This Week's Critic Reviews
In the Irish Daily Mail this week Tom Doorley is first in there with a review of Le Perroquet, Nick Munier's new pad on Leeson Street which only opened two weeks ago. It's co-owned by the Townhouse leisure group (La Cucina, The Green Hen), and he fesses up to thinking the food would be similar to their other venues - "from the good to the pedestrian" - but was pleasantly surprised by the "deliciously eclectic menu".
His favourite dishes were roast cod with polenta and a beurre blanc - "summer on a plate" - French toast with Parmesan and shallot (above) - so good he wanted to cheer - and a side of aligot - creamy mashed potato blended with Parmesan. He calls Le Perroquet "bold and lovely and great for Dublin", and needless to say the team were very, very happy with this one. (Review not currently online)
From the new and shiny to the more classic, Leslie Williams in the Irish Examiner was celebrating the Leaving Cert results at Caviston's in Dun Laoghaire, with fish that was "spanking fresh" and cooking that was "solid". One of the starters comprised of 15 (15!) queen scallops in chorizo butter, but other winners were a "pristinely fresh" tian of crab, and "chargrilled, robust sardines".
Mains of John Dory, turbot and "properly cooked" king scallops all sound simple yet effective, chips were crispy and salad was well-dressed. All three dessert plates were scraped clean, and he ends with some solid restaurant gossip - Caviston's are opening a 120 seat space nearby by the end of the year. Wowzers. Read the full thing here.
In the Sunday Business Post Gillian Nelis found "a deep bowl of deliciousness" with "layers of flavour" at The Ramen Bar on South William Street. Their tonkatsu ramen with "succulent pork" was the standout, while the garlic ramen with chicken, grated and black garlic was "very tasty but no tonkotsu". Starters were "a bit meh" with "mushy" salmon tartare and "forgettable" gyoza, but she says that tonkotsu ramen is now one of her go-to lunches in the city centre. Read her review here.
In the Irish Times Catherine Cleary thinks Lily's On Church Street is the restaurant Wicklow town "badly needed". She says the hardworking place is somewhere "good sourcing and good cooking combine, and their three-course meal including gazpacho, hake "cooked butter crisp", braised Dexter beef shin and chocolate mousse was "delicious", "refreshing" and "lovely". While she says they hadn't pushed any boats out or "bamboozled anyone with small plates and the ordering anxiety they leave in their wake", Lily's "deserves to thrive in this lovely old building", and gives them 8/10. (Review not currently online)
In the Irish Independent Katy McGuinness is in Galway for the third week on the trot, suitably impressed at how Gather are "walking the walk" when it comes to provenance and sourcing. A "strapping" burger is as good as you'll find anywhere, a fish special of plaice is "perfectly cooked", and organic green salad had the taste of "picked this morning" about it. She says Gather is a model for the type of restaurant that should exist in every Irish town, "supporting local farmers and growers, and acting as a hub for the community", and gives the food 9/10. Read her review here.
Lucinda O'Sullivan reckons Michelin-level food is being served on the University of Limerick campus, and before you fall off your chair it's not in the college canteen. She says that chef/patron Derek Fitzpatrick in the East Room restaurant, located in one of the 19th century buildings, is doing "an extraordinary job", taking much of his vegetables and herbs from UL's rooftop garden, and foraging for others. Foie gras was "picture perfect", cured salmon with grapefruit "divine", and violet artichokes with shiitake mushrooms "stunning", and she says she'd brave the M7 roadworks in a heartbeat to eat there again. (Review not currently online)