After walking around in a grey, rainy and windy Dublin during the day, we were pleased when the rain stopped towards the evening.
We started our evening out at Fallon & Byrne, a wine cellar, food hall and restaurant, all under the same roof. The wine cellar was (of course) placed in the cellar, the food hall on the ground floor and the restaurant was upstairs.
The restaurant felt very cosy and was packed with people sitting around lots of small and a few larger tables covered with white tablecloths. There was a bar at the far end of the room and even the stools there were full. We arrived at 7pm, and in London it is very unusual to find a restaurant full at that time. But even though it was full that early, they relayed tables a couple of times through the evening, so it was obviously a popular place.
The menu and the ambiance was very similar; cosy but with some finesse! The service was efficient and professional; drinks, bread and butter appeared quickly on our table.
Karin’s starter was thinly sliced beetroots, marinated artichokes, rocket and a divine mild goat’s cheese.
My choice was celeriac soup with parsley foam. It was really nice, but not far off my own version, although the foam added another dimension. The bread was lovely too; crusty on the outside and lovely and soft within.
The starters were rather too large, so when it was time for our maincourses we were already quite full.
Karin chose pan-fried duck breast with potato fondant, pickled red cabbage and red wine jus. I chose herbcrusted halibut with perfect Pommes Anna, grapes and green beans. Both mains were lovely and had good combinations of flavours, but the portions were very really large.
We were too full to be tempted by the dessert menu, but Karin had a coffee, although a bit weak.
Afterwards we stepped onto the street and I realised we were on the corner from a bar my Irish friend Sineas had recommended; the Exchequer (on Exchequer Street).
It was a popular gastro pub/cocktail bar with some wonderful creations. I was too full for anything sweet, although I was very temped by the cocktails. Karin chose a Kir Royal and received a glass of bubbly with a pink cassis foam on top. A clever take on the classic!
After two drinks here we proceeded towards Temple Bar, the area where mosts pubs and bars are and we just chose a place at random, stayed there for a short while and then procedded onto a different one and so on.
Next day we were quite tired and wandered around Trinity College but felt after a while we needed to sit down and have a rest and some lunch. We just walked across the street to Bewley’s, a café on Grafton Street.
To be honest, the maincourses (pizzas and pasta dishes) didn’t look very appealing, but the sandwiches looked good and were exactly what we needed. I chose a toasted bagel with smoked salmon and cream cheese and Karin chose a toasted ham and cheese ciabatta. We also got salad and lovely crisps on pur plates.
Fallon & Byrne, 17 Exchequer Street Ranelagh, Dublin 2, Ireland
The Exchequer, 3-5 Exchequer Street, Dublin 2 Ireland Ireland
Bewley’s Café, 78/79 Grafton Street, Dublin 2, Ireland