All posts filed under: Restaurants

Restaurant: Coppinger Row

We are not equipped for sunshine dining in Dublin. It rains, we are quite aware, thanks. Neither are we all that equipped for in-between time dining. We’re all clamouring for a table at 1pm or 8.30pm. Does the food taste better at these times? Try getting a proper menu after lunch and before dinner and options are limited. Coppinger Row gets a big fat kiss for doing both of these. In fact, if I wanted a table at 3pm in the sunshine with a pretty decent menu, I’d go here. By coincidence, I had recently been here for both those reasons. A sunny Friday evening called for an outdoor table, and then a late lunch meeting meant all rows led to Coppinger. In the evening, you will inevitably wait to get a table. They are always humming. I’ve never been in company that’s booked ahead, so always end up waiting for a table. It’s actually probably an excuse to try one of their outrageous ‘Flo & Basy’ cocktails with Agave and Elderflower. These should be …

Restaurant Crush: Brother Hubbard, Capel Street, Dublin.

The best time to have lunch is never lunchtime. I adore the wonderful, bumbled, disarray of having meals the wrong way round, or at the punctuation points of day when the world, and everyone else, are busy. Everything tastes sweeter when you are having something at the cheekiest times of day. Like the first sip of a beer or bubbles on holidays, far too early, far too irresistible. Or leftover cake at breakfast, far too sweet, far too delicious. Lunch in Brother Hubbard’s on Dublin’s Capel Street was in the heavenly part of late afternoon. And it was supposed to be just a coffee. The long room has cleverly got what I call its lipstick on properly with waist level displays of cakes, salads, scones and delicious treats upon entering. Even though it was a very late lunch, the long and narrow room was full, but we managed to get a table outside in their sweet and sunny little back terrace. A talented friend, Kevin Powell, had told me about this little café, so it …

Restaurant crush: Harry’s, Donegal

There are meals to forget, to fight over, to break up over, to douse with salt, and soothe with wine. And there are meals in Harry’s. My parents excitedly told me about Harry’s in Bridgend, County Donegal, before Christmas. This place had fresh Donegal fish. They had locally sourced produce and reasonable prices. I was keen. We made a trip in that deliciously frustrating lull after Christmas when you’re bored, stuffed full of cranberry sauce and on the constant verge of a row, or having one, with a loved one. Awkward meals and box set escapism. Fish was a good compromise. We set out with lunch on our mind to Bridgend. It is over an hour’s drive from my home in North West Donegal, towards Greencastle and Derry. Starving and cranky, we were welcomed by Donal Doherty who runs it with Kevin. The chef at the helm of the humming open kitchen is Raymond Moran. Friendly smiles and presentation of wine lists resulted in a long exhale. And then the menu. It sang out like …

Farewell at Fumbally

I’m fed up with goodbyes. In the last year I’ve had some very dear friends move to a country or continent that ends with the letter ‘A’, has seven star hotels in aggressive heat or somewhere you can’t get ‘proper Tayto.’ The destination was London for the latest parting friend. His talent hasn’t had the chance to be rewarded here, so he has made the brave and, in his mind, necessary decision to leave. The day before he left we decided to meet for lunch. Lunch is easy for goodbyes. You can’t cry over soup and sandwiches. He suggested a new cafe called ‘The Fumbally’ in Dublin 8. Dublin 8 has always fascinated me. Since moving to Dublin from Donegal 10 years ago, it’s still a postcode that seems to go on forever with places within that are equally hip and horrific. Perhaps that’s the trick of it, and I always get lost there, even when I lived there. The Fumbally, just off New Street, is a place I knew I would get lost trying …

Restaurant Crush : Terra Madre, Dublin 1

It was the taste of that first tomato that did it. We hadn’t seen the sun set and I was already smitten with Italy. On my first holiday there, on the glorious Amalfi coast last year, my friend and I were being baked in an uncomfortably hot Sorrento. In a tiny, dusty restaurant, we cooled off and ordered Insalata Caprese. That was the first time I actually tasted sun in a tomato, and what the word ripe meant. The mozzarella was young and pillowy and fantastic. A soft white on the lip smacking red of tomato and cracks of black pepper, glugs of olive oil and sweetly picked basil. The owner allowed us to stay and we sat happily for the afternoon and ordered another Caprese, and then pasta and local wine. We solved the problems of the world that day. I kept wondering why the owner wasn’t rushing us and soon realised why. He’s Italian. When I first went to Terra Madre, on Bachelor’s Walk, I was reminded of all of those things I …