We’re not quite ready to say the ‘C’ word just yet, and with the unseasonably warm weather, we’re not really feeling it either. However, we do have to admit that the lights make everything feel a little bit magical and brighten up these dark evenings – which is definitely something to be thankful for. This time of year is also great for finding cosy spots to share good food with good friends, but before the festive drinks, dinners and gatherings commence, here are a few things we’d love to get our teeth into in Dublin this week.
1) Hot Chicken Sando, Benjamin’s Hot Chicken
Sometimes there’s nothing better than a hot chicken sandwich for comfort (or a hangover), and this one from Benjamin’s Hot Chicken brought our scroll to a screeching halt. Crispy Nashville style fried chicken is served in a potato bun with pickles, melted cheese, crunchy iceberg lettuce and signature special sauce. Earlier this month, Benjamin’s reopened in their new home in the Vintage Inn, after a brief hiatus when the Village Yard closed for renovations. If there was ever a reason to make your way to D4, here it is…
2) Chicken Liver, Milk Bread, Elderberry and Field Mushroom, Frank’s
Frank’s is knocking it out of the park with new dishes lately, and the thought of this smooth chicken liver paté on soft, sweet, buttery milk bread, paired with aromatic elderberry and earthy field mushroom, is sending us into a spin. With over 100 organic and biodynamic wines, you won't struggle to find something to accompany it either.
3) Croissant Sbagliato, Soup Two
The temptation is high to hotfoot it to Smithfield this week and get our hands on this mega watt dessert in Soup Two. Whilst better known for their ramen and Asian-inspired savoury dishes, the sister restaurant of Soup Ramen in Dun Laoghaire has also been busy coming up with this ‘croissant sbagliato’ - smoked chocolate chili ganache, opera chocolate ice cream and sesame praline, all stuffed into a freshly baked croissant. How will we ever look at a regular croissant again.
4) ‘Mr Alfred’ Croque, Madame Monsieur
Good news for Westsiders, there’s a new sandwich shop in town. Madame Monsieur opened in Blanchardstown last month, specialising in the ‘croque’ - the hot sandwich with cheese and ham that's a classic French bar snack, made popular by bistro-owner Michel Lunarca in the early 1900s. Madame Monsieur has introduced an eighth croque to their repertoire this week, the Mr Alfred, and try this on for size - pastrami, garlic mayo, melted emmental, mixed leaves, crispy onions and their homemade, top secret, creamy bechamel sauce. Hold us back.
5) Pear Pavlova, Flower and Bean
The lovely folks at Flower and Bean know a good thing when they see it, and they know that the Pavlova is a year-round, classic dessert (yes, this is a hill we are willing to die on). A new addition to their artisan bakery menu this week is this light and fluffy meringue topped with cream that really leans into the Autumnal season, with red wine poached pear, crushed blackberries and cocoa nibs. We feel warm, cosy and on a sugar high just thinking about it.