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Brief report from Dublin


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Just spent a couple of days in Dublin, enough for three meals (could have been four if Ryanair had left Luton on time!)

I went to Eden, One Pico and Pearl Brasserie. Was considering Thornton's but some posts in another topic here put me off. I also tried to get in at Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud, but no luck.

Eden (lunch, day 1) remains in my opinion one of the best values to be had for lunch, not just in Dublin, but anywhere I've been, with three courses for just €27.00. I started with roast halibut with Red pepper polenta, sorrel butter & tomato pesto which was good enough that I wished I'd taken it main-course sized. No fear though since the slow cooked pork belly with colcannon, roast carrots & spiced plums was sublime. I'm crazy for pork belly and this example did Eden proud. Dessert of vanilla scented panacotta with pineapple & ginger salsa, lime syrup rounded off the lunch a treat.

Dublin is one heck of a foodie city IMHO, but it's often very pricey indeed without the levels of competition found in some other European capitals to drive prices down. In this environment Eden stands out as being not only a contender food-wise but a bargain to boot.

At One Pico (dinner) I started with Bacon & Cabbage (aka Terrine of Ham Hock & Spring Cabbage, Portobello Mushrooms, Mustard & Tarragon Aïoli, € 12.50) which was jolly tasty. Jolly is the right word - you couldn't help but like it, with it's cute name and pretty plating and all, but it was just dinner. A good passion fruit jelly separated the courses, then Roasted Organic Salmon, (w/ Marinated Beetroot Risotto, Horseradish Foam, Parmesan Tuile & Herb Crème Fraîche, € 32.00) which was memorable - a pretty pile of food that combined sharp, separate flavours into a dish that was more of an experience than a 'whole'. We took some Green Beans & Crispy Shallots (€ 4.50) as a side dish, which were unnecessary. Dessert was Poached Meringue, Toasted Nuts, Lemon Curd, Compote of Berries, Vanilla Cream (€ 11.50). This dish rocked. I'm a meringue fan anyway and this novel ensemble really worked for me.

Pearl Brasserie (lunch, day 2) is beautiful, and they know it too, casually suggesting that you go and check out the restaurant's famous alcoves. The service was, by my preferences, some of the best service I've had in any restaurant (the best being at Boston's No. 9 Park). Crispy Dublin prawns wrapped in spring roll pastry, Mango & black pepper dressing (€9.00) were a sizable and tasty starter but more hearty than engaging. Pan Fried Aged Irish Rib-eye Steak, French Fries & Mustard Sauce (€18.50) was perfectly cooked and excellent brasserie food. So far so good.

Dessert was Crème brûlée of the day (which today simply seemed to be Crème brûlée). I was in a top mood by this point but still I'm going to stand by this opinion: this was the best of countless Crème brûlée I've eaten. The absolute best. Indeed it was so good that I had to finish it all, thereby overeating (by a fraction) which makes me, well, sleepy. A walk in nearby St Stephen's Park was needed to wake me up.

Overall a splendid trip. And only six hours of rain!

Read about what I've been eating at http://theeatingwell.blogspot.com/

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Nice report dharold. I haven't been to One Pico for quite a while. There were plans to have it refurbished, do you know if it has been done?

No, they still seem to be 'talking' about it.

I took a brief look at the upstairs private room too and that seemed to be more in need than the main room, which I actually didn't mind the look of though it was not as nice as Pearl Brasserie.

Read about what I've been eating at http://theeatingwell.blogspot.com/

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