There's lots of socialising to be done in December but it's hard to avoid the over priced set menus that somehow always feel like a swizz. The good news is there are plenty of restaurants to dine in that don't succumb to the greed, and places to go to when you want to avoid the madness, so here's where we'll be eating out in December. Christmas menus, be gone!
For the splash out with your best friend dinner:
D'Olier Street, Dublin 2
D'Olier Street offer one of the best tasting menus in the city and there's no sign of a Christmas menu on their site, thanks be to god *blesses one's self*. The snacks are fire, the seeded pretzel with smoked Gubeen a delight, and their desserts never fail. Go here with your bestie for a proper treat.
For a final hurrah:
November saw many a closure and we are devo that Loretta's have made it onto that ever expanding list. We've never had a bad dish here, and their wine list is not only popping, but their cocktails are surprisingly excellent too. Their last service is on the 23rd of December, so if you can get in for a final send off and wish the lads well.
For when it's freezing out and you need comfort in the form of food:
Piglet, Cow's Lane
Come out of the cold and head to Cow's Lane to chow down on some continental comfort food - Piglet's hearty menu will set you straight. Their confit duck gizzards taste far better than they sound, and there's no way you can leave without trying their bacon & scallop dish which is available as a nibble, starter and main so literally no excuse. Their wine list is always on point, and you're guaranteed to be looked after by the lovely French staff. Oo la la.
For when you're out with your pals and need a crowd pleaser:
Fallon & Byrne's Wine Cellar, Dublin 2
With lots of sharing options, a separate plant based menu, and a corkage charge of €1 on any wines off the shelf from Sunday - Tuesday (or €10 from Wednesday - Saturday), Fallon & Byrne is a great shout when you're getting a group of mates together to celebrate the festive season. Grab a cheese board and drink all the wine. It's mother flipping Christmas after all.
For when everywhere decent in the city centre core is booked out:
The Legal Eagle, Four Courts
Ever so slightly outside of the main drag of town is your best bet when all the good restaurants dead centre are booked out, and the Legal Eagle is a steadfast choice. Their à la carte menu is still on for the month of December, with only groups needing to opt for their Christmas set menu. Their fermented beetroot, dill & cashew dip is not to be missed, and we loved their braised ox cheek with bone marrow. Their Sunday roast is also a delight. Read our once over here.
For when you're Christmas shopping in town and need something quick but delicious:
Tang, Dawson Street & Abbey Street
Tang is the perfect spot for a healthy, quick and delicious bite, with two of their locations either side of the city near Grafton Street & Henry Street. How very convenient indeed. They're open from 08:00 - 15:30 Monday to Friday, with a slightly later closing time of 16:00 on Saturdays. For breakfast, they're rolling out classics like shakshuka, pancakes, and mushrooms on toast, whereas lunch leans more into a Middle Eastern vibe. We're talking flatbreads, hummus, tzatziki, Moroccan lamb, salad plates.... you get the gist. Our kinda Thang.
For when you need to carb load, because yano, it's winter:
Bar Italia, Dublin 1
It's no secret that we are big Bar Italia backers (read our once over here), and this is the place to load up on cosy carbs in these wintery months. Fluffy La Levain sourdough bread is served with every starter (get in!) and you can't go wrong with fresh pasta or their 72-hour fermented pinsas (aka Roman fluffy pizza) for mains. Heck, get both. Bonus - not a Christmas menu in sight, and at time of writing quite a few tables are free for the month, even on those coveted December weekends. Get booking.
For that long luxurious lunch, for the month that's in it:
Note, Dublin 2
Note is one of those places where you can sit at the bar and graze while catching up with a pal for hours, making your way slowly through their snacks, starters, mains, desserts, and more importantly, their wine list. What more could you want people? Get your lazy luxe lunch on here, and afterwards nip into The Gingerman for a cosy Christmas pint.