Spring is in the air and so too are all things seasonal, foraged and fresh. With last week's splash of sunshine and the clouds now clearing after the long weekend we're finding ourselves craving continental dishes with a seasonal Irish twist. We're dusting off our sun glasses and going in search of places that make us feel like we're in bright and sunny climes - lying by a Ligurian lake, fingers in Sicilian sand or eyes on a Spanish sunset. Failing that, sunglasses can mask any foggy heads after a cocktail crawl, and these five things look like they would satiate our ever-hungry tums...
1) Pujada Solana, Margadh RHA
We anticipate great things with the relaunch of Margadh RHA, and this Pujada Solana looks set to deliver. Cantabrian anchovy toasts and lemon aioli - sometimes it's best to keep it simple and let the product speak for itself. Given its location at the mouth of the RHA, it's no wonder this dish looks like a piece of modern art - minimalist yet mouth-watering.
2) Porchetta Pizza Portafoglio, Southpaw
Recently opened in centre of Temple Bar, Southpaw serves Neapolitan style pizza, proved for two days, cooked in an Italian gas-fired oven, and then folded for those on the go. This porchetta slice with nutty comté, unpeeled garlic, rosemary, baby gem and, wait for it, *wild Tuscan fennel*, that has been slow roasted for six hours has us more than tempted to traverse the threshold of Temple Bar.
3) Buttermilk Ricotta Ice-Cream With Flowering Currant Granita, Frank's
We could not be more excited to try the concise, self-assured menu from the recently reopened kitchen at the top of Frank's sharing table, and this oh-so-pretty and pink dessert caught our attention straight away. Buttermilk ricotta ice-cream with poached rhubarb, and a granita made from flowering currant sounds almost other-worldly. Pair with a glass of low-intervention wine, nab yourself the window seat and bask in the late afternoon sunshine.
4) Asparagus Pansotti, Burrata and Lemon, Grano
Mamma Roma is back in Grano rolling out her legendary pasta, and this week it's asparagus pansotti with burrata and lemon. These little half-moon pockets sound pillowy but fresh, and we think of authentic Italian Burrata as liquid gold - so basically everything we could ever dream of in a spring pasta dish. Asparagus season is also a rather short one, so make the most of the few tables still available this week.
5) Wild Garlic Sourdough Focaccia, Bread Man Walking
Gerry Godley's microbakery in Dublin 8 serves sourdough, brioche and pastries, and if you're anywhere in the vicinity next weekend we would definitely advise pre-ordering this Wild Garlic Focaccia for collection on Saturday. DM Bread Man Walking on Instagram to place your order, or pick some up in Nobó in Ranelagh. After all, it's our civic duty to consume wild garlic for breakfast, lunch and dinner during its short Irish season.