Thinking of visiting Dublin as it opens up? 36 Hours in the Capital. A Hotel with Pawsonality! On Spuds and Stroganoff. Wine & Whiskey.

Thinking of visiting Dublin as it opens up?
36 Hours in the Capital. A Hotel with Pawsonality!
On Spuds and Stroganoff. Wine & Whiskey.
Oscar Wilde, on his own little mont

It is just after lunchtime when we arrive at Heuston Station on a short visit to Dublin (in March last). First we have to get rid of the suitcase and so we hop on the Luas and then walk over to the Mont Hotel to check in. 

The first person, well not a person, we see is Monty the resident dog, a very calm and sociable French Bulldog. This is a dog friendly hotel and four of the 96 rooms are set up for you and your four-legged friend. The bad news is that they don’t allow big dogs!
The Mont Hotel

The 2019 hotel, part of the O’Callaghan group (they two other hotels in close proximity, the Davenport and the Alex), is quite central: Merrion Square Park (2 minutes), The National Gallery of Ireland (5); Grafton Street (10). Our room wasn’t the biggest but was well equipped and very comfortable. 

The bar has quite a bit of craft beer in bottle, a corner for dining, and three big screens if you want to catch the football. They also have an Italian themed menu in the restaurant (where you also have your breakfast - no Full Irish though as the buffet doesn’t have any pudding, black or white).
Braised Lamb Boxty Dumplings

After sampling some of the wines at the Liberty Portfolio tasting,  later that afternoon, we headed out to Temple Bar for dinner. Our choice was the Boxty House. Just as well we had a reservation as it was very busy on a Monday night. 

It is all about the humble spud here and only here will you find the original and authentic Boxty wrap.They serve the 3 types of Boxty found in the border counties of Leitrim, Cavan and Fermanagh.

My main course, a very flavoursome one indeed, was the Braised Lamb Boxty Dumplings. Delicious tender spiced lamb, marinated with chilli, soy sauce, oyster sauce, garlic and ginger, sautéed with Boxty Dumplings and served with cooling Tzatziki Sauce.

Portions are large enough here as we found out with our other mains: the Corned Beef Boxty (tender slow-cooked Corned Beef with Sautéed Cabbage and Kale in a parsley sauce in a Boxty Pancake). Terrific flavour on the plate as well.

Lunch at the Kemp Sisters IMMA
Believe it or not, they also do Boxty Crisps and you can taste those with the Mushroom and Chickpea Pate served with a sweet onion chutney and those crisps. 

The Boxty Crostini Trio starter gives you a great idea of what you are in for. Here, they serve three pieces of Toasted Boxty Loaf with different toppings: Irish Brie and Red Onion, Smoked Salmon and Chive Sour Cream and St Tola Goats Cheese with Tomato Sauce. I enjoyed that very much indeed.

And don’t miss out on their own Jack Smyth beers, brewed locally. You can try all four on a tasting tray for a tenner. I choose a pint of the IPA, all the beers are on draught, and enjoyed it very much with the dinner. Excellent friendly service here.

James McKenna's 'Ferdia at the Ford'
Following a visit to Kilmainham Gaol  on the following morning, we headed back to the Kemp Sisters café in the Irish Museum of Modern Art. The sisters are well-known for their colourful flavoursome dishes and we enjoyed a couple here in the large basement restaurant. 

My pick was a pepper, onion and brie Quiche with two salads, one apple and beetroot, the other couscous based and that boosted the energy levels for the short walk to the nearby Roe Distillery. And a shot or two of whiskey powered the longer walk back to College Green and then on to The Mont and Monty.

Something different that night with a visit to Olesya’s Wine Bar and Bistro in Exchequer Street. Some 400 wines on the list here so quite a bit of reading. Many are available by the glass with a  choice of sizes, the smaller at 100ml, the large 190ml. So we tried and enjoyed a few.

The wines come from all over the world and, with Olesya originally from Russia, there are a few Russian dishes on the menu. Naturally enough, I picked a couple! A couple of excellent ones, I might add.
Solyanka Soup

One was the delicious Solyanka Soup. This rich soup came in a large bowl with a variety of very finely shredded smoked meats, ham, and sausages, also olives, a slice of lemon and a dollop of creme fraiche. And a generous amount of delicious bread, nicely heated. Great stuff on a cold and windy night on the streets of Dublin. Eating and drinking in it!

I must admit I didn’t realise that Stroganoff is a dish of Russian origin but here they insist it is. In any event, their Classic Beef Stroganoff version is superb. Back to the Sin Bin, the bar at The Mont, for a bottle of Porterhouse Pale Ale.

The following day, we strolled up to the adjacent park to see Oscar Wilde, before heading off to Heuston to catch the mid-morning train to Cork.

For the latest on the Mont Hotel's reopening, please click here .

Also on this trip:
Hands On Fun during Roe and Co Whiskey Tour

Some Previous Dublin visits