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Two Faced

A classy-casual contrast to the Camden Street crowds


28 May 2024


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Written by:

Ronan Doyle

What should we know about Two Faced?

The Drury Street dominance of summer in Dublin may be in for some competition if Montague Street has anything to say about it. This little laneway tucked just off the chaos of Camden Street has had a new lease of nightlife that started with La Gordita last year, and the newest among them is the dual purpose Two Faced, a café by day, wine bar by night, that’s all about bringing a buzzy new energy to this stretch of the city.


Where should we sit?

You’ll be happy with whatever you can get - space is at a premium here and we’re expecting plenty of disappointed walk-in hopefuls throughout the summer, though the Two Faced team shows no lack of invention in comfortably slotting more people in wherever they can. There’s outdoor seats and space to stand around with a drink too, so even if you’re out of luck on arrival you might only have a glass’ worth of a wait to get seated.

Three high two-tops tucked in the back corner make an ideal date night perch for couples or anyone else out for D&Ms, while the communal seating everywhere else, and the conversations it fosters, might well see some new pairings born. The wall-length ledge alongside the entrance strikes us as a little too compact for comfort, but the main central shared table that also hosts the coffee machine and DJ deck at either end is the real heart of the action, and the atmosphere.


What’s on the menu?

Managed expectations are important here. The vibe of Two Faced’s evening iteration is very much a wine bar first and foremost, and coming in looking for a muti-course dining experience is not advised. With the tight space and limited prep setup available – we’re talking a fridge and counter-top multi-purpose oven – the team have drawn up a pragmatic menu that’s more about serving the peckish than the full-blown hangry.

That needn’t involve too much of a trade-off on quality, and while their space limitations may hold Two Faced back from doing much in the way of dish development, their assorted boards and platters come stocked with plenty of premium produce. Much of the small plate snacks as well as olive oil and balsamic comes via Lilliput, while the tinned Spanish seafood selection that makes up a significant chunk of the menu is all La Curiosa.


Whiskey and maple roasted nuts are a good start, with a smoky-sweet duality broad enough to play off a wide range of wine – you get the sense with much of the food here that it’s been thought up as a pairing for the wines, rather than the other way around.

That explains ample cheeses with a primarily Irish slant, including a gloriously gooey baked Cavanbert from Corleggy. Its mild, nutty notes balance beautifully off the depth of balsamic grapes and rich sweetness of honey, though the side of sourdough could have used a little more time in the toaster for added crunch.


There’s no toasting at all for the focaccia that’s served alongside the stracciatella, and we couldn’t fathom why – the creamy glut of stretched curds needed something more structurally sound to cling to. While the shaved tomato and lime zest sprinkled over the top bring an acid freshness that avoids any sense of one-note richness, this is a dish that works best in small doses, shared around.


What didn’t work for us was the ham and triple cheese toastie, pairing Durrus Óg, Bookers Cheddar and Templegall. This is a sandwich whose pedigree can’t be doubted, but the broadly similar flavour profiles of the three makes for a muddled mouthful of no real pronounced character, with the ham getting lost in the mix. Something sharper would have been a better bet to stand out from the crowd. The multi-purpose oven’s limitations are in full view here too, with one side of the bread more soggy than singed – a flip halfway through the cooking time would go a long way.


Some eyebrows have shot skyward at the price tag of the conservas, all in and around the €20 mark for a tin served with crisps, crackers and pickles, or a duo of bread and chutney. Bargain deals they ain’t, but these on-trend and additive-free preserves don’t come cheap - with all the bells and whistles, we doubt Two Faced are making a massive margin on any of this.

The curried mackerel's flavourful flakes could win over even the most oily fish-averse, and while the mussel paté might be a more acquired taste for some, we found its rich and lightly-spiced appeal pretty alluring. 

What are the drinks like?

There are forty-plus wines on the bottle menu, with a variety of suppliers on board and more in talks to join soon. The result is a mix of reliable standards and more left-field picks, with a price range from €38 to €125 – Two Faced say they're keen to offer as much variety as possible.

Co-owner Genie Petrauskaite, heading up front of house, is encyclopaedic on what they’ve got and very helpful in her suggestions - purely for research purposes we tried a good spread of the fifteen BTG options. Best were the floral, fruity and off-dry Bender weissburgunder, perfect with the fish, and the rhubarb-rich Integrale rosé, a moreish pet-nat that tided us over happily while we waited for the first plates to come our way.


How was the service?

A real highlight - Two Faced’s team have an ease and enthusiasm about them that just screams passion project. Keen eyes watch the glasses and leap in to offer another with a cheer that’s just the right side of pushy, and while the oven’s scale could make for a bit of a wait if a glut of orders come in all at once, the kitchen looks to be well calibrated to manage the likely demand.

And the damage?

Three glasses apiece and enough food to leave feeling filled, if not fattened, set us back just short of €60 a head. You could grab a quick glass and a solid snack here before a fuller dinner in the area for a reasonable €20.


What’s the verdict on Two Faced?

Dublin’s wine bar scene just keeps stepping up gears, with more than ever popping up in quick succession. In that environment, a niche or novelty is needed to stay the course, and with its closest competition coming in the shape of the more formal Frank’s and the most food-forward Bar Pez, Two Faced makes its pitch all about the atmosphere.

Warm colours and a friendly air meet bassy beats and spillover street space, for a vibe that above all feels ready to roll with the punches – there’s many kinds of nights that could play out here. As a classy-casual contrast to the rowdier scenes spilling out of bars around the corner, it’s a welcome change of pace.

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