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    Originally posted by Hitchhiker's Guide To... View Post
    I'm too long in France to be reading this and thinking: wow, he was able to eat before 7:30pm and on a Sunday! Kebab shops and McDonalds are the only thing ever opened here before 7:30, and on Sundays even the kebab shops will take the day off.
    Yeah, I remember years ago in Paris visiting a mate for a long weekend and on the Sunday I got up early and went out to get stuff for breakfast, thought it would be nice for everyone else in the gaff to wake up to it as they had put me up for the weekend.

    Everywhere was fucking closed, must have walked around for almost an hour before I managed to find one or two really small places open where I was able to cobble together all the required items for breakfast, fuck me it was painful.

    Comment


      Restaurant: Liath (Formerly Heron & Grey)

      Address : Blackrock Market

      Price : €€

      It's weird how fast time flies, but it's been just over two years since I've eaten in Heron & Grey.

      It doesn't feel that long but in that time, the partnership has split up, the restaurant has closed and reopened, it's been renamed Liath, they've had a major renovation and have had their Michelin Star automatically reinstated.

      I haven't got to see the renovations in person and it could be a while before that happens due to the current circumstances but tonight I got to eat their food in an unorthodox method.

      Liath has started to do Liathtogo, a service where you can collect a three course meal that with a little bit of assembling and cooking at home (full instructions given) you can have three of their courses from some of their tasting menus. The price comes in at 33 quid a head which overall is a fairly reasonable price.

      The starter was Smoked Eel, Baby Gem, Aged Parmesan and was all just assembly. You had to marinate the shallots, quenelle the smoked eel paste and lash all the ingredients together. You then use baby gem lettuce, lightly salted, as your taco to put it all together before shoving it in your gob. It was really rich and the baby gem taco idea is pure genius.

      This is how it looked before we put it into the baby gem lettuce.

      SPOILER



      The main was Beef Ragu Ravioli, Pancetta, Black Truffle.

      There was slightly more work to this course whereby you had to fry off the pancetta, add in a sauce to it, heat up some cep paste, boil the ravioli and then plate it up.

      I thought that I had made a mess of it and split the sauce but upon sticking it up on Instagram (The best looking plate wins a free meal for two), Liath responded to say, that's actually exactly how it's meant to look (I read instructions good). It tasted deeeelsih.

      SPOILER


      For desert, it was Rose Panacotta, Rhubarb, Amaretti Crumble

      This was the simpliest of all courses and again was just assembly although getting the panacotta out of the tub was a slightly delicate process.

      It looked and tasted great.

      SPOILER


      We washed the whole meal down with a decent bottle of plonk from Bordeaux.

      I'm not going to lie to you, I've had worse Thursdays nights.

      Comment


        Lockdown has had a fairly dramatic impact on this thread but lockdown or not, Mrs Lao Lao's birthday still comes around once a year so I booked us into Volpe Nera for a 9pm sitting on Saturday night last week.

        Owned by Barry Sun, former head chef at Etto, I was really looking forward to it only for the Government to announce the night before that all indoor dining was off the table effective from midnight. I tried to call them to confirm the reservation was gone on Friday night but the phone rang out so I presumed it was definitely gone but my pessimism was unfounded as I got a call early Saturday morning to let me know that they had some outdoor tables and if we were willing to bring the booking forward by an hour, they could accommodate us - We didn't need to be asked twice!

        The only thing different this year was no that we couldn't go for a pre dinner drink. I know, I know, the horror of it all, but when going out to dinner, I like to make a bit of an event out of it. Pre dinner drinks, dinner and then a nightcap somewhere. With the Vid in full flow and level 3 restrictions in place, we had to settle for a home poured G&T while getting ready and then it was masks on for the short taxi trip out to Blackrock.

        When we arrived, there was only three table outside and all were full which seemed odd but we were quickly led two doors down the road to the Wishing Well Pub where they had the exact same set up as outside Volpe Nera & another 4 tables. It was a really nice space. There was an awning over us, outdoor heaters, and a glass partition with hedging to separate us from the path, we could have been on holiday somewhere hot! We asked the waiter how they had secured this space and it turns out that their restaurant building is owned by the Wishing Well so it made sense to all parties involved to keep the restaurant open as much as possible.

        Onto the food - We started off with some bites of Homemade Bread with Cep Mushroom Butter & Salted Hake & Preserved Lemon Croquette. The bread was fresh, warm and lovely and the croquettes were delightful bite sized morsels of goodness. There was only one each, which was a shame as I could easily have eaten half a dozen of them. We washed the bites down with a glasses of Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire Valley each.

        Starters consisted of Mushroom Dumpling, Pickled Fennel, Lovage, Aged Soya for herself and Halibut Crudo, Fermented Radish, Black Sesame, Corriander for myself. Now, I absolutely love dumplings, albeit I would normally eat the Asian version of them so when I saw them on the menu, I was intrigued and was going to opt for them but Mrs Lao Lao had similar thoughts and being the ultimate gentleman, I pretended not to be too pushed about them. It turns out, my chivalry was rewarded as I most definitely got the better of the starters. I had one of the dumplings and they were nice but just a little something missing from them, bland is far to harsh a word but they just weren't something you'd rave about. My starter, however, was light, fresh, vibrant and really was delish. We opted to have another glass of Sav Blanc each with starters.

        For main, we both opted for Suckling Pig, Morcilla, Braised Endive, Romesco (my chivalry has limits) and we shared a side portion of Beef dripping hash potato. I very much enjoyed the main, especially the morcilla which is a Spanish blood sausage (their version of black pudding ) - There was only a small piece of it but it was lovely. The main was washed down with a bottle of a 2016 Torbreck (Shiraz, Grenache & Mouvedre) which was fantastic, even if it was a little pricey at €84. I had bought some Torbreck many years ago but sadly drank my last bottle about a year ago so was very happy to see it on the menu.

        For dessert, we deiced to share a sweet option of Warm Chocolate Mousse, Fig Leaf Ice-Cream which was lovely followed by a cheese board which we again shared as we polished off the last bit of the Torbreck.

        Overall, it was a very pleasant evening in a very nice, albeit, last minute set up. Kudos to the staff of Volpe Nero for puling it all off, they were very friendly and attentive throughout but in a relaxed manner. Barry, himself, stopped by our table during the meal to make sure everything was OK which it most certainly was. Total bill was €241 and with tip, it was rounded up to €276.

        From there, there was nothing else to do other than to head for home, break out the good gin, lash on a load of vinyl and dance our little cotton socks off into the early hours of the morning. I mean, what's a birthday without dancing?


        Comment


          While I'm in this thread, what are peoples opinion on the annual HHE dinner in January?

          A) Too far away to decide
          B) Sure it'll be grand by then
          C) I've no intention of hanging out with a bunch of degenerates during a pandemic
          D) Atari Jaguar

          Comment


            Restaurant: Mae

            Address : 53 Shelbourne Road, Ballsbridge

            Price : €€

            Mae, named after her grandmother, is the new restaurant from Grainne O'Keefe, formerly of Clanbrassil House. Opened in mid August, they sold out for three months solid in a few hours. As such, I was very happy to nab a table of four for last Thursday night.

            Our guests, were one of Mrs Lao Lao's mates and her fella, a couple who are into their food and wine and always up for a bit of craic so it promised to be a good night and it didn't disappoint. We met up in The Bridge for a few pre dinner G&T's and as an aside, I was somewhat surprised at the price they were charging for their wine. €60 for a bottle of bog standard Sav Blanc that you could get at retail for under twenty quid. I say somewhat surprised but when based on the area and the clientele, I'm not really surprised at all, just more surprised that people actually pay it.

            Anyway, onto the restaurant. Mae is located in the old French Paradox. That restaurant is gone but the wine shop of the same name is downstairs and they apparently have helped out in the curating of the wine list. Structurally, the restaurant is the same as before but it's being given a face lift and is a lot more fresh and light. The kitchen is completely open and our table was situated right beside it, so a perfect view of what was going on if you wanted.

            They offer a set menu for €60 and for me, it was excellent value.

            After some bread and butter, our first course arrived, a trio of small bites;

            A basque ham and gruyere bon bon which was delish - Literally couldn't have eaten loads of these and been happy

            Brioche, Chicken Liver and fig - Exactly what it says, was lovely

            Beetroot, goats cheese, pickled walnut - Served in a wafer thin edible basket - 3 for 3 so far

            Next course was Cais na tire agnolotti, artichoke, leek - A beautiful, creamy, cheesy, pasta dish. I was tempted to pick up the plate and lick it clean.

            For main you had an option, either

            Beef Rib, braised beef cheek, morels, celeriac, tarragon suace

            Or

            Cod, black Garlic, beurre blanc, seaweed

            3 of us went with the beef and Mrs Lao Lao went with the Cod - The beef cheek was absolutely melt in your mouth, really, really good. The Cod was apparently also very good, I wasn't so much as offered a bite which says it all.

            Dessert was apple tart tatin, calvados, creme fraiche - This was just devine. My only tiny complaint was that the portion was too small but that was probably more to me being a complete glutton than anything else.

            There was an additional option course for an extra €5 of young buck, pear chutney which we happily opted for to round out the meal.

            Mae have two options for matching wines (at two different price points) to go with the set menu and both looked to be very good value but we opted to stick to the one wine (and plenty of it) as we worked our way through four bottles of Chateau Martinet.

            By the end of the night, we were the last to leave and Grainne came over and chatted to us about how it was going so far and if we enjoyed the meal. She chatted to us for a good 10 minutes and it was great to talk through some of the dishes with her. She mentioned that the Michelin inspectors had been in already. I'm open to correction on this, but I think her price point is too high for a bid so wonder if there is any chance of a star. As good as it was, and it was really, really, really good, I would have thought it's not there, not yet at least, but what do I know.

            The final price, is well, kinda unknown. One of the other couple somehow managed to discretely pay for the entire meal with the other three of us not even noticing. I'm pretty sure that the wine was €55 a bottle so for food, wine, water and tip, I reckon the bill came just shy of 600 quid. The wine, like the food, was very good value, I'm pretty sure, it retails for close to €30. The Bridge could learn a thing or two from Mae.

            I think I could be on to a winning idea here - Book a nice restaurant, invite people to come with you and then they pay at the end*

            *just joking, we shipped half of what we thought the bill was to the other couple as that is too much for people to be paying.

            Comment


              I wonder if the €60 for a bottle of €20 wine thing, outside of restaurants, will seem far too odd for a while as everyone is acutely aware that it's almost as easy to have a pre bottle at home as to go out for one.
              "We're not f*cking Burundi" - Big Phil

              Comment


                The whole sneaking off and paying bill gig seems to have reappeared so. Only 2 of the meals I've had in the last few months were split. Different people ran off to pay the bill as soon as dessert/coffee arrived across multiple outings.

                I'd only seen this a handful of times in the past but it seems the novelty of dining out has made it popular again.I thought it was only happening to me. The good thing though is that most people seem to have revolut and if their number is saved as a contact on your phone, it's easy to send them a few quid.

                Comment


                  Originally posted by coillcam View Post
                  The whole sneaking off and paying bill gig seems to have reappeared so. Only 2 of the meals I've had in the last few months were split. Different people ran off to pay the bill as soon as dessert/coffee arrived across multiple outings.

                  I'd only seen this a handful of times in the past but it seems the novelty of dining out has made it popular again.I thought it was only happening to me. The good thing though is that most people seem to have revolut and if their number is saved as a contact on your phone, it's easy to send them a few quid.
                  My Brother in Law took this to a new level in Donegal recently. Two families out for dinner and I went up to the register while people were finishing up, asked for the bill.

                  "oh no, that's already been paid"

                  Turns out he had given them his credit card as soon as he arrived and told them he was paying. So if you do want to get into competitive bill-paying, that's probably the way to go.
                  "We are not Europeans. Those people on the continent are freaks."

                  Comment


                    Any of ye bill payers up for an all day lunch, dinner and wine session in Shanahans when it re-opens

                    Comment


                      Related to this. I find the idea of bringing the bill to the table very disturbing. Really dislike the idea of it. The continental thing of going up to pay the bill is far better.
                      "We're not f*cking Burundi" - Big Phil

                      Comment


                        Originally posted by Hitchhiker's Guide To... View Post
                        Related to this. I find the idea of bringing the bill to the table very disturbing. Really dislike the idea of it. The continental thing of going up to pay the bill is far better.
                        Yeah I get a good laugh if someone complains that they can't leave because the bill wasn't brought the table. Get up off of your hole ffs!

                        Comment


                          Also ate in Mae last week, it's class. Can highly recommend it. I was going to suggest it as a IPB pre Christmas dinner if there was interest. I'd be confident of swinging a prime slot.

                          Comment


                            Originally posted by Raoul Duke III View Post

                            My Brother in Law took this to a new level in Donegal recently. Two families out for dinner and I went up to the register while people were finishing up, asked for the bill.

                            "oh no, that's already been paid"

                            Turns out he had given them his credit card as soon as he arrived and told them he was paying. So if you do want to get into competitive bill-paying, that's probably the way to go.


                            I had to do something similar a few years back in Croatia at the brother in laws wedding. We were there for six nights, me and ALL the in-laws. The wedding took up two nights and the father in law and two sister in laws paid for dinner a night each so by the last night, we'd hardly put our hand in our pocket. I said that we would be getting dinner the last night and both the of the sister in laws tried to protest and said they would get it.

                            Once into the restaurant, I collared the waiter, told him he was not to accept payment from anybody else that the the two women over there give no tip at all so the bill needed to come to me.

                            Sure enough, both sister in laws tried to sneak up and pay the bill and each were told, 'I can't take payment from you, I heard you tip very badly'

                            Comment


                              Originally posted by Gimmeabreak View Post
                              Also ate in Mae last week, it's class. Can highly recommend it. I was going to suggest it as a IPB pre Christmas dinner if there was interest. I'd be confident of swinging a prime slot.


                              In for this if it goes ahead.

                              Comment


                                Originally posted by Gimmeabreak View Post
                                Also ate in Mae last week, it's class. Can highly recommend it. I was going to suggest it as a IPB pre Christmas dinner if there was interest. I'd be confident of swinging a prime slot.
                                In
                                Turning millions into thousands

                                Comment


                                  Also in if the date lines up.

                                  Comment


                                    could we find an agreeable date to aim for? Wednesday Dec 15th might seem like a respectable time to shoot for. I suspect 6 is the max we could get at a table.

                                    Comment


                                      IN if room
                                      "We are not Europeans. Those people on the continent are freaks."

                                      Comment


                                        I’d join for sure

                                        Comment


                                          In if midweek ideally

                                          Comment

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