AN ITALIAN restaurant in Temple Bar? Keep still thy beating heart and quell thy cynicism.
A graphically well-designed menu suggests cheering possibility like a well-dressed Christmas tree levitating on a bed of beautifully-packed gifts, some labelled with your name in generous Auntie Betty’s clear, strong, knowing hand.
The time is coming up to 3pm, the day is Friday, and the following conversation occurs in Spa Seafoods between a member of staff and a mature woman who has obviously been to the restaurant a few times before.
IF Percy French’s venerable sparring partners Abdul Abulbul Amir and Ivan Skavinsky Skavar still get together for a Christmas jaw-wag, to talk about old, old times when men were men, “when that son of the desert, in battle aroused, could spit 20 men on his spear”, it’s hard to think that those noble cuirassiers would go anywhere other than a proper, belt-stretching steakhouse.
WE have been to smaller restaurants but usually they’ve been located in much larger cities than Dublin — hideaways in side streets and alleyways in Paris and New York spring to mind.
The Pepperstack Bistro at Rosie’s Bar in Lower Aghada, Co Cork is a bistro like Paul O’Connell is a rugby player, like Graham Norton is an entertainer.
ANY business that manages to keep its head above water for 15 years must have something good going for it, and so it proves with Havana Tapas Bar, a cosy place bang in the centre of Dublin’s Restaurant Row.More
I’M NOT sure how many points opening — or in this case rejuvenating — a restaurant registers in the National Optimism Rebuilding Programme.
HE setting within which Brabazon Restaurant reclines is beautiful, and we’ll warrant there are few places in Ireland to beat it.
IN A WORLD where everyone of Roy Keane’s self-serving, confrontational utterances is treated as if it were a recently-discovered Heaney poem on the nature of egomania.
SITTING comfortably? Let’s begin, shall we?More
AS someone obsessed by the idea of catching impossibly large and beautiful salmon in impossibly large and beautiful rivers I have had to come to understand that the hoping and wishing may almost be as exciting as the arriving and doing.More
SO THERE we were, walking along Dublin’s Great South George’s Street of a Sunday morning.More
Many, many years ago I was involved in selecting an end-of-the-food-chain rugby team — Minor B Seconds — at a small, rural, end-of-the-world club.More
WHEN chef Keith McNally opened his restaurant, Pastis, in New York’s rundown Meatpacking area in 1999, it blew the competition away to such a degree that one of the restaurant’s most noted celeb visitors, Martha Stewart, gushed that having an eatery of such distinction was like Paris coming to town.More
Pier 26 Seafood Restaurant, Ballycotton, Co Cork,
THE first things you notice are the baseball caps.More
WHEN the Spanish surrealist Salvador Dali paraded his pet lobster along the Rue de Rivoli in Paris he must have seemed as exotic as anything — or anyone — led along the promenade in Kinsale.More
WITH the Spanish Arch just minutes away, it makes sense to continue the Iberian trail, and so in the middle of the Galway International Arts Festival, we rocked up to Cava Bodega.More
THERE are days when you just want middle-of-the-road, keep-the-show-on-the road food — days when you don’t need, or even want, poppy-seed brown bread knitted by celibate artisan bakers; days you just can’t summon up the joie de vivre needed to make the prospect of crabmeat or pan-roasted cod named after the port in which its captor buys his marine diesel, seem even vaguely uplifting.More
Dunne & Crescenzi,
14-16 Frederick Street South,