Oh, I do love birthdays.
I’ll cheekily stretch it into a week. And this year, into a month, between my beloved Donegal home and Dublin.
It’s a day for you. Your candles, your cake and your presents. If you’re lucky.
As mine falls in June, it’s a nice comma halfway through the year to take stock of my annual sentence. Undoubtedly, there will be the inevitable assessment of how many more grey hairs have appeared, how I still haven’t bought the dream house on Shrewsbury, passed my driving test or learned Italian. But after a few splashes in that paddling pool of self loathing, the realisation of the positives of the year far outweigh nipping to Boots for a box of Nice N’Easy.
My favourite part about my birthday is lunch.
I love to flirt with the decision on the destination for a few weeks before hand. This year, I settled on a date with’ The Greenhouse.’
By the time my birthday came around at the end of June, the restaurant had already been open for a few weeks. The reviews were out. The word ‘genius’ had been used to describe chef Mickael Viljanen’s cooking at Eamonn O’Reilly’s newest restaurant. The place was smothered with hype. I bristled.
I hate hype. I have managed to never see a Star Wars, Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings movie and happily intend to live that way. But, what I do like is the story of something exciting in restaurants and cooking. And Mickael’s cooking seemed to excite people. It had passion.
This was a harmonious tasting menu which was exciting and delicate, intricate and beautiful. For the tasting menu lunch my best friend and I, raised eyebrows, licked spoons and cackled inappropriately with each new dish. This was exciting food.
The work involved in this kind of food, and love that was involved in each plate shone through. This was a meal to cherish.
Menu at The Greenhouse
Foie Gras at The Greenhouse
Crab at The Greenhouse
Cod at The Greenhouse
Beef at The Greenhouse
Special surprise dessert of Pineapple and Coconut