Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Review of Dillingers, Ranelagh

Review of Dillinger's, Ranelagh

On a rainy Tuesday evening – what better way to round of the evening than a sneaky dinner out in Ranelagh. Ev and I said that we’d get the LUAS as we fancied some booze! We meandered past Pinocchio's, Kinara Kitchen, TapHouse and came across Dillinger's. Reading the menu outside we saw ‘Super Nacho Tuesday’ was on and knew we had found our newest haunt.

We were greeted upon entry and sat down at a rickety table that was soon steadied by the helpful waitress with the help of some corks. For those of you not familiar, Dillinger's is a kind of cool, modern bar that serves food and yum cocktails.  A place with a very trendy vibe, and considerably busier than we expected on a November weekday evening.

Supernachos – a huge sharing main course of nachos topped with mince, guacamole, salsa, cheese, jalapenos and sour cream – is the special on Tuesday at €10, so we naturally chose these to split as a main, along with individual starters – gnocchi for Matt and pork belly for me.  We rounded our dinner off with a cocktail each – whisky sour for Matt and a classic margarita for myself.

Drinks (€10): The cocktails were well-made and nicely presented – it was clear they had lashings of alcohol, always a bonus.  My margarita came with loads of salt around the glass (a good thing, for the girl who loves salt) and Matt’s blend of wild turkey bourbon, lemon, orange, sugar and bitters was tangy and refreshing.


On to the starters (€7-10): My spicy pork belly was glazed in ginger and soy molasses and served with a mint salad and crushed peanuts.  It was a nice portion size – not too big, considering we knew the Mexican feast which was to follow – and the flavours really blended well together.  I especially liked the accompanying salad which was crisp and fresh.

Matt had the sautéed potato gnocchi, artichoke heart with parmesan cream, spinach and truffle.  It was covered in a foam emulsion which while appealing and ticking the ‘fancy-food’ box disguised the neat presentation of ingredients underneath. Taste wise, delicious. Gnocchi (never know how to pronounce this correctly – assuming ‘knocky’) was tender but not soggy or glupey, Parmesan and spinach flavors were not overpowering but ever present.. overall great dish that I didn’t want to share. ( - he really didn't. Ev)

Nachos: Normally with nachos, the first ½ is brilliant as you’ve plenty of toppings but then you run out and it’s like eating original flavour Pringles…not the case here – plenty of cheese, sour cream, guacamole or guac as I've heard it referred to as. We had originally ordered sides but the waitress advised against it due to the size of the main dish, we took her advice and were glad.

Overall: Very happy with the experience – a sharing mains for €10 in Ranelagh – how could you go wrong and who doesn't eat nachos? Cocktails were made with love and had none of this premixed bullshit. Nice staff. 

As always get in touch for recommendations, follow us on the twitter etc..

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Review of Ouzos, Dalkey

As part of our anniversary weekend away, now re-branded as a romantic –mini-break (Twenty twelve fans…) we decided to start as we meant to continue. Ev had finished work in Killiney so we headed down to Dalkey village on Sunday afternoon. Matt had timed parking in the church car park perfectly to coincide with a communion/mass exodus. After 10 minutes of waiting ‘patiently’ in the car for the OAPs to get their dinted Jaguars out of the spots (Dalkey) we parked up and began our stroll.

We came across Ouzo’s on the main street. We had been advised to check them out previously in Blackrock but hadn’t had a chance.

2 Course lunch for €18 seemed agreeable and the environs were lovely.

We were greeted at the door and shown to our own booth- which is great because I hate those dinky 2-seater tables that mean you get ass-bumped by the waitress every 5 minutes. Live lobster cages on the way in – for some reason always gives me a good feeling about ordering seafood.

Ev ordered:


Chicken Liver & Brandy Parfait
“Our rich and smooth parfait served with a red onion, apricot & pecan compote”

Fun Food fact: The difference between Pate and Parfait, Parfait is sieved pate which makes is smooth (parfait is French for perfect… don’t ya know!)

Comments: Very tasty and smooth parfait with crisp delicate melba toast. Tangy flavoursome relish (compote) topped it off. What was nice about it was the individual portion of parfait served in its own bowl. I like it like this (same with lasagne... none of this ‘cut it from the bigger one’)


Chicken Ballotine

"Breast of chicken stuffed with spinach and goat’s cheese, served on mixed vegetables and potato rosti in a tarragon cream sauce"

Comments: Overall lovely. The cabbage/lettuce throughout was quite stringy and didn’t quite lend to the dish: would’ve preferred pureed carrots (think Roly’s)

Matt ordered:

Potted Crab & Shrimp

“Fresh Irish Crab meat with Boston shrimp in a creamy dill and mussel sauce topped with a Parmesan crumb”

Comments: very tasy, well presented. The Crumb had a crunch and was Parmesan-y and the crab was light and fresh. Lemon squeezed on top was all it needed.

Ouzos Fish“n”Chips.
“Fresh Haddock coated with a light tasty tempura batter seasoned with a hint of chili and fresh parsley and deep-fried. Served with sweet pea puree and Ouzos homemade fries”

Comments: Delish. Batter was spot on, really crisp and not gluey on the inside and you didn’t have to go looking for the fish inside it either. Mushy pea puree was very good (almost luminous green) although I think I prefer the texture of the mushy peas rather than a puree form… anyway the tartar sauce was very good and zingy and it all went down a treat.

Nice addition: waitress asked whether I wanted skinny or fat chips. Great to have the choice, but I like them big. (chips J)

Overall: Service was exceptional. Can’t fault the ladies who attended to us, we also got a ½ litre carafe of Sauvigon blanc for €15 which made the lunch even nicer. #boozylunch

Forgot to mention the breads that we were served were delicious (homemade brown x2 and cheesy doughy ones x2). Ev as you may have gathered from previous posts loves her carbs J

Appreciate that it was an expensive lunch 2 x €18 (food) + €15 for vino, but for the weekend that was in it, well worth it.

As always - happy to get feedback and mail us with any recommendations of places to review!

The Early Birds.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Review of Aprile Ristorante, Stillorgan

Probably one of the best value eateries around, Aprile is situated above the chipper of the same name in Stillorgan village, where I spent perhaps too much time during my college years.. however don't let this put you off going!

Aprile has a superb early bird menu all week with Monday-Thursday offering 2 courses and a generous glass of vino or bottle of beer for €15.90! You also usually get a complimentary shot of limoncello as a digestif (always good!)

The menu is extensive, the staff are friendly and attentive and the food is great. We've eaten there probably 5-6 times in as many months and haven't had a bad experience. The place is always packed out too!

Recommendations & Descriptions below;

Matt's picks: Calamari Fritti & Penne Mare e Monti

Ev's picks: Bruschetta Al Pomodoro & Rigatoni All'Amatriciana

Penne Mare e Monti
Penne pasta with strips of beef, succulent prawns and rich tomato sauce, finished with cream and basil pesto.

Rigatoni All'Amatriciana

Another well known traditional Italian pasta dish with our tasty Napoletana sauce, Italian pancetta, shallots and cherry tomatoes.

Food is excellent and flavorsome, portions are generous and it's great value.

Can't go wrong folks!

If you've any comments, queries or suggestions where we should go, let us know!