We went such a long time with barely anything happening on the food scene that it feels like sweet relief to see new shoots popping up all over the city again, with some heavy hitters among them. Here's what's happening in Dublin right now...
Library Street, Dublin 2
We've been keeping a close eye on Kevin Burke since he moved home to Dublin mid-pandemic and started working at Allta on South Frederick Street. It seemed obvious that the former Head Chef of Michelin-starred The Ninth in London had eyes on his own place, and when Allta chef/owner Niall Davidson decided they had outgrown the space (after their very successful Allta Summer House pop up at Slane Castle), Burke decided to take it over.
Library Street will open in the next few weeks with a focus on interesting wines, sharing plates and seasonal food from across Ireland, and we're about as excited for this one as we were for the original Allta (remember we gave you guys first dibs on booking their soft launch and you crashed the website? That, again.) Library Street was the name originally intended for South Frederick Street, as it leads towards Trinity College's library, and the chef is promising dishes like crispy chicken wings stuffed with scallop and tarragon mayo, whole baked bass with fennel and mussels, and Kouign Amann milk ice-cream sandwiches with caramelized apples. Stay tuned for booking details.
Allta Winter House, Dublin 2
They're keeping things very quiet on this one, with only the meerest glimpses of what's happening, but work on Allta Winter House is well underway on the top two levels of Trinity Street car park. The format will be similar to the game-changing Allta Summer House, with a ticketed 12-course, frequently changing tasting menu (€95) at the top, and an art gallery and cocktail bar called Glove Box below. We're on the edge of our seats waiting for news about the launch and expect it to be open in the next few weeks. More when we have it.
Six by Nico, Dublin 2
You might know Six by Nico from Belfast, but if not the UK restaurant group from Scottish-Italian chef, Nico Simeone, is known for changing their six course tasting menu every six weeks. There was a lot of buzz last week when they announced their ninth restaurant would be opening at 1 Molesworth Street, formerly home to the short-lived Le Pain Quotidien, in November. However eyebrows were raised when stories emerged that the group were accused of mistreating staff by trade union Unite earlier this year. The company deny the claims. This is their first opening outside the UK, and will seat 56 diners alongside an open kitchen, with the tasting menu priced at €45 and an optional wine pairing for €39.
Ebb & Flow, Camden Street
There are not enough good places in Dublin for a really excellent brunch - sad fact. So when we heard Ebb & Flow (formerly in Clontarf) were opening a new place on Camden Street (where Cracked Nut used to be) focused on brunch, our ears perked up. It's owned by the same people as Full Circle coffee, and drinks be will espresso-based with seasonal rotations.
The menu includes dishes like soufflé pancakes with berries, pork bao with Korean short ribs, and 'The Forager' - sautéed wild mushrooms, truffle oil, poached eggs and spinach on sourdough toast. They've also got an in house baker making things like banoffee cake, and will have 'classy cocktails' at the weekend. Sign us up. They're open Monday - Friday from 08:00 - 16:00 and 09:00 - 16:00 at weekends.
There was an outpouring of dismay last week when Fia in Rathgar announced they were closing (we hear they're hoping to reopen in Rathfarnham soon), but it seemed like we blinked and 'Ana's' had opened in its place. The eponymous Ana is a fourth generation chef from Lisbon who's been in Dublin for the past seven years. She's had a longtime dream of running her own neighbourhood café, so when she spotted the lease was up for grabs she jumped, and that's how you can now find pastéis de nata in Dublin 6.
The menu is an Irish/Portugese mash up, with avocado toast, soups and sandwiches like the 'Bó Loca' - Irish beef slow cooked in a Portugese wine reduction flavoured with peppers and herbs served on bread. Fresh cakes and pastries are made each day, coffee is from Coffee Perfection in Meath, and they have plenty of vegan and gluten free options. Ana's is open for breakfast, brunch and lunch, and she's planning a 'Fridays with Friends' supper club to start very soon.
It's 2 Eat, Dublin 8
You may remember we posted about some sensational choux buns from Aventura café earlier this year. Well they were from It's 2 Eat, and the guys behind it have just opened their own café and bakery in The Liberties. Chef/owner Higor Martins left Brazil four years ago with a dream of running his own business, and up to now has been supplying shops and cafés with his pastries and desserts, but as of last week you can get them direct from the source.
They've got choux, eclairs, flan, coffee cake, and savoury options like beef sfiha, smoked sausage pastries and coxinha filled with pulled chicken. Everything is homemade and freshly baked, and they open 08:00 - 16:00 during the week and 09:00 - 17:00 at weekends. Find them at 90-97 Cork Street.
Also - we're pretty excited about new wine bar Note opening soon on Fenian Street. We'll have the full story later this week so keep your eyes peeled.