Showing posts with label Forest Avenue. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Forest Avenue. Show all posts

Friday, January 2, 2015

Ten Top Dinners. And Lunches. 2014 Highlights

2014 Highlights

Excellent for Dinner
Oysters at Au Mille Saveurs

Le Flora (onboard Pont Aven)*
Ravioli. Le Flora
Zuni (Kilkenny)*
Sage. The 12 Mile Plate

An Canteen (Dingle)
Blair’s Inn
Brook Inn
Cafe Gusto
Cafe Serendipity
Church Lane (Macroom)
Club Brasserie
Electric F
ely Wine Bar (Dublin)
La Dolce Vita
Market Lane
Mitchell’s (Clifden) F
O’Connor’s (Bantry) F
Oysters F
Pier 26
Rising Tide F
Star Anise
The Square Table
Tuscany Bistro (Ballina, Tipperary)
West End (Killarney)

Excellent for Lunch

Bakestone Cafe
Ballymaloe Cafe
Bramley Lodge
Bula Bus U
Castle Cafe
Greenbarn (Killeagh)
Griffin’s Spinning Wheel
Pie Cafe (Dingle)
Sage (Youghal)
The Workshop
Toons Bridge Dairy

Excellent Hotel Dining Rooms
Cork International Hotel
River Lee Hotel

Newcomers to Watch
Heather (Gap of Dunloe)
Pho Bar
Square Table

* Exceptional meal on visit
F  Great for fish
U  Most unusual lunch venue (in a parked bus)

All above visited last 14 months. Lots of other good places out there. If I didn’t get to your place last year, maybe we’ll meet in 2015! Hard to keep track - might need a reminder!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

44 Hours in Dublin

44 Hours in Dublin
Well over 2000 years between the Meathman (below) and Jedward. But look at the hairstyles. Gel (probably imported from Spain or France) was used, certainly by the Meathman! The Meathman, one of bodies recovered from Irish bogs, may be seen in the Museum of Archaelogy, Jedward in the Wax Museum (Dublin) 
I spent a pretty “busy” 44 hours in Dublin this week. My base was at Albany House, an elegant Georgian guest house just off St Stephen's Green. The 3 star establishment, about one hundred yards down Harcourt Street, was so well placed for the events I needed to get to and at a total of €108.00 for the two of us (two nights B&B), it was also very economical.

They do not have an elevator in the building, but offer all the other amenities you would expect from a modern 3-star city centre guest house. Well kept clean rooms (much bigger than you'd find in city centre hotels in Paris or Rome) include free Wi-Fi throughout. An extensive continental breakfast is available every morning, and is included in all room rates.

That breakfast, by the way, is taken in a gorgeous room. You’d easily imagine you were in Ballymaloe or Fleming’s but for the green Luas purring by on the street outside. There is 24 hour reception and the staff are very friendly and helpful. Easy to reach too from Heuston Station. If you have some baggage, you'd be better off to get the 145 bus to the green; travelling light, and with time on your hands, you might opt for the red Luas to the city centre and then cross the river and stroll up through Temple Bar and Grafton Street.
No blogger was harmed during taking of this photo.

Our first call (after a 2.00pm check-in) was to the Wax Museum in Temple Bar. Spread over four floors, it is pretty cramped but very interesting. It has a children's section (with a crawl through tunnel), an eye-opening hands-on Science and Discovery Room (a tribute to the many Irish pioneers), a Chambers of Horrors, even a recording studio, all included before you reach the Grand Hall of Fame, the museum’s best display and a tribute to the stars of movies and music. There is an admission charge.

That evening, we headed off to the other side of the green towards Ely Place and dinner at the ely Wine Bar. See separate post here.

Wednesday was to prove a packed day. First up was the Liberty Wine Portfolio Tasting in Fallon and Byrne. After a pleasant couple of hours we left there and made our way past the green to Leeson Street Lower and eventually to lunch at the Forest Avenue Restaurant, see post here

Ardagh Chalice

Our next call was the National Museum of Archaeology in Kildare Street, again quite close to Stephen’s Green. No admission fee here but there really should be. It is a superb building - take  a look at the ornamented interior doors as you go around and do look up at the magnificent domed ceiling in the entrance hall.

There are many enthralling exhibitions here including The Treasury (which includes rare finds such as the Ardagh Chalice and the Derrynaflan Hoard) and Ireland's Gold (an amazing amount of it, and in so many amazing shapes, including huge box earrings!)

Gold Collar (Co. Clare), 800-700BC

Perhaps the outstanding section is the Kingship and Sacrifice exhibition that concentrates on a number of recently found bog bodies dating back to the Iron Age. Here you come face to face with your ancient ancestors, some of them cruelly dispatched.

The evening ended on a much lighter note, some very high ones actually. We went to see New Jersey Nights at the Gaiety, the story of Frankie Valli and the four seasons, song and dance from start to finish, including numbers such as Oh What a Night, Bye Bye Baby, Sherry, Rag Doll, Walk Like a Man, Big Girls Don't Cry. Lots of big girls in the audience too - they outnumbered the much quieter fellas by about nine to one, out-sang them too. Great night out and then it was a short stroll back to Albany House.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Getting it Light and Oh So Right at Forest Avenue

Getting it Right and Light at Forest Avenue
A cold wind blew on the banks of the Grand Canal as we strode down to the Forest Avenue Restaurant in Sussex Street (Dublin). But soon I felt as if we were sailing away on a summer’s day, such was the gorgeous lunch served up to us, in a light and delightful style.

Here you’ll be fed well without necessarily getting the traditional “great feed”.Quality over quantity! The relatively new restaurant is run by Sandy and John Wyer (who I found out is from Glanmire, the parish next door to my Cork base!).

We got a hint of what was to come with a tasting of their Potato soup (above) with pickled mushroom, and ham, and lovage. Simple ingredients but a superb result. The pricing too is pretty simple: 15 euro for a main course, 20 for two courses and 25 for three. Well worth it! Service, led by Sandy, is friendly, informative and excellent and the place itself is casual and comfortable. Very Highly Recommended. They are open for both dinner and lunch and do remember that menus change quite frequently.
They have an appropriately short wine list but, after a tasting that morning, we were happy to see some craft drinks on the list, including that excellent Stonewell Cider. We shared a bottle and it went very well indeed with the food.

The potato soup was one of the three starters on Wednesday’s menu. I picked the Salt Baked Beets (below), celeriac, hazelnuts, house-made ricotta, pear and house-cured duck pastrami, another great mix of ingredients resulting in lovely combination of textures and flavours. And much the same could be said about the other starter, which CL thoroughly enjoyed. That was the Salad of Grilled Leek (above), soft egg with smoked beef and torn bread.
There were also three choices for mains and mine was the Cod with sprouting broccoli, mussels and horseradish. This was so appealing, both to the eyes and to the palate, a deliciously perfect example of the light style referred to earlier.

Again, the second mains was another collection of simple ingredients but, overall, a superb dish: Chicken Breast, smoked potato, parsnip, onion and kale. CL was delighted: “The chicken was succulent, the kale perfectly cooked, the lightly smoked potato had a beautiful distinctive flavour while  the onion and parsnip also added to the textures and flavours.”

The third mains, by the way, was the House-made cavatelli with squash, olive and capers. Desserts too looked tempting but, on this occasion (it was turning into a packed enjoyable day in Dublin), we reluctantly gave it a skip.

Forest Avenue
8 Sussex Terrace - Dublin 4 - Ph: 01 667 8337
Opening Hours:
Closed Monday
Lunch: Tuesday – Friday 12pm– 3pm
Dinner: Wednesday – Saturday 6pm – 9:30pm
Brunch: Sunday 12pm – 3pm

 44 Hours in Dublin. Accommodation, lunch, dinner, more. Details all here