Restaurant Reviews from Silja

Status: Connoisseur

Credibility Score:
52.5%

County: Wicklow

No. of Reviews: 28

Member Since: 22 September 2008

Last Visit: 07 April 2013

The Best Restaurant

House Restaurant

Cliff House Hotel, Middle Road, Ardmore, Ardmore, Waterford

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Cuisine:
Breakfast

Price Range:

Good
30 reviews

Reviewed 11th October 2011 ( visited 08th October 2011 )

We opted for the Tasting Menu and it will be a meal that will be remembered for a long time to come. It combined delicious food, a comprehensive wine list, food as art and even as a performance. The tastes, textures, edible flowers and even the waiters' description of the courses added to the drama. The menu included savoury tasters presented like macaroons accompanied by a shot of carrot and cheese; a selection of snacks which were presented like tapas and included separate portions of scallop, potato, quail egg and foie gras as you've never seen them before; an adventurous salmon course with a fresh, zesty,smoky arrangement;a halibut course with soft, velvety textures; a beef course with the added theatre of beef tea; a first dessert which surprises everyone in the room and a chocolate dessert to finish. Interesting sorbets are also added along the way to cleanse the palette. A truly memorable meal
Most Visited Restaurant

The Stillorgan Orchard restaurant

1 The Hill, Stillorgan, Stillorgan, Dublin, Area Code: South Co. Dublin

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Cuisine:
Casual Dining

Price Range:

Good
105 reviews

Reviewed 13th June 2010 ( visited 03rd June 2010 )

The 3 things that impressed me most on our visit here, before heading to the cinema for SATC2 were: -the Sex and The Orchard Promotion of Cosmopolitans for €5.95. An excellent idea to get into the swing of the SATC mania. Who could resist? -Movie Meal and Drink deal for only €19.95 per person. This will bring me back to the Orchard - just phone them in advance, they will book your cinema tickets for you and you pop in to them for the tickets, meal and drink (includes glass of wine or a pint) for just €19.95!! -the service. Our waitress was efficient, patient and unobtrusive. The food is standard pub grub. I think it reminded me of Irish Mammy's food before the Celtic tiger. Comfort food with definite nods to the 80s. A lot of Marie Rose Sauce on the menu. Our party of 5, mainly children of the 80s, had 2 shrimp avocado salads which had copious amount of marie-rose sauce. But there was a full avocado on each plate so the portions were definitely copious too. The stew of the day and cottage pie were also comfort food hits. The chicken tender dish is probably the only one we wouldn't re order. All of the above plus coffees, 2 drinks and 2 cokes came to €80 before service. Definitely a good value option.
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Thornton's Restaurant
1st, The Fitzwilliam Hotel, 128 St Stephen's Green, City Centre South, Dublin

Agree with other posters that the room lets the restaurant down-the big, round tables are a bit like being at a wedding but then again you're definitely not cramped up against other diners. We went for lunch which was a good value way to try the Thornton's experience. We were impressed that the hype about the food here is justified and also by the lack of pretension, the attention to detail like 'Happy Birthday' chocolate slabs being sent out with dessert because they had noticed us toasting birthdays and Kevin Thornton working the room. Between us we tried all the starters, the quail winning the award of most impressive.Rabbit and lamb were enjoyed for main course, the plates all beautifully arranged with the chance to savor different cuts of meat together. Desserts tasted even more sublime than they sounded on the menu and I would return for the coffee and petits fours alone. Can't wait to try Thorntons for dinner

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Locks Brasserie
No. 1 Windsor Terrace, South Dublin, Portobello, Dublin

Our first visit to Locks was a great way to start off the weekend. The restaurant has a buzzy atmosphere and its decor makes you dream of hitting the waterways and heading to France. Appertifs and digestifs to bookend your meal are noted on a blackboard. In between we had chicken and foie gras terrine and snails risotto to start. Both were beautifully presented with the emphasis on flavours not fuss. For mains we stuck with ribeye steak and were not disappointed. Straight forward and delicious. The winner of the night was the lemon eton mess, so many flavours zinging together. The sorbet was presented on a bed of crushed ice. Coffees were very good, the wine and water flowed. Service was attentive but not intrusive and all the diners were lingering over dinner enjoying the experience and the food.

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House Restaurant
Cliff House Hotel, Middle Road, Ardmore, Ardmore, Waterford

We opted for the Tasting Menu and it will be a meal that will be remembered for a long time to come. It combined delicious food, a comprehensive wine list, food as art and even as a performance. The tastes, textures, edible flowers and even the waiters' description of the courses added to the drama. The menu included savoury tasters presented like macaroons accompanied by a shot of carrot and cheese; a selection of snacks which were presented like tapas and included separate portions of scallop, potato, quail egg and foie gras as you've never seen them before; an adventurous salmon course with a fresh, zesty,smoky arrangement;a halibut course with soft, velvety textures; a beef course with the added theatre of beef tea; a first dessert which surprises everyone in the room and a chocolate dessert to finish. Interesting sorbets are also added along the way to cleanse the palette. A truly memorable meal

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Mao Restaurant (Chatham Row)
2-3 Chatham Row, Dublin 2, City Centre South, Dublin

My friend is convinced the prices have decreased here which is good news considering the quality or service don’t seem to have changed. Our shared shrimp crackers, then mains and beers came to 20€ each. Portions are big and you know you can rely on Mao to give you the same experience every time you visit. I think it fits in the category of a good place to have an early dinner after Saturday shopping.

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F.X. BUCKLEY Steakhouse Pembroke Street
1A Lower Pembroke Street, Dublin 2, City Centre South, Dublin

I had been eagerly anticipating our visit to FXBs and we weren’t disappointed. We were a large party and I was so impressed with how professional the service was with everything coming out to the table at the same time and the staff being organised enough to know who ordered what. Professional seems to sum the whole night up. Our waiter was friendly and on the ball and kept everyone happy. We all ate from the value menu -3 courses for just under €30. Starters sampled were the kidneys, the Caesar salad and the mussels. Be warned the salad is slathered in dressing. The kidneys and mussels were a huge hit. Most of us had the rib eye for main course (5€ supplement). As always FXB steak is so good. Those who took the rump steak also enjoyed it and the medallions looked so tender. It was pure gourmandise to take desserts. The lemon tart was more ‘baked cheesecake’ and less ‘French tartlet’ than I had expected. Coffees were good and the Chinon and Crozes Hermitages wines went down well with the steaks. Great to simultaneously enjoy high standards and a value (relatively speaking) meal.

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Maia Restaurant
47 Shelbourne Road, Dublin 4, Ballsbridge, Dublin

The breakfast here was really good though I do agree with the poster who didn’t appreciate the manager yelling all over the shop. But I would definitely would return for a lazy Sunday morning breakfast. So many breakfast reliables to tempt you such as French toast with choice of bacon or berries, pancakes, Full Irish, Half Irish......... And it’s a nice touch that you can choose whether you wanted your eggs poached, boiled, fried etc. Likewise, that you have the option of having the Full Irish or taking it a bit easier with the Half Irish. The sausages were really good- I’m guessing Italian. You could definitely taste that they take the provenance of their ingredients seriously right down to the bread chosen for toast. They also had freshly squeezed orange juice. While the coffee was good, my only disappointment was that they didn’t have filter coffee even though it was on the menu.

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Black 'n Blue Grill - Closed
Church Street, Wicklow Town, Wicklow

Excellent to see somewhere like Black n Blue coming to Wicklow Town. We chanced our luck with no reservation and had an enjoyable dinner for €50 for 2 for 2 courses and drinks which I think is great value. Exactly the way to stay open in a recession. The upstairs room is beautiful. A good range of choices. Family friendly without being loud. Long may Black n Blue stick around.

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Three Qs
Church Road, Greystones, Wicklow

Perfect venue for a relaxed Saturday brunch. I love it when there are lots of things you want to try on the menu. I would definitely return to sample the other choices. We had the poached eggs & bacon and the corn fritters which are interesting but in a good way. Coffee was good. I was surprised the the decor was so simple. The vibe was more coffee shop than restaurant. From the moment I phoned to book, which incidentally you can't -it's first come, first serve- the staff were so friendly.And it's really well priced.

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The Larder Restaurant
8 Parliament Street, Dublin 2, City Centre South, Dublin

I love when word of mouth helps you discover a new place. My colleague's wife's friend had recommended The Larder and so a group of our work gang ended up here for dinner last week. Our visiting colleagues loved that there was an alternative Irish stout on the menu, and the Czech and other beers were also enjoyed. As for the food, everyones plates were 'licked clean' which is always a good sign. Lots of us had the prawns to start but other dishes such as salmon salad and carpaccio were equally enjoyed. There were many choices for main course and our party tried many of them and all of them got good feedback from the lamb special, and sea bass special to the steak, salads, duck and everything else tried. The staff were super friendly and patient. I will definitely be back

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The Bailey - Limerick
15 Patrick Street, Limerick City, Limerick

The only good thing about our visit here was the genuine friendliness of the waitress. She couldn't have been more helpful but the food was dire. Those who had the chicken salad couldn't believe how tiny it was and had to order toasted sandwiches afterwards. The beef strogonoff was so bad it had to be sent back and the kitchen didn't even apologise or ask what the problem was. My open crab sandwich with it's tiny dismal slices of limp bread was so different to most open sandwiches. The coffee was undrinkable. The best comment we could muster up was the chicken dinner was 'only middling'.

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Marco Polo not live
O'Connell Street, Limerick City, Limerick

The only thing that annoyed me was that all of the waiters and waitresses studiously avoided looking at diners in case they would be asked a question. Apart from that it was a busy, group-friendly place. It's years since I have been in Luigi Malones and it was better than expected. The steaks got thumbs up, I was impressed with my pizza, the Rioja was reliable and the star of the show has to be the desserts. The pavlova was huge with both cream and ice cream-definitely 'death by delicious pavlova'. The other desserts looked equally as generous and appealing. It's a good place for a casual meal with a large group. The premises is huge, I wonder do they close some off mid week. I think it's a good touch that they run so many special offers and their loyalty scheme seemed good. My sister bagged €25 of vouchers off her next visit which is a good incentive to start planning the next visit.

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Richy's Bar & Bistro
Wolfetone Street Clonakilty, Clonakilty, Cork

We had to read & reread the menu and then double check with the waiter who confirmed, yes the special offer really was 3 Course Set Menu for €60 per couple(as opposed to per person) including a Bottle of Wine. Isn't that impressive? As we were driving, they obliged us and let us swap the bottle of wine for a bottle of water. Richy's is different to run-of-the-mill places and different in a refreshing way. The decor is cool and the buzzers are quirky. But buzzers always make me feel apprehensive, like I'm screaming for service. And Richy's don't compromise on quality in their set menu. I had a prawn starter, cod, peas and stringy chips and yummy apple and blackberry crumble. My husband had the cod too with chicken satay starter and creme brulee and stewed plum dessert. All really good and fresh and there were loads more choices on the blackboard and menu. I'll have to get back some day for their pavlova. I wasn't mad about the stringy chips. They were too crisp-like for my taste but I loved that the cod was served with no batter at all and that they were so obliging when I asked for cream instead of ice cream with my dessert. And I can't refrain from repeating....the special offer really is 3 courses plus wine for 2 people for €60!!!

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Odessa
13 Dame Court, Dublin, City Centre South, Dublin

The service wasn't as slick as usual. It took them minutes to find our booking then asked us would we prefer an upstairs or downstairs table. We said upstairs but then they asked would we mind going downstairs. No big deal but why bother asking then? A positive note on the service was they couldn't have been more obliging when our coffees tasted sour or too brewed and they changed them immediately. Brunch was delicious. All the options tried were enjoyed. On a bum note (groan), maintenance of the ladies room was not optimal on this visit.

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Novo
Harry Street, St Stephens Green, Dublin

Cafe Novo was a good venue for Sunday lunch as there was a good mix of lighter dishes for those who had just surfaced as well as more substantial meals for those who had worked up more of an appetite. Those who were here for the first time commented they would add it to their list of dining spots. The cod and chips special of the day was good and the starters of soup, blue cheese and leek tart and chicken caesar salad were enjoyed. Though with starters at approx 10€ and mains at around 14€, I think the much larger mains are better value. The drinks (non alcoholic) really added to the bill. A resolution to stick to tap water only might be in order.

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Wicklow Heather
Laragh, Glendalough, Wicklow

Wicklow Heather definitely have a winning formula here. They manage to achieve a delicate balance meeting the requirements of locals and tourists alike. Our French visitors were enchanted with the decor.This is their idea of a real Irish pub. And there is a very loyal local clientele here. Food is so important to the French that I was nervous as to how they would rate their meal. I was especially apprehensive when one of them ordered a rabbit dish. But I needn't have worried. She reported it was delicious and everyone was equally happy with their choices. The portions are definitely farmer’s portions –probably much appreciated by hillwalker’s dropping in. . The service is exceptionally friendly.

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The French Paradox Wine Shop & Wine Bar
53 Shelbourne Road, Dublin 4, Ballsbridge, Dublin

I am so impressed with the team at French Paradox for accomodating my flight of fancy on Saturday morning. They were so accomodating that I fear I may have inadvertently eaten the staff's breakfast. Convinced I had read somewhere that FP now do breakfast, we landed in before noon. We were kindly told they didn't do breakfast but to sit ourselves down and they'd look after us. They magiced up fluffy croissants, pain au chocolats and such good coffee. Some of the other nice touches included: -they promoted their neighbour 2 doors down, who apparently does great breakfasts, -they preempted that a bottle of tap water would go down a treat with the coffee. -as always, they listened attentively to customers and gave spot-on wine recommendations. Excellent service like that is win-win for everyone. We went in for a croissant and came out after a lovely breakfast & laden down with wine, saucisson and bread.

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Chakra by Jaipur
1st Floor, Meridian Point, Church Road, Greystones, Wicklow

Maybe because so many people had raved about here, my expectations were too high going in. It wasn't to the standard I expected and I found it pricey for today's economic climate. We paid €50 per head, excluding service, for 2 courses, a beer and coffee per person. The service was impeccable, very friendly and discreet. The decor was lovely-soothing, Autumnal colours though I think the room seems very big and might be cold or empty on quieter days. There were 6 of us, each making different choices so we sampled a good selection of the menu. The starters I felt were the stars of the meal. My scallops with cauliflower were delicious. The main course portions were generous but lacked finesse and seemed clunky. For example my husband's duck didn't look appetising -just a lump of duck dumped on the plate. In Chakra's defence, maybe it just didn't work for me. I know people travel specially from Dublin to dine here, they have loyal repeat business and my sister who dined there last week couldn't praise it highly enough

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Milano (Dundrum)
Dundrum Shopping Centre, Dublin 14, Dundrum, Dublin

Sunday lunch with friends sitting outside in the sun here was so enjoyable. Our waiter couldn't have been more accomodating. The menu is extensive so everyone in the group was happy with their varied choices. I also like that they are innovative with their menu, it's constantly evolving and keeping things interesting for regulars. And it still manages to keep the right amount of old favourites. The highlight of my meal was the excellent idea of 'dolcetti-...selection of small but perfectly formed desserts. Served with coffee'. So you get something sweet without pigging out on a full dessert. I had the delicious chocolate one. So good I would even contemplate just popping in for a dolcetti to revive me in between shopping!

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L'Officina by Dunne & Crescenzi (Kildare)
Kildare Chic Outlet Shopping Village, Kildare, Kildare Town, Kildare

I like the buzzy atmosphere here but it annoyed me to see the wait staff jostling to try to establish the pecking order among each other in front of diners. Granted, it was a busy Saturday afternoon but they weren't pleasant at all which I think is unacceptable. The food was really good. I love menus where there are many choices tempting you. I went with the green pasta and salmon dish. Fresh, tasty ingredients and a really generous portion. My husband had lasagne and it looked so good I would have happily swiped it. Really good food as always but they need to revisit the idea of customer service.

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Gourmet Burger Kitchen (GBK South Anne Street)
5 South Anne Street, Dublin 2, City Centre South, Dublin

The glorious sunshine on Saturday probably added to the feel good atmosphere everywhere in town. I had the small garlic mayonnaise burger which was a perfect portion for lunch. My sister's Mexican burger was demolished as quickly. They were delicious, all ingredients tasted so fresh and we got the impression had just been assembled- no wilting lettuce or sogginess in sight. We also enjoyed the onion rings and home slaw. Usually I can't stand onion rings but these seemed less artificial than most and the onions were clearly visible. The homeslaw was just like Irish Mammies would make. The restaurant had a casual, laid back vibe. And the value is excellent. Definitely the place to go when you get a burger craving

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Dalis
63/65 Main Street, Blackrock, Blackrock, Dublin

The decor hasn't been given much thought. The noise level was just right-pleasant hum of other diners but not a loud din like in so many other places. Music choices were excellent-laid back French music is the background-again,pleasant-not overbearing. Waiter and service were professional. I really appreciated that he asked did we want tap water instead of the usual push for bottled. Another nice touch was again there were no snooty looks that we were driving and not having wine. The will get repeat customers this way-welcoming everyone -whether it's for a quick bite or more of a blow out meal. The food was above average-the chefs interest and innovation shines through. Same ingredients as on most menus but put together in really clever ways. Plate presentation was also flawless-another sign that the kitchen are passionate about what they do. My starter of parma ham and cheese was cutely presented on mini chopping boards.You can chose from a la carte or the menus-2 courses, tea and coffee for €23 or 3 courses, tea & coffee for €26. I would return

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Woods Restaurant - Closed
Main Street, Roundwood, Wicklow

8 of us from my fussy family tried out Woods. We were so impressed that we are hoping to book again next Saturday. They definitely seem to be getting their act together regarding some of the teething problems previously mentioned. Our waiter couldn't have tried harder. As for the bread, there was no problem asking to keep it throughout the meal. The accompanying tapenade was delicious. Most of our party had main courses and desserts. Thankfully we didn't have starters too as the portions are huge. I think that will go down well with the local,rural community. 7 of the 8 of us opted for steak and noticed that most of the customers seemed to do the same. Which is great because the steak, no matter which way we ordered it cooked, was tender and devoured by all. But the pity is that being tempted by the steak prevented us trying things from the vast daily specials side of the menu. I hope that's not a risk- that if everyone plumps for steak that the chefs will stop trying with the specials which looked really interesting. Back to the steak: it was accompanied by mushrooms, onions and a generous portion of delicious chips per person. I love restaurants that don't charge for side dishes.There were also extra dishes of veg served for the table.1 of us had foie gras, the brioche served with it looked fluffy and delicious, the overall verdict was only ok. The one who dared not to have steak had sea bass and thoroughly enjoyed it. Somehow we made room for dessert. Most had warm chocolate pudding which needed 15 minutes and was worth the wait. I was disappointed when I saw my rhubarb crumble and cream coming because it looked like cream from a can and a tiny portion. But I was wrong & the waiter was mortified I thought it wasn't real cream. Sorbet got thumbs up too. Coffee could be improved. Seats were really comfy. Bill for enormous, tasty dinner +wine, beer, coffee and desserts was €45 pp. I think they also have value menus for approx 25€. We will definitely return

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Toscana (Dun Laoghaire)
5 Windsor Terrace, South Co. Dublin , Dun Laoghaire, Dublin

My vegetarian friend suggested we go back to Toscana's the last time we had a girl's night. The restaurant's sea front setting is very special. Even though the bay window table wasn't free, all upstairs diners get a wonderful view of the inky sea across the road. You feel you're on holidays the minute you walk in the door. It was busy early on a Tuesday evening which was great to see. I get the feeling that Toscana has a loyal, regular clientele. Toscana gets the stamp of approval from my vegetarian friend because there is such a wide variety of dishes to choose from on the menu. Faced with such choice, I took the easy way out and had a pizza. It was delicious with a thin base and fresh flavoursome toppings. Our other friend has that night's special - a pasta dish with asparagus. It looked so good, I was envious I hadn't chosen it myself. Croquante is our favourite dessert here.The menu describes it as vanilla ice cream with a meringue centre coated in caramelised hazelnuts. The banoffi is yummy here too and the coffees are also good. Dinner worked out at approx €14 each, in perfect sea side surroundings.

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The Stillorgan Orchard
1 The Hill, Stillorgan, Stillorgan, Dublin

The 3 things that impressed me most on our visit here, before heading to the cinema for SATC2 were: -the Sex and The Orchard Promotion of Cosmopolitans for €5.95. An excellent idea to get into the swing of the SATC mania. Who could resist? -Movie Meal and Drink deal for only €19.95 per person. This will bring me back to the Orchard - just phone them in advance, they will book your cinema tickets for you and you pop in to them for the tickets, meal and drink (includes glass of wine or a pint) for just €19.95!! -the service. Our waitress was efficient, patient and unobtrusive. The food is standard pub grub. I think it reminded me of Irish Mammy's food before the Celtic tiger. Comfort food with definite nods to the 80s. A lot of Marie Rose Sauce on the menu. Our party of 5, mainly children of the 80s, had 2 shrimp avocado salads which had copious amount of marie-rose sauce. But there was a full avocado on each plate so the portions were definitely copious too. The stew of the day and cottage pie were also comfort food hits. The chicken tender dish is probably the only one we wouldn't re order. All of the above plus coffees, 2 drinks and 2 cokes came to €80 before service. Definitely a good value option.

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The Restaurant @ Marks and Spencer
Marks and Spencer, Grafton Street, City Centre South, Dublin

So maybe the first gloomy weather in a long time subconsciously affected my opinion of here. The biggest thing going for it is the airy, bright, buzzy (maybe a bit too buzzy) space. I enjoyed looking out at the city centre's rooftops. There's a long menu and even though we arrived at 1pm, not long into lunch time we were repeatedly told what was not on the menu. In exasperation by the time we got to coffee and they told me 'there is no filter coffee today' I was sorely tempted to reply a: What is on the menu today? or b:Do you want me to run down to the basement supermarket and bring some up? So on Sunday there were no fish cakes, none of my husband's original starter choice, and no filter coffee! The table was dirty and no one attempted to wipe it, we were seated directly in front of the kitchen and all the associated clanging that brings. Half way through our meal they squished in another table of 4 practically on top of us. Our party of 4 had the grilled steak baguette, burger and chips, fish and chips, chicken caesar salad, a shrimp starter which seemed to be frozen shrimp, the Eton Mess and selection of desserts plate and four huge coffees. Service was disjointed and disinterested. (in fairness it was busy so maybe they were fed up). There are only 3 good things I can think of: it's an excellent central location looking out at the rooftops, dessert for under 4€ is good value and the assiette de plaisir/selection of desserts on one plate were good.

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L'Officina by Dunne And Crescenzi (Dundrum)
Dundrum Shopping Centre, Dublin 14, Dundrum, Dublin

On Saturday it was lovely to sit outside in the sun and taste the quality and freshness of the food at L'Officina by Dunne and Crescenzi . The staff were accomodating given that it took us so long to air kiss and get settled. They were there when you looked for them, but didn't hover so we could enjoy a relaxed lunch. The tiny tables just outside the door are cramped, the one we got, supposedly for four was really only big enough for 2. We were practically on top of the tables behind and beside us. It doesn't matter how many temptations are on the menu; I can never bring myself to stray from the pear salad. Everyone at our table and the tables around us were enjoying salads and no one was disappointed. Even though I am not a fan of all of the components of the pear one(pear, goats cheese honey, walnuts, bread);I love how they come together in this dish. The girls loved their mozarella and tomato salad and chicken, bacon and cheese salad. Another plus was the salad portions seemed larger than previously. Desserts were the bowl of ice cream and pear tart, both getting the thumbs up. The drinks also have to get a mention because Dunne and Crescenzi is the one of the few places you can get good coffee. Everyone tried a different one and enjoyed them all. And the lemonade and orange by San Pellegrino are a bit more interesting than the usual fizzy orange and lemonade.

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The Garden Cafe @ Avoca Mount Usher Gardens
Mount Usher Gardens, Ashford (off N11), Ashford, Wicklow

The atmosphere here is what has me hooked on the Garden Cafe. Our treat is spending Saturday mornings there spoiling ourselves with breakfast, the papers, and light streaming in the panaromic window. But the other posters are right-these lazy Saturdays come at a price. No matter what way you cut it, it's just not value for money. We have had visitors the last 2 weekends so together we have sampled practically the entire breakfast menu. The pancakes are definitely to be recommended, the portion is large and they are made with blueberries and served with maple syrup & cream. The granola, fruit and yoghurt, again, is a huge portion -tasty but hard work. I like the way the sausage and eggs come with salad and brown bread but I personally find the eggs too wet. The bacon is real, honest- to- goodnes and probably organic. Bacon is one thing I have to confess to preferring the thin and processed version of.The cheese melt bacon dish seems to be a hit, it looks like it would be breakfast, lunch and dinner rolled in 1. I would go back to The Garden Cafe again and again for the coffee and scones, particularly the pear scones. I recommend the breakfast experience at Avoca -just make sure to get there by 12 and bring the Piggy Bank with you

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Pearl Brasserie
20 Merrion Street Upper, Dublin 2, City Centre South, Dublin

My husband's birthday was the special occasion I decided warranted a visit to Pearl. It's one of those places which makes you feel like Royalty from the minute you arrive. And the food & wine....well I'm still thinking about them a week later! We were pleasantly surprised at how full the restaurant was. We were welcomed & shown straight to our table. All of the staff were on top of their game. My husband chose 'Pan-fried Duck Foie Gras-Served on Toasted Brioche with rhubarb & strawberry Compote' to start and enjoyed every morsel of it. I went for the 'Jumbo Tiger Prawn Tempura - Marinated Bean Sprouts & Mild Chili Dressing'. My taste buds appreciated having this different take on how prawns are usually accompanied. Even though the speciality is seafood; we couldn't resist 'Aged Irish Beef -Fillet, braised cheek, celeriac, pickled mushrooms, red wine jus' for main course. It was so tender it fell off the bone & was perfection.Though,in hindsight it probably would have been more appropriate to have gone for a lighter seafood maincourse. Our eyes were definitely bigger than our bellies because we opted for all courses and side dishes like 'belle maman' makes them. And then there were the 3 complimentary mini courses which we had forgotten to anticipate. First was an Asian syle cup of consomme, later came a pallette -cleansing, delicious mango sorbet. Closing the meal we loved the little touch of the melt-in-your-mouth truffles served with coffee. For dessert I couldn't resist the chocolate fondant which had just the right goo-y-ness. Cheri opted for more sorbet, We narrowed the wine list down to 4 choices and took the waiter's advice which one would best compliment our meal. The Vacqueyras was strong enough to accompany our beef but not overpowering. The meal was a total blow-out. Our bill for 2 for all of the above plus water plus 12% service charge was €199.86. I recommend Pearl for a treat and let's face it birthdays only happen once a year.

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