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This Week's Critic Reviews

We reckon Etto were breaking out the bubbles yesterday after a rare 30/30 from Katy McGuinness in the Irish Independent - 10/10 for food, ambience and value. Quite the scoring, but hard to argue with if you’ve eaten there. You can read our review here.

Like us, Katy had an OMG moment over the Stracciatella starter with truffle honey, celeriac, hazelnuts and lovage, and describes a braised short-rib with crispy cavolo nero, pickled walnuts and a chunky chip of polenta which sounds like the best possible antidote to a dreary day like today. She justifies the perfect score by saying there isn’t a thing she would change about Etto. We imagine she’s going to have her own table at their second restaurant Uno Mas when it opens later this year. (Review not online yet, even though it was published yesterday. Take your time guys, it's only food.)

Over in Monkstown Lucinda O’Sullivan FINALLY got her review of Bresson in, a week after Tom Doorley’s. She was also impressed by chef Temple Garner's French cooking, particularly the duck livers with puy lentils, charred onion leaves, Bayonne ham, frisee salad and date chutney, which reminded her of blissful summer trips to the Languedoc. Her duck a l'orange with confit of Seville orange peel, blood orange and basil salad, candied endive, duck-fat roasties and star anise was in her own words 'duck heaven'.

We're not sure what's going on with the awful photography in the Sunday Independent lately. What's happened to their famous artist renderings? We know things are tight in journalism but we're pretty sure the restaurant could provide them with better than this. We're pretty sure most 8 year olds could. (Review not currently online.)

Over in the Irish Times, Catherine Cleary decided to go crêpe-crazy for the week that was in it, and brave a trip across the Liffey to Le Petit Breton in Drumcondra. She ate crêpes as 'smooth as parachute silk', and 'folded like an envelope over cinnamon-laced, stewed apple and finished with not so much a drizzle as a downpour of salted caramel with a final cloudburst of whipped cream in the middle of the whole thing.' We're getting our coats on.

She also enjoyed the savoury buckwheat galettes with 'light and fluffy' goat's cheese and walnuts that were 'fresh and perfect', and there was no mention of anything resembling animal poo which is always a relief. Personally we are overjoyed to have another restaurant to add to the rather deprived looking North Dublin section of the site. Read her review here.

Down in Cork, Joe McNamee took two trips to Good Day Deli on Douglas Street, one with the lads, and another with his children and wife (who's described as 'My Heart's Desire' - major cringe Joe). He made us hungry with his description of Kai Moana Fish Tacos, featuring ‘fingers of Irish hake, light batter flecked with nigella seeds ... Served in superb Blanco Nino Corn Tortillas (produced in Ireland, from Irish-grown corn), raw slaw, pickle and lemon coriander mayo complete a terrific dish.'

He was relieved to find the scrambled eggs were more 'curdled custard' than 'fried brains' - we're not sure which sounds worse - and his poached eggs with salmon and hollandaise were 'immaculately

delivered'. He was also impressed with their commitment to sustainable food systems and to 'local, natural, seasonal and organic produce' - as are we. Read his review here.

At the other end of the country, Gillian Nelis in The Sunday Business Post was eating at Wine and Brine in Armagh, which was so good that it made a near death experience the next day less terrifying as at least she'd have gone out on a culinary high. Food for thought.

She ate breadcrumb parcels stuffed with olive and goat's cheese which tasted of 'heaven', soup with spring onion, coriander and chicken 'flavour bombs' - which is fast becoming one of our most hated phrases - and roast woodcock with mushroom caramel, salsify and a side of brain. (Too much brain referencing this week for our liking.) She also had a rice pudding soufflé with Yorkshire rhubarb and rice pudding ice cream which was ‘so good it would make you weep’.

Another week, another gaping hole when it comes to reviews of Dublin’s 'truly of the moment' new fine dining restaurant Glovers Alley. So far only Gillian Nelis in the Sunday Business Post has had the cahones to go in and nail her colours to the mast, and her reviews are subscription only, so most of Dublin hasn’t been able to read a critic's take on the 'inspired food from singular sources, prepared with French influence, flair and hitherto unseen imagination.' Maybe they're letting things settle down before crossing the threshold to pass judgement, but the rest of us are getting impatient. We will wait with breath that is bated for next week’s papers.

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