Restaurants were officially allowed to reopen three weeks ago, but many have decided it's just not viable to open their doors yet with such reduced capacity due to social distancing. Others have taken a bit longer to get up and running and figure out how to make their business work in "the new normal", and these are the latest places in the city to swing their doors back open.
After months of total silence from Gertrude we'll admit to feeling a tad concerned, but the lady is back - for Saturday and Sunday brunch only. They reopened at the weekend with reduced seating, a maximum stay of one hour and 15 minutes, and reservations are advised. They're taking details for contact tracing, if you're more than five minutes late you'll need to rebook into the next available slot, and yes the fried chicken and buttermilk pancakes are still on the menu.
Fish Shop Benburb St
Fish Shop Benburb Street are back as of last Thursday with a reduced capacity of eight people (ouch) and a maximum group size of two. Walk-ins are welcome but bookings are strongly advised as you'll no longer be able to wait for a seat on site - and with those eight seats likely to be very in demand you want to make sure you haven't braved the Luas for nothing. Takeaway is also available online or in person. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to book.
There are sandwiches, then there are 147 Deli sandwiches. We had our first "Dublin dip" just before lockdown and spend most of it wondering when we'd be able to have another one. The good news is they reopened yesterday, and the Dublin Dip is first up as a special. RUN don't walk. The menu is the same as before but they're adding a new toastie menu next month, and for now it's takeaway only from 08:00 - 15:00 Monday - Saturday.
L. Mulligan Grocer
The guys at L. Mulligan Grocer in Stoneybatter have been undertaking some epic work to make their premises as safe as possible to return to. They've taken out tables, have sanitiser on each table, staff are wearing visors & masks, there's no-touch door handles, sensor taps, new partitions, cleaning protocols and new sanitise-able upholstery. Menus can be viewed on your phone via QR codes and they've staggered bookings so you won't arrive at the same time as a load of others (so be on time please). They're starting with dinner Friday and Saturday and Sunday lunch, and they're promising lots of scotch eggs, fish and chips and craft beer. Book by emailing email@example.com or calling 01 6709889. Click and collect for growlers of draught beer is still available.
One Pico reopened last week on their 23rd birthday, promising social distancing and strict procedures but the same warm welcome, wonderful food and great service. They're open for lunch from Thursday -Saturday and dinner Tuesday - Saturday. Reservations must be made on their website.
Clanbrassil House is back open for dinner from Thursday - Saturday with Gráinne O'Keeffe in the kitchen dishing out hot smoked trout on sourdough and hash brown chips. They're doing the family style menu only for now (no complaints here) which is €55 a head for eight dishes to share (see their website for the full menu). They're also offering 'pod dining' so you can round up a gang of mates and take the whole room at the back. Book on their website or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The bun cha and fried spring rolls at Bun Cha on Moore Street have been right up there with our most craved dishes during lockdown, so we almost did a happy dance when they posted that they were back open. They have plenty of protocols in place including asking people to use hand sanitiser before entering and during your meal, to book in advance, and to provide full contact details for potential contact tracing. Tables have been removed to make more space, 15 minutes is being allowed between bookings for sanitising dining areas, and staff will be wearing masks, having their temperature checked daily and be working in teams. Impressive. Email email@example.com to book or call them on 01 535 8881.
Junior's in Beggar's Bush had just nabbed Fiachra Kenny (ex-head chef at The Old Spot) before we went into lockdown, so he barely had time to show us what he's got, but they're back open for dinner from Wednesday - Saturday and raring to go after having plenty of time for a menu revamp. In a very exciting development the Kilkeel crab risotto with garlic, chilli and mussels that we loved so much at The Old Spot has made the move with him, and we're also very interested in the crab stuffed courgette flower and pressed smoked pork with pickled cherries, baby turnip, roast onion and homemade BBQ sauce. Book on their website.
Bang (With A New Wine Bar)
Bang on Merrion Row have reopened with a new wine bar, featuring special wines at €25 a bottle from Wednesday - Friday and a snack menu featuring Iberican croquettes, anchovy with wild leek oil and a "toasted cheesy’ truffle & taleggio", which we imagine is like a cheese toastie but will stand corrected. The restaurant's available for bookings too with a new summer menu. Book on their website.
Loretta's in Phibsborough is back with a new menu featuring dishes like warm duck leg salad with kohlrabi, grapes and walnut, and jerk chicken with coconut rice and mango salsa. The locals menu is €26 for two courses or €30 for three, and they're open for brunch and dinner from Wednesday - Saturday with brunch on Sundays too. Book on their website or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Voici Crêperie in Rathmines will reopen later this week after an expansion of their downstairs area, and will start with a few tables downstairs. Apart from sweet and savoury crêpes they also do salads, charcuterie and cheeses, as well as lots of wine. Collection is still available too. Call them on 01 5350540 to book.
The Commons at Moli
The café/restaurant attached to the Museum of Literature runs by sisters Domini and Peaches Kemp reopened yesterday, as did the museum, so there's another thing to stick back on your Dublin to-do list. Grilled cheese, chicken focaccia and reuben sandwiches are all on the menu, as well as coffee from Roasted Brown and plenty of cake. Open from 11:00 - 15:00 Monday - Friday (for the moment). Book a table here.