What they're eating in Dublin

Black winter truffle ice cream and lightly-seared Connemara scallops are on the menu in the Irish capital, where beloved dining spots include Michelin-starred The Greenhouse and cosy wine parlour Loose Canon.

By Corinna Hardgrave
Published 28 Jul 2020, 08:00 BST, Updated 6 Nov 2020, 14:22 GMT
Two-Michelin-star The Greenhouse serves black winter truffle ice cream combined with a chocolate crémeux that’s studded ...

Two-Michelin-star The Greenhouse serves black winter truffle ice cream combined with a chocolate crémeux that’s studded with slices of truffle and toasted hazelnut.

Photograph by The Greenhouse

Whether it's artisan cheese toasties, Michelin-starred fine dining or upmarket Indian cuisine, Dublin's food scene is more varied — and exciting — than it's ever been. And while post-lockdown rules for restaurants will certainly shake up service, chefs will still be cooking up a storm. Here are the dishes to seek out when you're next in town.

Connemara scallops at Allta

Having earned his stripes in London, chef Niall Davidson has assembled a crack team at this relaxed yet refined wine bar with food. The bread with shiitake miso butter is much-loved, but the unmissable dish is Connemara scallops. They’re seared lightly and served with a salad of kohlrabi, hazelnut miso and sea herbs, plus gooseberry beurre blanc split with orange butter, and a sauce of preserved squid and onion. allta.ie

Kid goat curry at Pickle

Sunil Ghai is considered by many to be the best Indian chef in Ireland. Layered with spices, his dishes are redolent of the North Indian food he grew up with. Try the signature kid goat curry, spiced with cardamom, chilli powder, mace and fresh fenugreek leaves, cooked slowly with onions, garlic and cloves, and served with a soft maska pao bun. The chef would regularly eat this Punjabi dish on the journey home from his old job at The Oberoi Cecil in Shimla, and he loved it so much be bought the recipe from the cook. picklerestaurant.com

Côte de boeuf at Etto

A compact restaurant with small wooden tables and a bar, Etto is ideal if you want to enjoy a few small plates on your own. It’s one of the best-loved restaurants in Dublin, and a favourite among off-duty chefs. The menu is concise and includes some dishes that will never be dropped, such as mussels with nduja, leek and samphire, and the insanely good Irish dry-aged côte de boeuf for two. The latter is cooked rare and served with a bordelaise sauce and crispy potatoes. etto.ie

Chocolate and winter truffle at The Greenhouse

Two-Michelin-star The Greenhouse has a regularly changing set menu, but among the seasonal specials is a dessert of chocolate and truffles — the kind found on the forest floor. Black winter truffle ice cream is combined with a chocolate crémeux that’s studded with slices of truffle and toasted hazelnut (pictured). There’s also a charcoal and caramel cream emulsion in a gossamer nougatine tube. thegreenhouserestaurant.ie

Cheese toastie at Loose Canon

This artisan cheese and natural wine shop may have just a few stools, but it’s worth securing one in order to try what’s surely the king of cheese toasties. Within slices of local Firehouse Bakery granary bread is a bechamel filling made with a secret mix of Irish cheeses, including mature Derg Farmhouse Cheddar Cheese from Tipperary, and Oak Smoked Gubbeen, which melts into smooth deliciousness. It disappears from the menu after 5.30pm, so get there early. loosecanon.ie ​

Published in Issue 9 (summer 2020) of National Geographic Traveller Food

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