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Out to lunch

Dreading the January blues? Fear not, try these gastronomic cures

The Morrison Hotel on Dublin’s Ormond Quay has just had a €250,000 redesign.

The Morrison Hotel on Dublin’s Ormond Quay has just had a €250,000 redesign.

 

There is surely no better way to banish the January blues than with comfort food, unless of course it’s Michelin-starred comfort food. The good news is that Dublin is offering more opportunity for it than ever, with The Greenhouse having secured a gong – or rather a star.

Alongside one-star stable mates Heron & Grey, L’Ecrivain, Chapter One, and two-star Patrick Guilbaud, the tyre maker’s inspectors delivered a clear verdict on the stylish Dawson Street restaurant.

“Menus include a good-value set lunch, midweek set and tasting menus and a five-course ‘Surprise’ on Friday and Saturday evenings. Accomplished, classically based cooking has stimulating flavour combinations and creative modern overtones.” Four-course dinner menu from €95.

If the post-festive wallet doesn’t stretch that far, check out the Bib Gourmand. It gave the nod to Clanbrassil House, where you can get a three-course early bird from Tuesday to Friday for €25.

Social scene

Ballsbridge’s buzzy restaurant scene just got buzzier with the addition of Shelbourne Social by Dylan McGrath, part of the landmark Shelbourne One scheme at No 1 Shelbourne Road. The €3 million restaurant and bar venue is the sixth restaurant and third bar operated by Dylan McGrath and business partner Vincent Melinn. The group now employs more than 250 staff across Fade Street Social, Rustic Stone, Bonsai Bar, Taste and Brasserie Sixty6. Chefs Rory Carville, Gavin McDonagh, Bernard McGuane and Mohamed Ouchbakou spent months working with McGrath in the development kitchen to create the Shelbourne Social menus.

Make for the Morrison

It’s more “in with the new” over at The Morrison Hotel on Dublin’s Ormond Quay, currently sporting a completely refurbished Quay 14 bar and Morrison Grill restaurant following a €250,000 redesign. The always stylish hotel is now lighter and brighter, with large opening bi-fold windows making the most of the views out over the Liffey.

Make a date for its famous Fancy Pants or Gentlemen’s Afternoon Teas, now available in wheat-free and vegetarian versions, washed down with super-fast and free 900Mb Wi-Fi.

Or head to the Morrison Grill, where chef Sushil Kumar rustles up prawns pil-pil (€11) with galangal, garlic, chorizo and chilli, served with dipping bread, and the sea bass Gabonese (€27), with parsley and butter spuds, courgette and fine beans with citric salsa. Steak night, every Thursday, is a great option. Choose from a Wagyu beef burger (€23), the Morrison burger (€17), the salt moss-aged striploin steak (€29) or the T-bone steak (€33) and enjoy a complimentary glass of house red, white, Prosecco or a pint of Heineken.

Bella Donna

Hey Donna by Joe Macken has opened a second Dublin location, on Dame Street. Just a year on from opening the original Hey Donna in Rathmines, the new unit will open seven days from midday for lunch, offering an even more wide-ranging version of the menu that made such a success of the original restaurant.

Think grilled meats such as garlic sausage, berber-spiced lamb chops and charred chicken thighs, fresh veg and a range of sauces and sides.

All dishes are priced individually but meant for sharing. There’s a collection of spritzes, iced teas and craft beers plus a short list of good wines leaning toward organic, biodynamic and natural principles. It’s great value, with starters from €4, mains €10 to €15.

Start the weekend at the Suesey Street Supper Club, with a four-course dinner for two, plus bottle of wine and live entertainment is €79.
Start the weekend at the Suesey Street Supper Club, with a four-course dinner for two, plus bottle of wine and live entertainment is €79.

Finish up Fridays

Start the weekend at the Suesey Street Supper Club, for a four-course dinner for two, plus bottle of wine and live entertainment is yours for €79. The Fitzwilliam Place venue is a great option for a Friday night unwind, with head chef Richard Stearn working the pots and the familiar face of general manager John Healy (you’ll recognise him from TV3’s The Restaurant) working the room.

Stay up for the sales

Pressup’s new hotel, the Devlin in Ranelagh, is the newest and arguably coolest place to stay in the capital right now, with 40 small but perfectly formed bedrooms, a rooftop bar and restaurant and a lobby that is home to what may yet be the hottest cocktail bar in the country. It’s pretty cool for all those mobile office workers too, with a handy coffee hatch and plenty of spots to hotdesk. But the crowning glory, in reverse, is its subterranean cinema – a little sister of Stella – just up the road in Rathmines.