Closings, openings, it's the circle of restaurant life, but while there are most certainly more closings ahead this year, you can also count on plenty of exciting openings too, as the food scene continues its rise up the ranks of European eating. Here's four that have just opened (or are about to) that we think you should know about.
Glas, Chatham Street
Glas is a new vegetarian/vegan restaurant (there is cheese but no meat or fish) in the old Chatham Brasserie site off Grafton Street. It's owned by Paul Rooney (former owner of The Green Hen) and Dualta Woods (Woods Wines), with Sam Moore (ex-Old Street, The Ice House and Bart's) as head chef. They're calling it "‘innovative vegetarian and vegan dining that’s to everyone’s taste", and say they think Dublin needs more seasonal, sustainably-sourced food, particularly in the city centre.
The opening menu features a lot of things we want to eat, like sweetcorn & jalapeno fritters with avocado, lime and crushed goji berries; beer-battered shimeji mushroom with herb salsa, lime glaze and umami sesame seeds, and smoked aubergine with buttermilk sauce, baby kale, quinoa & pomegranate. We're also intrigued by the polenta and chickpea fries with fermented black garlic mayo and the homemade agnolotti with salt baked celeriac, pickled carrots, carrot top pesto and goat’s cream. Glas will be open for lunch and dinner seven days a week with brunch at weekends, and they're promising "great cocktails and innovative wine". It's due to open next Monday 4th November.
Rathmines' hardware store Lenehan's, which was open for over 70 years, has been taken over by Fallon & Byrne and turned into a neighbourhood restaurant with two terraces. They're calling it a "bar and grill", with four different indoor spaces and big screens in the bar for sport or events. The food is definitely of the "something for everyone variety", but with a definite focus on Irish producers. The opening menu includes Achill Island lamb meatballs with tzatziki; Roaring Water Bay Mussels with ‘nduja, tomato, olive and potato crisps, and Clogherhead monkfish on the bone with boulangère potatoes.
They also do sharing boards, free-range chicken wings and a 35oz Wagyu Angus tomahawk for two.
Lenehan's is now open for dinner seven nights a week, with lunch and brunch from Friday - Sunday. Sunday roasts start this weekend and they also have a full vegan menu.
Woodruff in Stepaside opened a couple of weeks ago and there's two things you should know about this new southside neighbourhood restaurant. Firstly, head chef Simon Williams takes sourcing very seriously, and was just starting to garner attention at The Gables in Foxrock last year before he left for other opportunities, with Gillian Nelis in her Sunday Business Post review saying "I can’t say enough about this chef’s attitude to sourcing; it’s a real joy to see such a commitment to supporting small food producers." Secondly, the wine list has clearly been compiled by someone who knows (and loves) what they're talking about, which is still a rarity, particularly outside of the city centre.
Manager Colm Maguire has come from Pichet, with sous chef Francois Jacusse formerly the head chef in The Pigeon House in Delgany, and the suppliers name-checked on the menu include Higgins beef, Andarl farm pork, Kilmullen farm lamb, Beechlawn organic vegetables, Mooncoin beetroot, and Velvet Cloud yoghurt, with breads, butter, crème fraîche & vinegar made in house. The menu changes daily depending on what's available, but recent dishes have included house cured halibut with burnt aubergine, house cremé fraiche and rye cracker, and confit Skeaghanore duck leg with carrot & cardamom purée, cavolo nero, fondant potato, orange & duck sauce. House chips and kimchi mayo sounds like a must order. Pair it all with a bottle of the electric Spanish white UBE from Cota 45 or the haunting 7 Fuentes from Tenerife producer Suertes Del Marqués and we think you'll be very happy.
One Kinda Folk, Ranelagh
One Kinda Folk is Ranelagh's newest coffee shop (and the only one behind an ivy-covered wall as far as we're aware) and officially opens its doors today. Irish owner Rachel moved to Byron Bay in Australia with her fiancé ten years ago and fell in love with their outdoor café culture. Ever since she says she wanted to move home and recreate it here. One Kinda Folk is attached to Yoga Dublin and the stone shed that it's situated in formerly stored yoga mats. For the past few months they've been working on turning it into "a Byron Bay inspired oasis", and they want the space to feel like a community garden where people can sit and chat.
Coffee is from 3fe, their sticky loose leaf chai is handmade in Melbourne, and their raw matcha comes from Matcha Ninja, which they serve with their homemade lavender syrup. 'Treats' include vegan tracker bars, peanut butter and sea salt bites and caramel crispy squares, and come from local caterer Rua Food. In the nature of inclusivity babyccinos and dog treats are also available. In case you were wondering, the name is taken from a quote from Harper Lee's 'To Kill A Mockingbird': "There is only one kinda folk, folks." One Kinda Folk is open from 08:00 - 15:00 Tuesday - Saturday.