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This week's critic reviews


FINALLY another review of Glovers Alley to pour over. It turns out that Lucinda O'Sullivan was first in the door on opening night, it's just taken three weeks for the Sunday Independent to publish her write-up. If we were the editors that's one we would have wanted a quick turn around on, it being the most talked about restaurant opening in years and all, but rules are rules.

It's a bit of an odd one in that she absolutely loved the food, but thought the experience was a bit stuffy. Just what she was expecting from a fine dining restaurant in a 5 star hotel that's clearly hoping to win a Michelin star is a puzzle. Skinny jeans and trainers? Waiters pulling up a chair to chat through the specials?

Thankfully the food was 'spectacular', particularly the 'Cheddar dumplings, topped with threads of crisped ham hock, which were sitting in a Pommery grainy mustard dressing', 'violet artichokes and grapes on a radicchio boat, with a hazlenut and foie gras melange', and kid goat with Irish snails and anchovy gremolata.

She was very impressed with desserts (as is everyone who sets foot in GA, seems like Aoife Noonan is killing it) of grapefuit granita with Velvet Cloud sheep mousse (we're pretty sure this is sheep's yoghurt mousse rather than a mousse of sheep), and layers of Itakuja chocolate, passion fruit and blood orange.

Once again the photos used are awful and do the beautiful room and food no justice. (Review not currently online)

Over in Ranelagh it seems that Host finally got that print out of critics faces up behind the bar, because Catherine Cleary in the Irish Times loved it, and miraculously managed to get a cosy corner seat rather than one in full draft of the front door.

After briefly reminiscing about younger years living in a Ranelagh bedsit, complete with urine-soaked carpet and a climbing rope around the leg of the bed so she could escape in case of fire, she moves onto the food. Grassy olive oil with a peppery nip, and salty cakey focaccia were a great start, as was a starter of 'cloudy puffs of ricotta on crisp toasts with honey puddling in the dimples and wafer-thin slices of nicely chewy salami shinier than a bald man after a Bikram class'. Delightful.

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