top of page

The Dunmore

Rathmines' newest bar and restaurant brings seaside chill to the suburbs


12 Dec 2023


Neighborhood Name


Restaurant Address


Website Name

Restaurant Info

View the Listing >>

Written by:

Ronan Doyle

What should we know about The Dunmore?

In welcome contrast to certain other, flashier recent arrivals, Rathmines' newest bar and restaurant The Dunmore opened its doors at the start of the month with little fanfare. There was no glitzy queue of influencers sharing suspiciously generous servings, just the quiet word of some locals pleased to see a new neighbour open for business.

(c) The Dunmore

It’s the Dublin debut of brother-sister duo Clifden and Louise Foyle, who’ve built themselves a reputation for premium Irish hospitality at Waterford’s Strand Inn Hotel. From the top-tier fitout they’ve given this cavernous space, to the team they’ve assembled to serve it, we get the sense they’re looking to bring that same sense of coastal chill to the city suburbs.

Where should we sit?

Even if you’d spent some time in the Bowery pub that previously occupied this building, you might not be able to hold back from mouthing a wow at the way The Dunmore opens up before you on entry. A low-lit lounge area flanks the front doors and extends to the small loft above, all cosy wing chairs and mahogany panelling: an intimate space that screams out for a pre-or post-dinner drink. Things get more expansive as you move through the narrow but suddenly very open room – the building is much longer than wide, but the high arched ceiling that towers above gives the dining area to the rear an airy openness that never leaves the space feeling crowded.


There’s an abundance of artwork on the walls of this back area, every nook and cranny given its own distinctive colour pop. Big wraparound booths for groups of up to six flank the right wall, with two and four-tops arranged along the left - both are a good mix of comfort and vantage point. Down the centre, there’s a scattering of two-seaters we’d steer clear of if you can to avoid the two-lane traffic passing on either side.

(c) The Dunmore

What’s on the menu?

Quite a bit of seafood – their years at the southeast seaside have certainly given The Dunmore’s team their pick of the waves, and they’ve carried plenty of that experience into this suburban menu with a few Strand Inn favourites cropping up. They’ve also brought onboard ex-Asador chef Josef Cervenka, whose influence seems clear in the charcoal oven options dotted through the menu’s sections.


We put that to the test with the starter of crispy chicken, marinated in buttermilk and chili, and served over charred baby gem with a dollop of romesco (€12). As appetisers go this is utterly on-point - tender thigh meat perfectly rendered beneath the chargrilled skin, a rich and fatty flavour that leaves you longing for more. Where the lettuce lightens things a touch, we did find the romesco a little redundant, its muted spicing lost amidst the chili already there in the chicken – an added vinegar kick could have made all the difference.


No surprise for a seaside restaurant, Kilmore Quay crab claws (€18) are a Strand Inn staple, and one they’ve wisely carried over. These are great, the meat’s sweetness finding a suitable foil in the pond of garlic butter it’s served swimming in, with a just-right squeeze of lemon acidity cutting through. Your sourdough on the side will not go to waste.

Seafood chowder (€12) came off a little less exciting in comparison – where the prior plates made for unfussy entrées done well, this bowl felt a little bit like filler. Great chowder comes off as an old favourite delivered with fresh flair; this serving has the air of a practical pub standard. The house wheaten pulls its weight with a lovely treacle intensity, though we’d have to hope the lack of butter was by mistake and not design.


We will never not leap to attention for turbot (€33), and The Dunmore treat it with appropriate pomp, laid out on a bed of girolles and spinach and propped up against two wedges of dauphinoise, with potato sliced so thin it practically dissolves on contact. The mushrooms’ umami earthiness is all that stops this descending into full-fledged decadence – we mean that in the best possible way – with seared flesh flaking into buttery, fish-infused sauce and creamy, cheesy potato. It's a high price point for a main, but we didn't feel mugged off.


Venison (€34) gets similar value-for-money kudos, with medium-rare saddle slices layered over a base of colcannon mash – it’s every bit as good as it sounds. With components like that, we would not have bet on the honey-roast parsnip stealing the day, but their root veg treatment is a revelation. Sticky, chewy, caramelised chunks play off the gaminess of the meat for a main that's both familiar and fresh – a nail-on-head example of where this restaurant really excels.


The potato and spinach “pie” (€21) was not what we expected – it’s a tart, to start - but that’s just semantics, and what matters is it’s very tasty, featuring more of those miraculously-thin potato slices spread over a spinach and onion base, and dotted with chermoula herb paste and a crumbled feta. In a fish and meat-heavy venue it’s not uncommon to see a token veggie main rolled out, but there’s more thought than that here: sharp flavours are in concert with contrasting textures of crisp spud and flaky pastry.


There’s a growing movement we’re none too happy about of sides moving toward a pre-requisite rather than an indulgent extra – gladly The Dunmore has said no thanks to that trend with mains that hold up as more than enough in their own right. That said, it’s not Some of the Food you’re reading so we didn’t hold back. York cabbage (€6) is less a generous wedge than a whole half-head plonked down before you. The charred edges are lovely with lashings of chili butter, but by any standards this is a lot for any but the biggest of tables. The portobello plate (€6) is a bit of a dud - if the menu-listed pesto was ever included here, it must have melted away on the grill. For all the good of the Knockanore cheese, the soggy slabs of mushroom could really have used something sharper.


After all that the dessert menu comes off as just sadly uninspired, with predictable choices like crumble, cheesecake and chocolate fondant giving the sense of being there for the sake of it more than any real effort to impress. We reckon you’re better off retiring back to the bar area with one of their dessert cocktail choices instead.

What are the drinks like?

We were sorry to see The Dunmore’s online cocktail menu somewhat whittled down from what’s up online to what we were presented with at-table - the front half of the space definitely lends itself to lingering about and working through the list between a few friends. Still, there’s enough choice here to suit most palates among the 'classical twist' recipes they’ve gone for.

The 'Angels Abyss' won the day for our money with nutty notes of amaretto and walnut bitters elevating the rum and maraschino cherry flavours. 'Bulleit in the Blue Sky' is an amenable aperitif with bourbon sweetness and the citrus lift of San Pellegrino lemon, but the herbal notes of Benedictine struggled to break through and the limp sprig of rosemary didn't help. The 'Tokyo Iced Tea' takes colour from Midori, and wields the sweetness well to ward off the heaviness of several spirits.


The wine list has some great deals by-the-bottle – you can’t go wrong with the natural Ciello Blanco at €30 – but there’s less to shout about in the largely commercial by-the-glass list. Some selections are clearly geared to pairing with mains, and we found the richness of Seguinet Bordet Chablis a good fit for the turbot. Horgelus Rosé had a smattering of berry acidity to offer up against the venison, but the heavy Alibes Verdejo floundered against the lightness of the tart. If you can agree on a bottle you’ll be on firmer footing.


How was the service?

Relaxed and friendly to the last – the Foyles’ intention to build a great hospitality experience has wisely started with the team, and everyone here seems full-on committed to the aim. Even as the place filled up as the night waned on, there was no sense whatsoever of anyone struggling to keep up - good training goes a long way.


And the damage?

Dinner for three came in at €215, a pretty reasonable price for this part of the city in 2023, especially with a glass of wine and a cocktail apiece. If you can agree on a bottle between you and steer clear of the menu’s higher end, you could have a good night here for under €50 a head.


What’s the verdict on The Dunmore?

Not everything at Rathmines' new bar and restaurant is a success, but what The Dunmore gets very right is exporting the laidback coastal vibe of its sister restaurant to the Dublin suburbs. From the space to the staff to the plates of homely, wholesome food at prices that won’t leave you with a bad taste in your mouth, this is a new neighbourhood arrival that locals and blow-ins will be welcoming to Dublin 6.

New Openings & Discoveries

bottom of page