In between spending every second trying to get our new and improved website up and running, we've naturally found time to eat - those calories won't replace themselves. Here's some of what we've eaten over the past fortnight, and what we thought of it...
A Quick Dinner, l'Gueuleton, Dublin 2
It's been a while since we sat under l'Gueuleton's red and white stripped awning, sipping a glass of wine and enjoying a plate of steak frites. With an hour for a quick bite in town we headed for one of their outside, wooden tables and found that steak frites are now a whopping €39. Gnocchi in a tomato vodka sauce with mozzarella and unadvertised artichoke (€24) was the best thing we had, the gnocchi firm and pan-fried. Pork fillet au crepinette was fine and forgettable - box-ticking tourist food with flavour not at the forefront.
Truffle chips weren't hot or crispy, and while tenderstem broccoli with chill, garlic oil and almonds had great flavour, the broccoli was overcooked. It's a great spot for city centre people watching, or just to pull in for a glass of wine, and staff were uniformly lovely, but on the food front they could do better - Lisa
All The Pastries, Ella's Heaven, Dublin 1
We’ve been meaning to visit Ella’s Heaven on Talbot Street for a while, and the main attraction in the mainly Georgian bakery and café is their Khachapuri - baked, boat-shaped dough stuffed with tangy cheese and topped with a fresh egg yolk. The airy, pillowy bread is perfection dipped in the cheesy, eggy topping, and at €7.50 it’s exceptional value for Dublin in 2022. Don't miss the potato pie, baklava and cream horns too - Ronan
Dinner, Thyme, Athlone
Athlone on a warm Saturday evening was packed (including plenty of hen parties - nature is returning) so the dark and woody interior of Thyme felt like a refuge from the noisy streets, and we can see why this restaurant has so many admirers. Smoked Gubbeen gougères topped with chorizo and cheese emulsion set the right tone, and we knife-fought over the last of the tomato and basil butter that came with the sourdough. Starters of rabbit and woodpigeon terrine, and seared scallop with uchiki kuri squash were packed with really fresh flavours.
For mains, lamb loin with confit belly and pressed shoulder was one of those dishes where you quickly glance around to see if someone will notice if you lick your plate (corner tables for the win), while seabass with langoustine bisque and fennel was light and something we'd happily eat again and again. The evening was rounded-off with desserts of a perfectly lovely 70% chocolate mousse with raspberries and a black sesame tuile, and a pink pepper panna cotta buried under crisp shortbread and strawberries, which divided opinions. One person at the table thought it tasted "too peppercorny", but they were wrong - Helen