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#myhometownguide Dublin, Ireland reveals the changing restaurant landscape of the city and the emerging food scene.
By Jess Lacey
Dublin’s culinary scene has gone through a boom over the last few years, with new restaurants opening every week in the city. The strength of Irish food lies with fantastic ingredients like organic beef, freshly caught fish and artisan cheese. Dublin has a lot to offer foodie visitors these days, and there is more than can be included here to try, but these five places represent some of my favourite things about Dublin’s gourmet scene right now.
1. L.Mulligan Grocer
L.Mulligan Grocer is a truly Irish gastropub. The idea of serving anything other than a toasted cheese sandwich has not traditionally found much favour in Dublin, but L.Mulligan has mastered the art of high quality casual dining in a cosy pub setting. The pub sells craft beer only (no Guinness) along with a careful chosen selection of wines from small producers and whiskeys from all over Ireland and Scotland.The menu features traditional Irish dishes like cockles and mussels and boxty with a gourmet flair, each with a suggested craft beer pairing. In the past few months, this has almost become a second home for me and the welcome there place is always great. You can pop in for a drink, a bite to eat, or both.
Phone 01 670 9889
2. Temple Bar Food Market
The Temple Bar Food Market has been an institution in Dublin over the past twenty or so years. Run every Saturday in the heart of Dublin’s slightly touristy Temple Bar quarter, the market showcases the best in Irish food. You can buy anything from Irish artisan cheese, to organic vegetables to locally fished oysters. The market sells both ready to eat food and ingredients, and is open rain or shine. You can sample one of Ireland’s less celebrated culinary inventions, the breakfast roll, here if you dare. It combines all the ingredients of an Irish fried breakfast into a baguette, and is not for the faint of heart.
Temple Bar Food Market
Meeting House Square
Etto is a recent addition to the Dublin scene and has been receiving rave reviews left right and centre. The owners and chef have recently returned from London and have brought with them some great inspiration. Small plates with an Italian flavour or larger mains are served, like chicken liver and lardo terrine, and gnudi with brown butter and sage. The menu changes regularly, but my favourite pork belly and smoked eel croquettes are a definite must-try. The wine list is well chosen, and they are pioneering the idea of excellent wines and proseccos served on tap. The perfect place in Dublin for a relaxed, casual meal.
18 Merrion Row
Phone +353 1 678 8872
4. Fallon & Byrne
Fallon and Byrne has everything a foodie could possibly want. They combine a gourmet supermarket, deli, wine bar, cocktail bar and restaurant across three floors in their city centre location. You can get every possible ingredient on the ground floor, along with some great coffee, sandwiches and cake while the upstairs restaurant offers a more formal setting in one of Dublin’s loveliest dining rooms. My favourite part personally is the huge wine cellar in the basement where you can enjoy a glass (or a few) of wine along with some cheese and charcuterie plates for a reasonable price.
Fallon & Byrne
11-17 Exchequer Street
Phone (01) 472 1010
5. The Greenhouse
To celebrate special occasions, the Greenhouse is my favourite spot in Dublin. Chef Mickael Viljanen combines flavours from his native Finland with local ingredients to create a fantastic modern Irish cuisine with a Nordic flair. Dishes are complex with contrasting and complimenting flavours. Great use is made of local seafood, and foraged ingredients. The lunch menu is particularly good value for the level of cooking on offer. Although it doesn’t have a Michelin star (Yet!), this is my favourite place to experience real Irish fine dining. A place to push the boat out.
Phone (01) 676 7015