Superfood snacks, steaks to spare, and classical cooking comes to Castleknock. Here’s what’s new in Dublin, and what’s coming soon…
Bovinity, Capel Street
Armed with quality cuts and more carnivorous puns than you can shake a ribeye at, Bovinity is the city’s latest steakhouse - and one offering a more upmarket vibe with classy cocktails and neon lights aplenty. While the steaks and smash burgers are expectedly front and centre on the menu (though, to date, their meat suppliers are not), we’ll give some credit for what seem like well thought-through vegetarian options: a seasonal starter of burrata and heirloom tomato and a spiced aubergine, dukkah and feta main.
There’s some meaty variety too in the Bovinity bibimbap and seriously tempting oyster shooters. In drinks terms expect bourbon aplenty, with the bell pepper sour one we’re especially keen to check out, and with a nice array of two-seater tables open out front, these new kids on the block are right in time to get in on a pedestrianised summer on Capel Street.
Rugged Lane, Castleknock
A stone’s throw from the Meath border in the lush surrounds of Luttrellstown Castle Resort, this new 50-seater “concept restaurant” pitches quality, consistency, and sustainability as its ethos. That’s a crowded field in Dublin these days (to say the least), so Rugged Lane is smartly starting out low with a six-course tasting menu at €59, and an eye-catching offer of free still or sparkling water all night.
Its menu, with dishes like whipped chicken liver, devilled quails egg, and trout fillet, is the kind of self-consciously classical offering that can easily go either way, but a €44 Sunday lunch with a €19.50 kids’ option will be a welcome addition to this corner of restaurant-scarce suburbia. While Rugged Lane soft-launched at the start of July, online bookings open via Dish Cult this Friday 15th.
Skinfull Affairs, Exchequer Street
Having recently shut up shop at its Dundrum location, organic beauty retailer Skinfull Affairs has renovated its city centre store with a brand-new plants-based treats counter offering coffee and cold-pressed juices alongside smoothie bowls and cake slices. It’s no surprise their food and drink reflects the ethics of the wider business, with Fairtrade Moyee coffee and honest-to-goodness ingredients informing everything on offer, including banana bread, carrot cake, and a range of superfood snacks.
Seems like the perfect feel-good food pairing for a new sustainable skincare routine or in-store treatment; or if that’s not your thing just nab one of the cute little benches parked outside and enjoy a coffee in the sun.
Cloud Nine, Dublin 1
That Temple Bar tourist traffic must be serving Cloud Nine well: they’ve crossed the Liffey (just about) to open a second location equally well-situated at the end of the Ha’penny Bridge. It’s a serious size of a site on Liffey Street and one that’s sure to serve the gelato bar nicely if summer holds up half as well as July is making us hope. That bright pink branding sets the scene with plenty of Instagrammable backdrops, and we can see an awful lot of summer shoppers stopping off to try classical flavours like their award-winning raspberry or more oddball inventions like parmesan and pear. If you’re not keen on gelato, firstly how dare you. Secondly they have plenty of sorbets and sundaes too.
Pala Pizza & Trattoria, Foxrock
When chef Rory Shannon returned home from London and started working in his Father's restaurant Bistro One in Foxrock, we knew he had his sights set on bigger things. They were looking for a city centre site when Covid upended the world, and after surviving the last two years thanks to Bistro One takeaways, and the invention of Pala Pizza downstairs, it's now been decided that Bistro One will close and Shannon Junior will open Pala Pizza and Trattoria in its place. He says, "The focus will solely be on pizza, open fire cookery, local Italian biodynamic & natural wines & a selection of Irish Craft Beer", and trust us, this will be good.
Aperitivo, Nassau Street
Small plates in an Italian spritz bar? Count us in. Bringing Venetian cicchetti to a corner of D2 that’s rapidly starting to seem like its own Little Italy, Aperitivo (from the same people as The Porterhouse) is one we’re keeping a close eye on.