Saturday, February 16, 2019

Amuse Bouche


At each place there is at least one hollowed-out tree truck with a hole at the end, where at harvest time they stomp grapes to get juice for making wine. The two women said they could easily get 1 ton of grapes into a tree trunk. First the boys walk on the grapes, and then the older and heavier men crush them harder. … It takes about two hours to finish the job. Turpa, one of the women, proudly pointed to one tree trunk and said the family had been using it for three centuries.

from In Search of Bachhus by George M. Taber (2009). Recommended. 

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Future Trends of an Exciting Wine List


Future Trends of an Exciting Wine List
It's Natural, says Beverley. Bryan's more cautious.


There’s definitely a massive trend towards natural wines, according to Beverly Mathews, owner of the L’Atitude 51 wine-bar in Cork. “Paris, London and New York are leading the way. People are looking specifically for natural wines. It’s a definite trend. Jean Foillard, who visited L’Atitude last year, is a star in Beaujolais. Aldi sold a natural orange wine last year and sold out quickly. Natural wines are full of character but can be quirky.”

Dalcassian Wines & Spirits came to Cork in force last week for a portfolio tasting. And very impressive it was too. It wasn’t all tasting of course and there was quite a bit of talking too. One of the best discussions came in a side room and was entitled Future Trends of an Exciting Wine List.  Beverley and Bryan McCarthy (Head Chef at Greene’s Restaurant) were the main speakers; Jules Mahon, Business Development Manager with Dalcassian, was in the chair and smoothly facilitated a very interesting hour or so on the main subject.

Bryan wasn’t as convinced about natural wine’s progress saying world trends in food and wine don’t necessarily follow through in Ireland.
L'Atitude 51, with natural wine-maker Thierry Puzelat (right)

He admitted to being surprised when he began to work with Frank Schiltkamp a few years ago. “I work closely on the pairing with the somm. It is when we introduce a new dish that more cooperation is required and it was something new to me that I may have to take some element out of the new dish and then Frank will have a matching wine. It’s all about the balance between food and wine. Wines by the glass is a growing trend and we now have twenty by the glass.”

The chef has noticed that German, Austrian and Portuguese wines are becoming more sought after, though the “old” wines are still popular but thought that in the future they will be seen less.
Bryan sees an increase in the popularity of Portuguese wines. This Reynolds range is  part of the Dalcassian portfolio

Beverley told us that L’Atitude is a fully licensed wine bar so they can serve a glass of wine without food and that “gives us flexibility to play around with wines. Wine is the most important element to us. We are a wine led bar.”

Jules then asked if there was a demand for lower ABV wines.
Bushby’s Strawberries at Greene's, paired with Alasia Moscato d'Asti, a low alcohol frizzante
Beverley said she gets lots of requests and that there is a definite demand for low alcohol drinks. Greene’s have introduced what they call “Sips” for couples on their tasting menu. So one gets the full wine treatment while the other can opt for Sips at about half the price.

Beverley wasn’t impressed with alcohol free wines saying “they’re not essentially wines”. But she said the technology is improving and that Torres have an 0.5% line. “There are lots of low alcohol beers and ciders, though”.

No matter the ABV, Bryan’s main aim is that the wine complements the food, doesn’t clash with it and doesn’t overpower it. Frank will have his own aims but “we do work well together”.

Organic Wine
Brian said that, for him, flavours in organic wine are similar to those in non-organic. For him too, it was more about provenance.

Beverley: “In recent years concern for the environment has been spilling over into food and wine. People are asking more and more for organic, bio and natural. Customers are drinking better, making more informed choices and are more demanding. Wines, whose sales were once static, are now more popular and giving us more fun. People now ask for different grape varieties, want to explore”.

Brian agreed the people “are more experimental”. Frank has spotted the trend and people are buying accordingly.

Beverley is a big fan of Coravin. “We have over a hundred wines by the glass. Coravin is essential and not just for the more expensive wines. I know the wines are fresh from it and we use it on many wines. Wines are at their freshest and people get variety.”

How best to present the wine list
Greene’s sommelier Frank says they have tried various formats, grouping by region, by flavour profile, by price. And it would seem that price is key for many. “Even corporate customers have a budget”. 
An Italian at Cask (Greene's little sister)

Frank though loves seeing a customer who knows exactly what he wants and ordering it straightaway. Sometimes that can be a lower priced wine and sometimes a top of the range champagne but, either way, the somm gives credit to the customer. Bryan said sample sips are not generally available in the restaurant (Greene’s) but are in Cask.

Beverley’s list is divided by style. “We have six or seven choices under each category. It encourages the customer to explore and not be daunted. It helps us that we can offer the customer a taste before purchase.”

Sparkling Trends?
A popular Friday Fizz at L'Atitude

Bryan says sparkling sales are customer driven. Prosecco is the most popular but Cava and Champagne are available. Frank concurred: “Frizzante is most popular because of price, especially among groups of women who’ll order a bottle before a meal. It is fun and nice to drink.” Beverly bemoaned that Cava suffers because of higher import duties and Bryan agreed that those same taxes “have a lot to do with what people drink”.

Could Crémant be the next big thing? “You do see it,” says Frank “but it’s still a hard sell. On the other hand, you don’t sell champagne, people buy it!” Beverley confirmed that champagne is selling well now after stalling for a good few years.

Of course, despite all the problems (including taxes of all kinds), people can still help themselves. L’Atitude have a long-running Friday Fizz where customers can buy a glass of the nominated bubbles at a very reasonable price and the Raven (who held a successful Spanish wine tasting recently) offer all wines at the same price, €22.00 per bottle, every Monday. night.

The Commons Inn for Fresh and Local


The Commons Inn for Fresh and Local

Tasty wings with Louisiana sauce
If you’re in the Blackpool area and looking for a meal, why not try the Commons Inn, now over thirty years in business. Michael Fawcett is the chef here and has a passion for fresh products and loves working with products from the English Market Cork. Mike, originally from Victoria Australia, found his home in Cork City and has been living here for 17 years.

We had the opportunity to try their Early Bird recently and enjoyed it. Nothing too highfalutin here, just good produce well handled and neatly presented and served with a smile.

Wings are a standard in many Irish hotels and bars and I started off with the Commons Buffalo Chicken Wings: Crisp chicken wings, tossed in Frank’s Louisiana hot sauce and served with Cashel blue cheese dip and celery sticks. Good quality chicken and that sauce was superb.
Salad

CL picked the Classic Caesar Salad of Cos lettuce, crisp bacon lardons, garlic herb croutons, parmesan cheese, creamy Caesar dressing. Lots of bacon but well assembled and, may I say, well demolished! 

Other starters on the Early Bird include Chef’s Soup of the Day, served with freshly made brown bread, and also the Chilli and Lime Battered Tiger Prawns.

Hard to beat a burger in a bar (the dining area is at one end of the long bar) and the Black Angus House Burger consists of Streaky bacon, aged cheddar, beer battered onion ring, baby gem lettuce, vine tomato, ramekin of house relish, toasted pretzel bun & chunky chips. The pretzel bun might be a bit unusual but the whole assembly hit the spot.

O’Connell's Salmon, with Tender stem broccoli, sautéed baby potatoes, spiced chorizo butter, was another good plateful. Other mains available are Classic Chicken Maryland , Irish 10oz Black Angus Sirloin Steak  (€5.00 supplement), Roast of the Day  and Thai Red Roasted Vegetable Curry.
Our mission was to try out the Early Bird but I must admit we failed at the final hurdle. The tempting line-up of desserts read: Bread & Butter Pudding Vanilla custard; Warm Belgian Chocolate Brownie Warm chocolate sauce, chocolate chip ice cream; Selection of Irish Artisan Ice Cream Crisp Tuile basket & strawberries; Dessert of the Day, Vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.
Salmon 

Prices are reasonable: 2 courses €21 or 3 courses €25 all day, every day.

  • Check out also Make this Sunday a great one with a three-course lunch in Bailey's restaurant for only €19.95 per person! Booking is essential, so please call on 021 4210300 or email sales@commonsinn.com 
  • Special event coming - details below




Wednesday, February 13, 2019

SuperValu Feature Spanish Wines. Offers until March 6th


SuperValu Feature Spanish Wines
Offers from 14th February until March 6th
Great case offer from Rioja (above)

Mosaic “Winemaker Selection” Priorat (DO) 2016, 14.5%, €15.00 (was 23.99) SuperValu

Full bodied red Priorat wines from a small region in Catalonia (north-eastern Spain), have been finding a much wider audience in the past few decades. So I was expecting good things from this Mosaic “Winemakers’ Selection”. And I got them.

Many Priorat wines are based on Garnacha (Grenache across the border). This excellent blend, while having 15% Garnacha, is mainly composed of Syrah (58%) while Carignan (20) and Cabernet Sauvignon (7) complete the mix.

Colour of this very accessible wine is purple. There are complex aromas with red fruits and spice featuring. Intense and full-bodied, moderate spice all the way, fresh and dry, tannins silky smooth with hardly a bite at all in a deliciously lingering finish. High quality here, and now at a terrific price.

A few tips from the winery: 
We advise decanting the wine a few minutes before serving. 
Suggested wine temperature: 15-17 ºC.Excellent with roasted meats. 
Ideal to match with pasta and rice dishes

“La Maldita” Garnacha Rioja (DO) 2016, 13.5%, €10.00 (12.99)

La Maldita refers to the difficulty of growing Garnacha and apparently means “little cursed one”. Don’t think our local translation would be that mild. If indeed, it is that hard to raise. I hadn’t heard it before. Wine-Searcher has a good opinion of it: “It is particularly versatile both in the vineyard and the winery, which may explain why it is one of the most widely distributed grapes in the world”.

As you know, it is a regular part of the blend in Tempranillo dominated Rioja and is grown all over Spain with great success, particularly in Priorat.

In any case, what we have here is a really quaffable young wine. Colour is ruby and the aromas are fresh with balsamic and herbaceous notes. On the palate it is fresh and juicy with a terrific mouthfeel, the smooth tannins almost unnoticeable. Young and fruit driven, it has charm and drinkability. You’ll enjoy a glass of this, even a second one.

Condado de Oriza Roble Ribera Del Duero (DO) 2017, 13.5%, €10.00 (14.99)
Say “hola” to this impressive youth from Ribera Del Duero where they’ll tell you they make better wines from the Tempranillo grape than their Riojan counterparts. 

Wine has been produced in this beautiful wine region since Roman times, though it became well known outside of Spain only in the 1990s. Nature can be a tough taskmaster here where temperatures in summer can see big variations between the heat of the day and the cool of the night. And even more so between the summer (up to the mid 40s) and winter (down to minus 20).

Just two hours north of Madrid, there are about 300 vineyards following the banks of the Duero River in the Castilla y León region, a flowing swathe of land that’s approximately 115 kms long and 35 kms wide. A few years back, Larousse Wine described the DO as “truly the queen of the Iberian peninsula and the cradle of the greatest wines”.

This Condado de Oriza is one hundred per cent Tempranillo (also known here as Tinta del Pais) and has been aged in new American oak for six months, a style known as Roble. After the oak, it is kept in bottle in the cellar for another six months.
It has a dark ruby colour. Ripe darker fruits (plum, cherry) in the aromas, plus spice and fresh herb notes. Rich fruit flavours fill the palate, muted spice, hints of the oak, full bodied and the finish is strong and long.

Serve it at 16 to 17 degrees and pair, the vineyard advise, with lamb chops, pies, cured or semi-cured Manchego or Gouda cheese, as well as dates wrapped in bacon.

“Castillo de Embid” Crianza Cariñena (DO) 2012, 13.5%, €8.00 (11.99)

From the family vineyards of Ignacio Marin comes this invigorating blend of Temranillo and Garnacha.  It is a bright ruby and the legs are slow enough to clear. Cherry features in the aromas, with a touch of oak also. Fruity and juicy on the palate, velvety with excellent acidity plus a long-ish finish with smooth tannins. Quite an engaging amalgam of the two grapes. Another good value drink from the Specially Sourced list.

Cariñena is just one of several DO titles used for the wines of Aragon, northern Spain. A wine labeled crianza has spent one year in oak barrels. The producers suggest serving at between 16 and 18 degrees and pairing with red meat roasts, strong cheese.

Abellio Albarino Rias Baixas (DO) 2017, 12.5%, €10.00 (was 14.99).

Liked the colour of this immediately, an inviting medium gold. It is hand-harvested and ideal with shellfish and fish and also recommended for lightly spiced Asian chicken dishes. The medium intense aromas are of white fruit. It has a smooth character on the palate, intense fruit (pear, apple and peach) with refreshing minerality. It is zesty and well balanced and a favourite of mine.


Castaño GSM Yecla (DO) 2016, 14%, €10.00 (was 12.99)

This is another of Supervalu’s Specially Sourced series and a most enjoyable one. Smooth and restrained throughout, the fruit comes from the winery’s family owned vineyards in Yecla in south east Spain.

it is a blend of the Mediterranean varieties, Garnacha (15%), Syrah (25) and Monastrell (60), the GSM you often see in southern France. Monastrell, known as Mourvedre in France, is the most widely grown red grape in the small Yecla DO.

This GSM has a dark ruby colour. Ripe fruits on the nose. Balanced and rounded on the palate with juicy fruit (plum, cherry), a touch of spice, good acidity too, and a lingering finish. This barrel aged blend (4 months), was one of the best of my samples and is well worth a try.

On the Case!
As usual the Supervalu buyers have come up with a very attractive case deal, featuring a velvety Crianza from Rioja. Normal price for this six bottle deal is ninety euro but during the Spanish sale you can get it for €50.00. Not to be sniffed at! Though you probably will have a nose or two at the aromas before enjoying!

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

CorkBilly’s Drinks Digest. Wines, Spirits and Beers Events


CorkBilly’s Drinks Digest
Wines, Spirits and Beers Events

Silver Spear Gin Tasting at The Woodford. Date has been changed and is not on this Friday.



West Kerry Take Over Bierhaus Taps

It’s time to get shouting about @CorkAleTrail 1st monthly event next Saturday16/02  7.30pm  @BierhausCork with @westkerrybeer #taptakeover #meetthebtewer 5 Beers pouring! @GrandCruBeers @Cadastrophe @bradleys_offlic @HouseAbbot @FranWellBrewPub @the_friary_bar #CAT


Meet the Alternatives - Wine Tasting
by Woodberrys 3 Middle Street Mews
Middle Street
Galway
Thu, 21 February 2019
17:00 – 19:00 GMT
We have selected 12 wines we think every adventurous wine lover must try! These are wines that you will love but may have overlooked when buying a bottle of your favourite Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio or Malbec! Call in a try these wines your guaranteed to find one you like.
THIS IS A FREE INFORMAL TASTING.
PARTICIPANTS MUST BE OVER 18. ID MAYBE REQUIRED
Book here


New consumer website for Australian wine. Packed with info.
The new consumer website will engage consumers with rich content that is educational and user-friendly. It highlights Australia’s 65 premium wine regions with winemaker profiles, stories, regional events and insights into some of Australia’s most popular wine varieties.
Content will be updated regularly and a simplified Chinese version will be published shortly.
Visit www.australianwine.com to explore this new resource for global consumers.

Wine Academy Weekend at Sheen Falls


Gallery Westport A Special Event!


The Cork Wine School Spring Dates


Valentine’s Night at The Rising Sons

Our beer & food pairings have always been popular with you rising sons and daughters and for this reason we're showing some love this Valentine's Day. Introducing our Beer and Dessert pairing - a guided tasting of our award-winning beer and a selection of sweet delights made in-house, paired perfectly for your Valentine night. All for the sweet price of €10.
Thursday, February 14, 2019 at 7 PM – 10 PM

Spanish Wine Week 
ICEX Spain Exports and Investments and the Economic and Commercial Office of the Embassy of Spain in Dublin organize the IV edition of the SPANISH WINE WEEK (SWW), the biggest Spanish wine promotion event that takes place in Ireland between the 8th and the 14th of April. The main objective of the actions organized in the framework of that week and simultaneously in various cities in Ireland, is to give the greatest possible visibility to Spanish wines and their different regions, in addition to showing their diversity and high quality.

The different activities organized include tastings, dinner paired, discounts on the purchase of wine and promotions in stores and media, as well as raffles in the press and social networks. This aims to give the public the opportunity to taste a wide variety of wines through different experiences, while encouraging the consumption and purchase of Spanish wine throughout the week, precisely because of the offers and discounts offered by the stores , bars and restaurants.

The Cork Beer Mile with CAT
https://www.facebook.com/events/2177699485814114/ 
Thursday, February 21, 2019 at 6:30 PM – 11:30 PM
Get your walking shoes on and join us on a walk around Cork's must prestigious craft beer bars! 

This time we're in cahoots with two outstanding Irish breweries DOT Brew & Larkin's Brewing Company! More details to be announced soon! Who are the lads? 
​Dot :
Dot Brew is a gypsy micro brewery brand with roots strongly cultivated in Dublin 8. Specialising in uniquely designed barrel aged and blended beers for an evolving Irish and International palette. Dot adopts maturation and blending techniques from the Whiskey and Wine industries and applying them to break the boundaries of beer production. Dot has been rated one of the top 10 Irish brewers by Untappd users for 2018. (Placed 6th) 
Larkins :
Launched in 2018 after dipping their toes into the brewing market at the RDS Irish Craft Beer Festival the previous year, Larkins has already been rated one of the top 5 Irish brewers by Untappd users for 2018. (Placed 3rd) An independently family owned  brewery based in County Wicklow, Larkins set their focus on making lager style beers as good as they can be along with working on other styles of beers from IPA’s , Saisons to Pale Ales. 



Gin Tasting!!
Friday, March 1, 2019 at 7 PM – 9:15 PM

Sol y Sombra Tapas Bar & RestaurantOld Church of Ireland, Lower Bridge Street, Killorglin 6
see pic downloads..
On the night, we will present a selection of 6 superior gins, a selection of premium tonics and explore the different herbs and botanical's used in the distilling process of creating craft gins.  Info here https://www.facebook.com/events/236122720613873/ 

A welcome G&T will be served at 7.15 pm to allow the group to mingle before the tasting, the tastings itself will begin at 7:30 pm (sharp) in the upstairs Mezzanine.

You also have the option to have a meal if you so wish before or after the tastings.

We will be sampling lovely gins, its will be a unique night you won't want to miss

Tickets are €25 plus booking fees they are available through www.ticketstop.ie

There are only 24 spaces available so book early to avoid disappointment!












  


Taste of the Week. Dundon Lemon Curd


Taste of theWeek
Dundon Lemon Curd

Called into Dunbrody House while we were in the area in December and found the Christmas Market in full swing, with chef Kevin Dundon chatting with the visitors. 

He had quite a few jars, including Apple Jelly, Irish Whiskey Marmalade, and Mincemeat on offer and told us he was very happy with his Brandy Butter. We bought a bunch. All good but the one that really stood for us was his Lemon Curd (Limited Edition).

Lots of lemon curds on sale these days, some of them not too good. But this is superbly balanced and our Taste of the Week.

Dunbrody Country House Hotel & Restaurant,
Arthurstown,
New Ross,
Co. Wexford
Y34 R597

Monday, February 11, 2019

Barnabrow and Chef Bowes Rise to the Occasion. Again!


Barnabrow and Chef Bowes Rise to the Occasion. Again!
Skeaghanore Duck

The Gourmet Evening at Barnabrow House is becoming quite an occasion in East Cork and once again Geraldine Kidd’s charming venue and the skills of Chef Stuart Bowes combined to give us an evening to remember. 

Donie O’Brien of ENO had a selection of wines to be proud of and very enjoyable they were. And the occasion was further enhanced by music from the violin duo of Áine O’Halloran and Teresa Foley (known as Violini).

We began with a Cava and Canapé reception. As the glasses sparkled and the music played, there was time for a chat before entering the dining room proper. Quite a few of you will know this room as it is here they hold their well-known wedding meals. With its pointed gothic windows and high vaulted ceiling, it has a church like interior though the seating is more comfortable!

Cahermore Pork
More organic Cava at the table as the amazing Bouillabaisse was served. We had to do a bit ourselves as the Hegarty’s cheese came in little shreds on a side plate. Just added those to the soup and the magic happened as they complemented one another superbly, not to mention that rouille and the chefs top notch sourdough.

The Ballotine was just superb, again that match with the fig and the cinnamon spiced bread so really spot on. And the young slightly oaked Rioja was an easy drinking accompaniment. That high standard continued through the remaining courses. And again it was often the “little things” that enhanced the dish, like the Golden Raisin and Wild Garlic cream with the superb Duck Breast, even the tasty base on which the petit fours were served. 

Stuart Bowes had flagged that duck in his wee speech to the guests, proud to use produce such as Caherbeg and Skeaghanore, insisting on the importance of “local” and “using what’s on your doorstep”. “We are excited to do this, this quiet time of the year.”

Geraldine Kidd, now in her 23rd year here, is obviously proud of Stuart’s contribution over the past seven years and has battled to hold on to him against quite a few “poachers”! She was thrilled that word of these occasional gourmet evenings has spread beyond the Cork borders as she welcomed guests from Dublin and Clare.

Donie O’Brien and his ENO wines are regulars here and he was very proud of the organic Cava by Pares Balta that we started with. He loves Baron de Ley too, the producer of the Rioja. “They don’t buy in grapes, use all their own, a guarantee of quality”.
Turbot

I must say that the Pouilly Fumé was gorgeous. Richly flavoured with tropical fruit and with a “concentrated minerality”. This was followed by another beauty, the Ribera del Duero, another organic wine. “It is 100% Tempranillo, 8 months in new oak, vanilla..aromatic, clean and fresh and will be great with the duck!” And so it was.

Violini stayed with us for the evening. They are classically trained and stylistically versatile. “We play movie soundtracks, pop and rock songs, big band jazz, latin, blues, and the best loved Classical music.”  If you want music for events in hotels, manors, castles, concert halls, or for special occasions big and small, contact them out at violinicork.ie@gmail.com, also at 087 779 5031.

Dessert

The Menu and Wines
Bouillabaisse with Hegarty’s Cheddar, Rouille, Country Sourdough.
Cava Pares Balta organic

Ballotine of Caherbeg Free Range Ham Hock and chicken, fig, watercress, Pain D’Epices
Baron de Ley Club Privado Rioja 2016

Irish Atlantic Turbot, Pearl Barley, Gremolata, Pickled Ballyhoura Mushrooms, Chicken Essence
Chatelain Pouilly Fumé Abbaye St Laurent 2016

Roast Skeaghanore Duck Breast, Polenta, Savoy Parcel with Confit leg, Golden Raisins & Wild Garlic Cream
Camino Romano Ribera del Duero Pares Balta Organic

Iced Nougat Parfait, Apricots, Rhubarb, Archers
Chateau Caillou Sauternes 2007.

Maher’s Coffee, Barry’s Tea, Petit Fours.

Head Chef: Stuart Bowes, Sous Chef: Adrian Kaszynski.
Wines: Donie O’Brien ENO.

If you missed out on the Gourmet Evening, you can still try Stuart’s cooking and the marvellous produce (both from his producers and the Barnabrow walled garden) during Sunday lunch at Barnabrow. See the menu here
Sweet dreams
Morning walk

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Dublin's Café en Seine. Palate Pleasing. Eye-catching.


Dublin's Café en Seine.
Palate Pleasing. Eye-catching. 

The reimagined Café en Seine in Dublin’s Dawson Street is spectacular. Highlight perhaps is the Paris style Street Garden with its retractable roof and a capacity of 250 guests standing and 80 guests seated. Trees rise from the pavement up over the bar and the shopfronts and the scene is eye-catching both in detail and in its entirety.

Great place for people spotting, they say. And we did meet a Californian billionaire who told us he gives away millions every day. Unfortunately, he had finishedispensing them for the day and we couldn't be bothered coming back the next!

Our main purpose was to try out the food in their new 50 seater restaurant at Café en Seine, this the main feature at very front of the  building and also decorated in eye-catching style.

Here, head chef Stephen Gibson and his team, using Irish suppliers, “have brought a new dining experience to Dublin and have created a menu that reflects the ever changing tastes of Irish palates”.

We enjoyed the experience (including the music, (jazz, soul and rock 'n roll) from start to finish, including the enjoyable banter with our servers. They would get much busier later on but still had time to check back with us every now and then. You may read the menus here yourself. They also do lunch.

Starters are grouped under a Sharing Plates heading and these may be had in other parts of the building as well. They have after all no less than five bars, including two upstairs.

We had been  tipped off about their Crispy duck wings (12.00), served with chilli miso and sesame, and they were outstanding, almost led to a bit of scrap as you get three! Our other starter was the Salt Baked Beetroot (with goats cheese, pickled cherries, pistachio), completely different to the duck but totally delicious (7.00).

And no danger at all of scrapping during the main event, the generous Moroccan Lamb Shoulder (€50.00), especially for sharing. Indeed they do a few of these. Once we had chosen it, our server was more than pleased. He seemed to know a lot about this style of dish and said they do it well here. He was spot-on! 

The other server make a little show of presenting the large platter and it came with side dishes of couscous, yoghurt, smoked aubergine, harissa, flat breads. This was excellent and lots of meat too. And our red wine, the Les Oliviers blend of Merlot and Mourvedre (Pays D’Oc), fruity, supple and rich, was a more or less perfect match (32.00).

Time for dessert then and again we shared the lovely Crême Brulée (7.00). Off to stretch the legs now with a walk among the buzzing downstairs bars; this was early in the week and the two upstairs bars open only at the weekend.
 
Back to the garden

So we took two of the very comfortable bar stools at the first bar we came to and ordered some Liberties Ale (€5.90 a pint). Our eyes were wandering all over the colourful decor, even the magnificent displays of drinks behind the bar. It was then we spotted the tall trees further down and drifted along to the Street Garden to finish off the evening. Very enjoyable all told, even that late night chat with the Californian and his companion.
Choice is yours!
also on this Dublin trip:
The Little Museum of Dublin

Pearse Lyons Distillery
The Silk Road Café & Chester Beatty Library