We’re almost afraid to say it out loud, but it looks like the elusive Irish summer may have finally arrived. It’s certainly starting to show its face on menus across the capital’s cafes and restaurants, with all the seasonal fruits and vegetables cropping up in creative new dishes across the city. Here’s our pick of the best - consider it your summer eating bucket list...
Tuna Crudo, Allta Rooftop
We first tasted this tuna crudo with green strawberries, bone marrow and roast chicken garum at Allta Summer House in Slane last year, and almost yelped when we saw it return to their summer tasting menu. Thin slices of tuna are dressed in Sicilian olive oil with green strawberries and McNally Farm basil, and glazed with smoked bone marrow split with house made roast chicken garum. Otherworldly.
Lobster Rolls, King Sitric
If you're going to do a lobster roll you might as well do it right. At King Sitric in Howth the Lambay lobster is so fresh you might even see them being caught across the bay. Add a brioche bun, mayo and a squeeze of lemon and summer lunches don't get much better.
Fried Artichoke, Clanbrassil House
We love artichoke season and don't see nearly enough of them around town in all of their forms. So praise be for Clanbrassil House's new snack of fried violet artichoke with pickled walnut ketchup, poached in an aromatic and sour vegetable stock, then coated in chickpea flour and fried until "GBD - golden brown and delicious".
Stuffed Courgette Flowers, Volpe Nera
Volpe Nera in Blackrock seems to effortlessly glide through the seasons, making considered additions and adjustments with minor fuss, and the latest newbie on their bites menu are these fried courgette flower stuffed with ricotta and drizzled in truffle honey. Oh so summery.
Coke Lane Pizza
It’s a left-field choice but we’re here for it. Coke Lane pizza have added a limited summer special to their menu with raspberry chipotle in a starring role. Paired with rocket, gorgonzola, and walnuts, it may be one of the more unusual options on this list, but that’s the kind of seasonal invention we like to see.
Scallops with Romesco, Dorian
Dorian in Donnybrook are shaking it up since new head chef Rowen Babe took over, and these pan-fried scallops with romesco sauce, and hazelnut and chorizo picada are screaming out for a glass of white Burgundy and a seat on the terrace.
Burrata with Heritage Tomatoes and Sourdough Crumb, Spitalfields
Nothing says summer quite like a salad spiked with the intense flavour of heritage tomatoes. In this dish from the Liberties’ Michelin-listed gastropub Spitalfields, they’re cooked confit and paired with creamy burrata and Kalamata olives as well as a crunchy sourdough crumb. We can't wait to try it.