Sunday, May 24, 2020

Friday evening at Greene's. Almost like old times. Almost!

Friday evening at Greene's.
Almost like old times. Almost! 

In the car of a Friday evening and heading downtown. Park up and walking over to Greene’s Restaurant in MacCurtain Street. It’s almost like old times. 

Almost. We have clicked and are on the way to collect, all comfortably within the 5km limit. It is our first venture into the city since the lockdown began and, as it turned out, quite a worthwhile one.

You know there’s been some dispute among the restaurant fraternity about the value of click and collect or simply takeaway. But it keeps open the links with both suppliers and customers and also keeps some staff involved. And it also makes the possibility of slippage to processed food a little more remote, the processed food that ace American chef Dan Barber called “the lowest bar”, “It’s an insult.” (New Yorker May 24th, 2020)

Greene’s is one of the restaurants nearest to us and you just knew, takeout or not, there’d be no slippage in standards - just because there is a crisis doesn't mean you can't cook creatively - and so it proved as the quality of food they provided was so much better than regular takeaway. 

We stepped under the arch and entered to a big smiling welcome and were presented with our dinner in a long sleek box, packed full of good things to eat, each section neatly stored separately within. 

And inside also was one other very important item: a typed sheet with details of each element along with detailed instructions on how to finish the cooking! And, if you needed more help, you could look up Chef Bryan McCarthy’s video instructions available on both their Instagram and Facebook. 

Would you like a wine to go with that? No bother. Have a look at somm Frank’s suggestions videos on Facebook and make your choice. And of course the crew in Cask will sort out a cocktail for you.

At present, they are doing "Greene’s and Cask @ Home" three days a week: Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The menu has variations each day and vegetarians are also catered for. 

Black Pudding and Pork Belly Beignets was our chosen starter and that came with an apple and celeriac salad with a superb dressing. Eight minutes later (that’s how long it took to heat up the beignets) we were tucking into it.  No bother admitting this was different class, even the salad came totally alive with that dressing and the beignets, with an aioli mayo, were also superb. A very satisfactory beginning indeed!

The other starter available was a Ballyhoura Mountain Mushroom Risotto (with pickled mushroom, Cep powder, and Coolea Cheese). Next time!

A break of ten minutes or so then as we “worked” on the main course: the Venison Pie. Would probably have been a few minutes less had we chosen the Pan Seared Hake (with Dashi cream and pea risotto). The third choice was the Vegetarian Jackfruit and Chickpea Stew (also about 10 minutes).

Anyhow, back to the very satisfying pie! Terrific chunks of meat with jus, big cubes of root vegetables and broccoli, not forgetting the spuds and extra mash. Superb. And a nicely judged quantity also.

The offer is two courses for two people for forty euro. You may also add sides or extras, maybe a meal for a 3rd person. Friday’s dessert offers were a Summer Berry Cheesecake, Sweet Woodruff Panna Cotta and Chocolate Brownie.

Didn’t get to study the wine list but one that I can recommend is the unoaked Flor de Crasto, a young, fruit driven easy-drinking Portuguese red wine produced from local grapes (Tinta Roriz, Touriga Franca, Touriga Nacional, Vinhas Velhas).

Our first experience of Click & Collect turned out to be a winner. We’ll be back to MacCurtain Street!

* Click and Collect at Greene’s and quite a few other restaurants use software provided by TablePath. I had some info up on that recently and you may check it out here

Greene's Restaurant

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