Restaurant Review: Suesey Street

Suesey Street, 26 Fitzwilliam Place, Dublin 2 - Tel: 01 6694600, www.sueseystreet.ie    

SUMMERTIME calls for a different dining experience: We want to eat lighter, perhaps outside to catch some precious moments of sunshine, and I confess that I usually want high-quality shellfish.

Dublin has a serious shortage of outdoor dining options and there must be scope for a roofgarden or two to be developed. In the meantime I recommend Suesey Street (the 18th-century name for nearby Leeson Street).

If it sounds familiar you may remember dancing round handbags clutching a glass of Liebfraumilch in a club of the same name back in the 1980s — the less said about that dismal period in Dublin’s nightlife the better.

For a time this was Brasserie le Pont and I ate there a number of times at events but was never tempted to go back of my own accord. The basement interior is all hazy gold lights with comfortable leather and the outdoor terrace has a cover for rain and heaters for the cold.

With the name change in 2015 came Maître D’extraordinaire John Healy who will be well known to television viewers of The Restaurant. Healy is even more charming in person than on the tellybox but all the staff here are attentive and welcoming.

There was a problem with the food in the early days but new chef Gareth Naughton is now doing the setting and front of house proud.

A new appointment is Simon Keegan, one of Dublin’s best sommeliers, and he has assembled a fine list with good pricing — our Domaine Brichot Sauvignon/Ugni-Blanc Côtes de Gascogne for €28 was fairly priced and packed with green apple acidity and with decent weight for the low price.

As this was the Engineer’s first day out in a month due to an ankle injury, Champagne seemed appropriate — a glass of Louis Roederer NV cost €20 — her chauffeur stuck with sparkling water.

Important information is that this fine Champagne can be had by the bottle for just €49 on Wine Wednesdays when some wine prices are more than halved (Catena Malbec is €15 rather than €44) — I will definitely be back some Wednesday soon given that Roederer is often €60 in off-licences.

Suesey Street describes itself as an ‘eatery’; it means something like ‘Brasserie’ but a little more modern.

The menu has creative salads and sandwiches, a burger, steaks, and fish dishes, and is clearly aimed at the offices that surround it — there is nothing here that would frighten a client being brought to lunch by a suit from one of the nearby ad agencies.

July-August is Suesey Street’s Lobster Festival and the Engineer’s lobster and crab croquettes (€16) were a generous portion — a little heavy on potato, but tasty and nicely seasoned. My lobster tail burger (€28) came with just enough lobster, crispy bacon, lettuce, and tomato on a brioche style bun and plain crispy chips (I predictably eschewed the ‘truffle chips’).

The ‘heirloom’ tomatoes were some of the best I’ve tasted this year and turned up in quantities in the Engineer’s summer salad along with chicken pieces, quinoa, beetroot of various colours,avocado, freshly shelled peas, and broad beans.

I find chicken a rather dull ingredient in salad and these pallid pieces could have done with some jazzing up, but this is a minor criticism as they worked well as a texture beside the real stars which were the beets, tomatoes, and legumes.

Best course of the meal was my Dublin Bay prawns with wild garlic and dill and a sauce of reduced white wine and lots (and lots) of cream. The (Irish caught) langoustines were wonderful, fleshy and full of flavour, and the indulgent rich sauce was perfect.

A cheese plate arrived at room temperature (as it should have) with Milleens, smoked Gubbeen, and Cashel Blue — all were in fine condition and €10 seemed a fair price.

‘Whipped’ chocolate was denser than the name implied and more like a ball of ganache, but its sticky rich texture was pleasing and matched well with some caramelised banana, vanilla ice-cream, and peanut crumbs.

This is straightforward,confident cooking in a goodsetting with welcoming staff and perfect for summer — I’m also coming round to the idea ofvisiting (especially on Wednesdays) in the autumn, winter, and springtime.

The Tab

Lunch for two including one glass of champagne, one bottle of wine, two starters, two mains and two desserts cost €148 (excluding tip). Two lobster dishes pushed the price higher than would be usual here.How to

How to

Lunch: Tuesday to Friday,

12pm-2.30pm; dinner: Tuesday to

Saturday, 6pm-10pm

The Verdict

Food: 8/10

Drink: 8/10

Service: 9/10

Ambience: 8.5/10

Value: 8/10

In a sentence: At last Dublin has a restaurant worth recommending with a good outdoor terrace, decent cooking and ingredient sourcing and a welcoming front of house.


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