We had the fingers crossed for a review of newly opened The Ivy this weekend, and trusty Gillian Nelis delivered in the Sunday Business Post. We've been expecting most of the critics to go into this one with their backs up (due to the fact that The Ivy of today is a long way from the London-institution it once was, and seems to be expanding at Jamie's Italian-style speed with over 30 locations currently and more in the planning - lest we mention that ivy-covered bus), but she loved it.
She loved the "gorgeous onyx-topped bar", the "over the top" design with its flowery ceilings and "ultra-snazzy loos", and most importantly, the food. A starter of buffalo mozarrella with (under ripe) sliced peaches, Nocellara olives, smoked almonds, pesto and mint was "a lovely summer starter", and another of asparagus came "perfectly cooked" with "top-notch" truffle hollandaise. Truffle arancini were "crispy and delicious".
Main courses sound steep with halibut on the bone in chimichurri and a grapefruit salsa costing €32.95, but GN thought it was "beautifully cooked" and "full of flavour". A 12oz ribeye came in at a staggering €33.50 with nothing but watercress on the side. Extras of "fantastic" chips and bearnaise sauce costing €4.50 each (!!) brought the total for steak and chips up to €42.50. Deep pockets needed, and she calls it "scrooge-like" to charge that much for a portion of sauce. A side of tenderstem broccoli with lemon oil and sea salt was "fine", while another of tomato and basil salad with PX dressing was "lovely".
Her all-time favourite dessert of Rhum Baba (the biggest she'd ever seen) would easily have fed two, and an apple tart fine was a "solid iteration" of a classic. She thought the young staff coped admirably with how busy the place was, and ends by saying "If you prefer your food with a side order of introspection and a dollop of self-importance, you are going to hate The Ivy. If, on the other hand, you’re after some good grub, a bit of a giggle and some top people-watching, I suspect you’ll really like it." Read the full review here.
In The Irish Examiner, Leslie Williams was close to twerking with joy after his trip to Pi on George's Street, on the back of our tip-off a couple of weeks ago. He calls the pizzas "as good as I’ve ever tasted", and by the looks of Instagram over the past few weeks it seems like most of the city agrees with him. Poor Pi are having a bit of a rubbish weekend with a chimney issue forcing them to close all day Saturday (back open today), so hopefully this perked them up.
He calls all three pizzas that they tried "glorious" - a 'Margharita' was "textbook", a 'Salsiccia' had Gubbeen Chorizo "softened by the milky richness of the Toonsbridge cheese" and livened up with chillis, and high praise for the 'Zuccha' which "made me re-evaluate everything I thought I knew about courgettes, their light subtly bitter flesh rounded out by the Salsa Verde and the ever so slightly funky Ricotta."