Restaurant Reviews from franp

Status: Connoisseur

Credibility Score:
52.5%

County: Dublin

No. of Reviews: 26

Member Since: 07 July 2007

Last Visit: 28 June 2012

The Best Restaurant

Thornton's Restaurant

1st, The Fitzwilliam Hotel, 128 St Stephen's Green, City Centre South, Dublin, Area Code: Dublin 2

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Cuisine:
European

Price Range:

Good
88 reviews

Reviewed 01st February 2008 ( visited 29th January 2008 )

Epic! Fantastic, modern food cooked by a chef at the top of his game. To start we had a delicious amuse bouche of john dory in a truffle and butter foam sauce-very light but utterly fantastic. For starters I had the quail, gamey and in season, it came spatchcocked and with the legs seperated, fantastically presented. Mains were also delicious-I had venison, perfectly cooked, A had the seabass-the sauce in which it was presented was one of the best I have tasted-full of the flavours of the sea. A delightful palate cleanser of berry and vanilla custard preceeded the cheese board, which was the only slight disappointment of the evening, though it came served with delighful shot glasses of apple juice. Dessert was the amazing blood orange souffle, which the maitre'd cut open and dropped in a delicious orange sorbet. Coffee and petit fours and chocolates followed. The wine selection is good-I like the idea of the sommeliers list, starting at a very reasonable E8 for a glass.
Most Visited Restaurant

La Cave restaurant

28 South Anne Street, Dublin 2, City Centre South, Dublin, Area Code: Dublin 2

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Cuisine:
European

Price Range:

Good
123 reviews

Reviewed 27th July 2007 ( visited 27th July 2007 )

Like an old friend, La Cave can be relied on to deliver at short notice. A fantastic wine selection is also available for those not wanting to dine. I started with the foie gras, perfectly cooked, though the bread was just a bit too chewy for my taste. She had the pate-perfect starter and delicious. My confit of duck was perfect, her corn fed chicken a generous and tasty portion. Finished off with a creme brulee, possibly the only disappointment of the evening. To drink we had a kir cassis each, a fine 2003 burgundy and a dessert wine to finish, all good value (I’d recommend the robust Banyuls as a good alternative to Port).
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Rustic Stone
South George's Street, Dublin, City Centre South, Dublin

A truly tragic dining experience. The service was possibly the worst I have ever experienced in 30 years of dining. I asked the "waiter" for a Kir, he stared blankly for 10 seconds and replied, "if it is not on the menu, then we don't have it". I can understand the relaxed dining concept but at these prices the waiter should at least have some familiarity with what is possibly one of the most common aperatifs known to humankind. The food was mediocre ( and I am being charitable) The entrees were bland and pedestrian, prawn and avocado may have well have been produced in a canteen circa 1979, the fish was fine, but the sides were tasty but poor value, and we were told we would have to pay for a basket of bread, a nonsense in any restaurant in this day and age. Coats were not taken and my prosecco was spilt, no offer of a top up. There are far better value restaurants out there

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Coppinger Row
Coppinger Row, off South William St, Dublin 2, City Centre South, Dublin

I like the idea of this place, it is nicely infomal, bistro-like. The room is airy and comfortable anough. However like the other reviewers, the food just isn't quite up to scratch-While my terrine starter was delicious, there was no bread acompanying it. I plumped for the liver mains-It just doesnt work as a dish-The liver was cooked perfectly and was tender and sweet, but the salad was just too dry and bland, maybe something sharp to offset the sweet liver was needed. The beans were also too dry and over-cooked. U had the piri piri chicken, which , while well spiced lacked a certain oomph. Service was slightly haphazard, and perhaps understaffed, as it was busy Perhaps these are teeting problems, but it will be a while before I venture back

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Pichet
14/15 Trinity Street, Dublin , City Centre South, Dublin

Nice addition to Dublin-This relaxed bistro-style restaurant provides pretty good value. The room is airy and informal, and if you are lucky with the weather a decent outdoor area exists. Had the lunch menu-Black pudding and "suckling pig" was very good. Mains was the shoulder of lamb hotpot-Potatoe was excellent though tha lamb was slightly underseasoned. Desert was a delighful white chocolate cheesecake I like the idea of the pichets-a feature of many french bistros-the selection is also good and reasonaby priced, i will be back

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Marco Pierre White Steakhouse & Grill
51 Dawson Street, Dublin 2, Dawson Street, Dublin

I normally wouldn't go for steak in a restaurant, but I was passing buy and felt peckish so myself and the wife went for a mains only. Nothing too much to gripe about really-everything foodwise was just ok. The steaks were cooked exactly as ordered in fialrness, and the accompanying Bernaise and pepper sauces were adequate, the the fillets were definitely too thing for the price. Service was good and friendly though, and never rushed-perhaps a drop in price may tempt me back

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Dax Restaurant
23 Upper Pembroke Street, Dublin 2, City Centre South, Dublin

Overall one of the better dining experiences in Dublin. Only real quibble was the amount of tables crammed together. We were given a tasy amuse-bouche of terrine with chorizo, server with very fresh bread and pesto. For starters we had a roquefort ravioli and walnut sald, the pasta was perfect as was a light gdressing which allowed the powerful cheese to come through. For mains I plumped for the squab pidgeon rossinin with truffle mash-I delicious dish ( though very rich!) perfectly seasoned and the meat pink and tender. A had Cod, also extremely well done, the fish fresh and flaky. Couldn't manage desert after so we had to very nice espressos. Wine was an excellent Crozes Hermitage "equinox" Service in this restaurant is top class, professional and efficient, definitley to be recommended

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Buenos Aires Grill
Unit 2 Castle Way, Golden Lane, Dublin 2, City Centre South, Dublin

Busy and buzzing, the decor is comfortable, though the lighting a bit too bright. The menu is quite large offering meat and fish aplenty. Had a well balanced kir as an aperatif, with just the right amount of cassis. I started with oysters, nice and fresh, though only served with lemon wedges-a vinaigrette would have been nice-A had the asparagus which was judged very nice. As this an Argentinian style grill, we both went for the steak options-I had fillet and A had rib-eye, both cooked medium rare as ordered, both generous in size and very nicely tasting-you can have a variety of suaces/butters to go with these.. Sides included a tasty potato gratin and grilled veg. We finished with an all Irish cheeseboard which featured more obscure irish cheeses and was good, if a bit small for two to share. There is a pretty good selection of affordable wines, and is worth exploring the new world options. I would have scored higher, but the service was terrible-Plates whisked away even though our cutlery was in the "do not move" position-completely over attentive and so disturbing the flow of conversation-Disgracefully the wine was poured to a finish in one glass without any being offered to my dining partner-we felt we were being rushed and this left a sour taste overall

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Luigi Malones Restaurant
5/6 Cecilia Street, Dublin 2 , City Centre, Temple Bar, Dublin

Overall a rather mediocre dinig experience. We booked here for our xmas party for 7.30-Even though we arrived on time we waited 30 mins for our table-I can understand different sittings in an evening, but we were asked to vacate by 9.30 food was bland-my calamari starters were cold and rubbery, though the onion soup was a success-Mains were nothing special-the place was so busy that scant attention seemed to be paid to the food-Service was effeciant, and as a plus the house wines are quite good-perhaps if they concentrated less on getting customers in and out and more on the food the experince would have been better

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Gourmet Burger Kitchen (GBK Temple Bar)
Unit 1, Temple Bar Square, Dublin 2 , Temple Bar, Dublin

A very underwhelming experience-The decor and lighting is too coldand clinical, more resembling a dentists than a burger joint. The range of burgers is good, but the prep and execution was just wrong, the cheeseburger could be got in any of the "gourmet" burger establishments that have popped up all over the place. Chips were lukewarm at best a big no-no.

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VnV at the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel
Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Golden Lane, Dublin 2, City Centre South, Dublin

Like other reviewers I found this more by chance than anything else, and the place quite empty, which marks down the atmosphere, although the seating is comfortable. However I was very pleasantly surprised by a very good meal for 2, and very good service. Starters were oysters, very fresh served with condiments, of which the sherry vinegar and shallot was tastiest. Ash had a rich fois gras terrine served with fig. Mains were steak and confit of duck, both cooked as requested-though they should not have charged extra for chips with steak frites! Desert of creme brulee and a stomach busting nougatine finished off the meal nicely. W also had 2 kir as an appetiser, slightly too sweet for my taste, and a rather tastY Gicondas which grew as the meal progressed-I think I'll be back

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The Old Stand
37 Exchequer Street, City Centre South, Dublin

Poor food and poor value-I had the smoked salmon salad-At 10 euro's you would expect more than 2 slices of salmon, the lemon wasn't freshly cut and the salad dressing came out of a bottle. my partner had not even finished when the waitress tried to take the plate away! Not recommended and I won't be back

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Fallon and Byrne
11-17 Exchequer Street, Dublin 2, City Centre South, Dublin

Booked here for 4 at short notice and were accomodated. The dining space is nice, airy and spacious. I had 6 oysters to start, they came with a fine vinaigrette, though could have perhaps been a tad fresher. Others ate soup, prononced very tastey and the terrine, also a success. I was with steak eaters so they all went for the Aberdeen Angus option, all deemed excellent. My venison was perfectly cooked, quite rare in the middle, but full of flavour. Desserts were very good. The wine list is excellent and varied, though only letdown was the coffee and the rather stingy one slice of bread, the basket disappeared with the remains of the 1st course!

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The Winding Stair Restaurant
40 Lower Ormond Quay, Dublin 1 , City Centre North, Dublin

Perhaps the best value restaurant in town, this place lacks the pretensions and serves much better food than many more, pricier establishments. The place resembles those great value restaurants you can find all over Europe. The place itself is comfortable, buzzy and light, with a nice view onto the quays. I started with a delightful duck liver pate, server with nice bitter greens which off-set the sweetness of the pate and compote, though I found the bread perhaps too heavy, a crusty warm baguette may have been better, though this is a minor quibble. AS had a light beetroot salad. For mains I chose the duck, perfectly cooked and with a nice jus and champ. AS had a steak cooked the right side of medium rare.

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Elephant & Castle
18/19 Temple Bar, Dublin 2, City Centre South, Dublin

Handy spot for a work/casual lunch-The place has a good atmosphere and is usually crowded at lunch, and all afternoon during the weekend. I shared the chicken wings as a starter, and like other reviewers found them to be excellent, the sauce is piquant and the portions are very generous. The burger (plain with cheese) was less successful, I asked for it well done, but it was medium rare, and the bottom bun was literally dripping in oil, though the chips were spot on

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Acapulco Restaurant
7 South Great Georges Street, Dublin 2 , City Centre South, Dublin

I'm a bit suspicious of the amount of newbie/1st timer reviews giving this place 5 star reviews-this is most emphatically NOT a 5 star restaurant. The food is unimaginative, bog standard tex-mex. I had a meal here which could only be charitably described as bland in the extreme-stodgy mains of fajitas, how can you go wrong with such as simple dish? Nachos-well yes they were ok, but nothing I couldn't do myself for better. The side of refried beans was possibly the worst dish I have ever eaten.

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TriBeCa
65 Ranelagh Village, Dublin 6, Ranelagh, Dublin

A busy cafe in Ranelagh, Tribeca can be busy especially lunchtime at the weekends. Popped in for a lunch here and, while the menu is not exactly groundbreaking, it can provide better value for money than some of the other cafes/bars/restaurants in the area. I plumped for mains of steak and chips. I asked for it to be cooked rare and it was-chips were only ok, though the side salad was nice, the vinaigrette was nice and mustardy, a change from over-sweet or over-tart dressings too common elsewhere. M had the Red mullet-fresh and pronounced to be very tasty. I had a half Côtes du Rhone A.C., Domaine Martin 2001, very nice, and good value at 11.95. The half white of Gerwurtzraminer, A.C., André Kientzler 2000 is best avoided, it tasted as if sugar had been added by the tablespoonful! Service was quite slow, but to be fair the place was packed. The owners have recently established a decent wine bar upstairs, which is well worth a visit.

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Bar Italia
26 Blooms Lane , Lower Ormond Quay, City Centre North, Italian Quarter, Dublin

Waited far too long for service for food, though when service appeared it was fairly competent. Foodwise this was a diappointment. My starter of antipasto miso was ok, nice portions, but lacking a certain oompf. Mains were awful-I had tagliatelli with crab which was miserably over salted-the crab couldn't have been fresh it was so bland. My friend had a risotto also oversalted, and it looked as it had been sitting under a hot-light half the night. Wine was pretty good, and there are some nice bottles around the 25-35 mark

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Thornton's Restaurant
1st, The Fitzwilliam Hotel, 128 St Stephen's Green, City Centre South, Dublin

Epic! Fantastic, modern food cooked by a chef at the top of his game. To start we had a delicious amuse bouche of john dory in a truffle and butter foam sauce-very light but utterly fantastic. For starters I had the quail, gamey and in season, it came spatchcocked and with the legs seperated, fantastically presented. Mains were also delicious-I had venison, perfectly cooked, A had the seabass-the sauce in which it was presented was one of the best I have tasted-full of the flavours of the sea. A delightful palate cleanser of berry and vanilla custard preceeded the cheese board, which was the only slight disappointment of the evening, though it came served with delighful shot glasses of apple juice. Dessert was the amazing blood orange souffle, which the maitre'd cut open and dropped in a delicious orange sorbet. Coffee and petit fours and chocolates followed. The wine selection is good-I like the idea of the sommeliers list, starting at a very reasonable E8 for a glass.

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Mao Restaurant (Dundrum)
Dundrum Town Centre, Dublin 14, Dundrum, Dublin

A truly awful meal. The starter soup was drowned in coconut, little or no flavour of chilli or chicken. My mains was unspeakably bad - 5 spice flavoured chicken... Lacked any flavour whatsoever. The noodles on which this sorry mess was bedded upon ranged from burnt to soggy, and was stodgy and bland.

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El Bahia Moroccan Restaurant
37 Wicklow Street, Dublin 2, City Centre South, Dublin

A group of us went here for a birthday, and generally enjoyed it. We had a side room decorated as a bedouin tent which gave our party a nice degree of privacy. I see there are some complaints about slow service, but to be fair service was excellent throughout. The food itself is fine - there is quite a large selection of typically north African dishes for starters and mains. Be warned though, all helpings are very generous! I started with mergues, the spicy sausage in tomato - generously spiced, but not hot, washed down with a nice beer. Sadly the starters of sardine were off. For mains I had lamb couscous - again nicely spiced, though perhaps the meat could have had slightly longer stewing time. I also sampled my friends delicously spicy swordfish - very hot! To drink we had a very oaky cabernet sauvignon, the wine selection could perhaps be more adventurous! We had some nice strong coffee flavoured with cardamon and a birthday cake. The bill came to E65 a head, which included a lot of drink, so overall good value. Only real downside - more toilets are needed, especially for the ladies as there was a queue outside them most of the evening

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Patrick Guilbaud
21 Upper Merrion Street, Dublin, City Centre South, Dublin

Once again, a superlative dining experience. 8 of us dined there for a special occasion. Upon arrival we were warmly greeted by the Maire'd, and offered some delicious nibbles and drinks while we chose our food. For starters I had a fabulous Fois-Gras, complimented by a delightful wine. Ash had the lobster ravioli, also delightful. ( note, we asked the sommelier to pick our wines within a certain price range and he did a fantastic job, his 2004 cotes de nuit was sublime and inspired choice, which improved as the wine aerated) We were then treated to an amuse bouche, which was crab and ginger in a shot glass- a fine palate cleanser, and a flavour of the far east. For mains I plumped for the Pigeon, it arrived spatchcocked and perfectly cooked, beautifully gamey and seasonal. Ash had venison, a perfect seasonal dish, cooked tenderly. We had another amuse bouche containing gin which was a foodie deconstruction of a G&T (I think!) A fine cheese selection and then a chocolate dessert to finish left me VERY satisfied. Throughout, service was impeccable and unobtrusive-a nice selection of bread was always available (other restaurants take note please, this is lacking badly in this country, and of course the impeccable host Mr Guilbaud working the room! The decor has been done up here and has refreshed the place-can 3 stars be far behind?

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Buswells Hotel
Buswells Hotel, Molesworth Street, Dublin 2, City Centre South, Dublin

I went here on the recommendation of the previous review and enjoyed this. The Room is comfortable, large tables and chairs and linen napkins, though they should lose the awfull hotel-style muzak in the background! Service is excellent - not at all obtrusive and a friendly maitre'd. I had mussels Thai style to start, a generous portion,though a bit more chilli would have been excellent. She had a very nice terrine, with asparagus in a subtle sauce. For mains I plumped for the Pork - a loin and belly cooked perfectly, the meat very sweet and tender, although I found the puy lentil accompaniment slightly dry and unneccessary. She had the chicken - also perfectly cooked, just the right side of moist, accompanied by some gratin. Both portions were also generous. To finish we shared a delicious creme brulee with an almond biscuit. Also worth noting was the supply of bread, something not often seen in Ireland. The wine list wasn't too inspiring, though you can splash out on a few greats, we went for a 2004 fleurie at E29. Overall very pleasant a very unrushed meal

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The Cedar Tree
11a St Andrews Street, Dublin 2, City Centre South, Dublin

Like many of the other reviewers, this place is a regular of mine. I always enjoy the atmosphere and friendly staff here. The food is genuinely Lebanese, and very tasty. It is also worth splashing out on the Lebanese wine - a rich spicy number which compliments the food perfectly. I started with Sujok - delicately flavoured sausages in a tomato, onion and wine sauce, which were mopped up with perfect bread. My generous main was home made shwarma - spicy, but not hot, beef served with rice. If you want a side order, you have to sample the spiced potato - perfectly fried spuds whose delicious garlic and lemon flavour is worth the trip to the restaurant alone! This place also offers one of the best value early bird menus in Dublin, though you will need to get there early as the place fills very quickly

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Montys of Kathmandu
28 Eustace Street, Dublin 2, City Centre South, Dublin

Monty's provides a good quality meal-the room can be very crowded as the tables are close together. I went with a party of 10 and all came away satisfied. Some condiments arrived-a delicious spicy sauce, an onion mixture and a cooling mint yoghurt sauce, we dipped eagerly into these with poppadums. For my starter I chose the chicken chatta mari-delicious chunks of chicken medium spiced. This was the highlight for me. For my mains I had lamb ledo bedo-a curry for which I opted for the hot version. Again this was very tasty (and by the way the portions are generous, so sharing main courses between diners is a great way to taste different dishes). With several bottles of wine and beer, and coffees the bill came to a very reasonable 45 Euro a head.

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Captain America's Cookhouse And Bar
44 Grafton Street, Dublin 2, City Centre South, Dublin

Wandering down a washed out Grafton Street on a dismal summer day, myself and A spotted Capt. Americas and decided to drop in for a bit of lunch. This was the first time I'd been here in over 20 years, and I’m glad to say the place hadn't changed for me-with the exception I can now sample one of their excellent cocktails. The food is as you would expect-American diner style, with American sized portions-generous and tasty. A started with a delicious milkshake. We both plumped for the burgers and fries and a side salad. The burgers were cooked perfectly, generously smothered in Monterey Jack cheese in floury baps. Fries could have been just a bit hotter, but that is a minor quibble. Service was efficient and friendly. This is a great place to bring kids, and offers better value in terms of tastier food and better portions than the multinational burger joints-It is also family friendly.

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La Cave
28 South Anne Street, Dublin 2, City Centre South, Dublin

Like an old friend, La Cave can be relied on to deliver at short notice. A fantastic wine selection is also available for those not wanting to dine. I started with the foie gras, perfectly cooked, though the bread was just a bit too chewy for my taste. She had the pate-perfect starter and delicious. My confit of duck was perfect, her corn fed chicken a generous and tasty portion. Finished off with a creme brulee, possibly the only disappointment of the evening. To drink we had a kir cassis each, a fine 2003 burgundy and a dessert wine to finish, all good value (I’d recommend the robust Banyuls as a good alternative to Port).

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The Dining Room
35 Dawson Street, City Centre South, Dublin

A large group of us ate here for a birthday recently. The ante-room and dining area are very attractive, somewhat reminiscent of a grand brasserie you would see in Paris. I have to say that while the food was pretty ok, the service was appalling. 2 of our group did not receive their mains until the rest had nearly finished theirs. In fairness these dishes were comp-ed.

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