open on Saturdays and Sundays, 10am to 3pm, until Christmas Eve, but O’Mahony plans to move the concept into a permanent premises. She says she is looking at a couple of places, “but nothing has been signed yet”.

Blue Hare uses Butler’s organic eggs, meat from McLoughlin’s craft butchers, and Firehouse Bakery brioche and sourdough, and O’Mahony claims to make “the best bacon, egg and cheese sandwich you’ve ever tasted”.

Sprout & Co has expanded into a sixth outlet, on Upper Baggot Street
Sprout & Co has expanded into a sixth outlet, on Upper Baggot Street

Sprouting up

Jack and Theo Kirwan’s Sprout & Co Kitchen has spawned a sixth outlet. The healthy fast food shop’s new Upper Baggot Street location is the biggest yet, with 50 seats and an indoor herb garden. Smashing Pumpkin and Rockin Moroccan salad bowls are new additions to the menu, joining Super Guacabowle and Sataysfied Turkey. Breakfasts, soups, salads, wraps, cold pressed juices, 3fe coffee and Clement & Pekoe tea complete the menu.

Anthony Holland, head chef at The Ice House
Anthony Holland, head chef at The Ice House

Christmas party

The Ice House hotel in Ballina, Co Mayo, is celebrating its 10th birthday with a Jingles, Gin & Goose party on December 15th. Seasonal gin cocktails, a three-course dinner with wine pairings, and Christmas jingles on loop are promised. Chef Anthony Holland’s menu to mark a decade in business includes a choice of quail, Kelly’s black pudding and Parma ham roulade, or Wild Atlantic Way salmon assiette with the fish presented in barbecued, smoked and cured varieties. As well as goose, main course choices include pheasant, fish and a vegetarian option. At €55 a head for dinner and drinks, or €299 for dinner, B&B for two, it could be a last-minute Christmas party option. See theicehousehotel.ie.

Bespoke wine tasting

Anne-Marie Duignan, sommelier at The Exchequer wine bar in Ranelagh, is doing bespoke wine tastings for groups of four and upwards, and the 30 per cent bottle discount on selected wines on Mondays and Tuesdays will apply.

This offer is ongoing, and will run throughout December. For the wine tasting, Duignan will listen to the group’s preferences, make suggestions from her list, and talk through them. The restaurant has a Coravin wine preservation system which allows it to open more expensive bottles to sell by the glass.

Duignan says she is recommending a Sicilian red, Tascante Ghiaia Nera, as the perfect partner to Christmas turkey and ham, and you can put it to the test in advance at her tasting counter. The tastings are conducted in the upstairs area, which has access to a terrace, and must be booked in advance. There is no additional fee on top of the price of the wines. See theexchequerwinebar.ie.

Message on a box: personalised ribbons with Charbonnel et Walker chocolates
Message on a box: personalised ribbons with Charbonnel et Walker chocolates

Christmas message

“Hands off, these are mine.” That message might not chime with the season of giving, but you can have anything you want, from a name to a special greeting or message, running through the ribbon on any box of Charbonnel et Walker chocolates bought in Brown Thomas, Dublin, until December 24th. The personalised ribbons are complimentary on any box in the range (€8-€30), and can be done while you wait.

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