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Ramsay's "coming to Dublin"


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Gordie was in Dublin doing a book signing this week and popped in to the Chamber of Commerce lunch in the Burlington Hotel to be guest speaker.

… I wonder what he charged.

So, according to today’s Irish Indo, out came the expletives, a few stories, a bit about the business side of things (which apparently was a ramble and lost the audience), and…

As his finale, he said: “I am coming to Dublin”, then described Irish people as “very passionate, very honest”

Not a huge surprise, as Dublin is mentioned on his website as a new venture, but still no indication of where it will be. Everyone’s passionate, honest money is on the Shelbourne Hotel being the venue… when it eventually opens again… now scheduled for March as far as I can remember.

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Interesting, corinna. Shelbourne seems like it'd be the perfect location for him.

Otherwise, I know there's a new office building opening up on the south docklands, going to be brim-full of lawyers, maybe he'll do like gary rhodes did with D7 and the capel building, and put in something really abysmal that'll be packed full of lawyers even though the food's awful.

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I think he'll stick to the knitting and go with what he knows works. It looks like Gary Rhodes' lack of location, location, location awareness is biting. He's practically giving away lunch in order to fill the place.

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  • 1 month later...

More news from Gordon Ramsay, although not very much detail.

He will be coming to Ireland, although not Dublin as he announced back in December. He will be opening in a new Ritz-Carlton hotel in Enniskerry, Co Wicklow, an absolutely beautiful part of the country, just a short drive from Dublin.

According to the Irish Times, which obviously got the briefest of press releases on the announcement:

It will seat 140 guests and will incorporate a terrace and private dining rooms with views over the Sugarloaf Mountain and surrounding countryside.

And

Speaking on his partnership with the Ritz-Carlton hotel chain, Ramsay said it was a pleasure to have the opportunity to open in Ireland, "in such beautiful surroundings as the Powerscourt Estate".

"Ireland is internationally renowned for the quality of its food and the warmth of its hospitality and we are committed to providing an amazing dining experience in this magnificent setting," he said.

This will be a second destination restaurant for Dubliners (Richard Corrigan’s at Lyons Village in Kildare being the brave trailblazer) and a very welcome lift for Wicklow which apart from the Roundwood Inn, suffers from a dearth of good eating places with Mitchell’s closed for the past few years and Johnny Fox’s just plain pastiche awful.

There’s a great opportunity for a Hind’s Head type pub in Enniskerry to piggyback on the influx of gastro gawkers and provide the second meal for a weekend break experience. B&B’s should do really well too. No one is going to be driving!

Re the Shelbourne, I have it on good authority that there will be no "big name" chef opening there, which seems like a bit of a missed opportunity. It would be a nice next move for Dylan McGrath after he's landed a star. Mint is so small, he is surely going to outgrow it.

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On Ramsey's talk to the chambers of commerce - I heard he also slagged off Rest. Ptrck Guilbaud for being so expensive - bet he costs half as much again.

On Rhodes D7 - a barrister friend tells me that virtually nobody from the law library goes there. Certainly no-one he knows and he has only heard it discussed in negative terms. Mabe because like me they disliked the tiny portions (especially given the prices) and took a deep dislike to some members of staff. I think it is people who saw him on the telly that are keeping it going.

on the RitzCarleton - A friend of mine is a planner and it was her that made the developers sink the building down so that it would be as hidden as possible - particularly anyone walking the Wicklow Hills. It really is the most vile looking consturction (going on the mock up here - http://www.ritzcarlton.com/resorts/powerscourt/). I suppose it will suit those people it is aimed at - a bit like the equally hideous 4 Seasons in Ballsbridge. Expect oceans of swag and marble without an ounce of character.

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On Ramsey's talk to the chambers of commerce - I heard he also slagged off Rest. Ptrck Guilbaud for being so expensive - bet he costs half as much again. 

Here's the piece from The Irish Times:

Not even Pat Kenny, for whom he said he'd bought "a box of sense of humour" as a Christmas present, or top restaurant Patrick Guilbaud escaped his sarcastic swipes. He joked that he was doing a show from a restaurant in Dublin.

"We changed the chef, changed the decor, put the prices down. It's called Guilbauds."

On Rhodes D7 - a barrister friend tells me that virtually nobody from the law library goes there.  Certainly no-one he knows and he has only heard it discussed in negative terms.  Mabe because like me they disliked the tiny portions (especially given the prices) and took a deep dislike to some members of staff.  I think it is people who saw him on the telly that are keeping it going.

€3.50 for a cup of espresso is another outrageous reason, and if you want to have a birthday cake, they charge €2 a slice to serve it. Mean, mean sneaky costs. It doesn't deserve to succeed with that sort of attitude.

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'There’s a great opportunity for a Hind’s Head type pub in Enniskerry to piggyback on the influx of gastro gawkers and provide the second meal for a weekend break experience.  B&B’s should do really well too. 

Interesting you say that Corinna. I grew up in Monagahan/Armagh and went to school in Dublin so have a few pals there. With the tourist influx into Ireland and the standard of eating out when I was last there (around Limerick (Dunraven Arms, Adare), Kerry (Carragh Lodge), Derry (Beechwood House Hotel) and the general devlopment/comsmopolitainess of Ireland, I wondered what the opportunities were like. Is it for Hind's Head or is it for a modern styled country house hotel a la Babbington House - with good food, sourcing and execution the driver?

bakerestates.

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'There’s a great opportunity for a Hind’s Head type pub in Enniskerry to piggyback on the influx of gastro gawkers and provide the second meal for a weekend break experience.  B&B’s should do really well too. 

Interesting you say that Corinna. I grew up in Monagahan/Armagh and went to school in Dublin so have a few pals there. With the tourist influx into Ireland and the standard of eating out when I was last there (around Limerick (Dunraven Arms, Adare), Kerry (Carragh Lodge), Derry (Beechwood House Hotel) and the general devlopment/comsmopolitainess of Ireland, I wondered what the opportunities were like. Is it for Hind's Head or is it for a modern styled country house hotel a la Babbington House - with good food, sourcing and execution the driver?

bakerestates.

The market is crying out for good food in pubs. A few places are doing it, like the Oarsman in Leitrim and the Ballymore Inn in Kildare. Pubs in Ireland have been particularly badly hit by the stringent inforcement of the drink driving laws and their trade is hurting. I wouldn't be a bit surprised if Ramsay is sniffing around this end of the market as I think that it is where the greatest opportunities lie.

There is some fantastic local produce available now, Irish cheeses, charcuterie, local meat etc and awareness and pride in Irish artisan produced specialities is increasing. I recently edited the Eat Out 2007 guide for Food & Wine magazine and it is clear that there are huge stretches of culinary wasteland in Ireland. Pubs are in the perfect position to fill these pockets and they are also so much part of our heritage.

And I'm not necessarily talking gastro-pubs as such. I remember going to a Sussex pub that sepecialises in sausages and it was fantastic, with great real ale. In Lincoln (of all places), there was a little restaurant I loved called The Pie Shop. Another simple concept. This is the sort of thing that Ireland desperately needs. Not dreadful lazy Italian food in ever neighbourhood. Actually, I had a big rant about this on the Orla Barry Show on Newstalk on Friday as I think it is one of the biggest blots on our culinary landscape. I'd better stop!!!

On the country house thing, there are plenty of them around, some better than others. Many destination restaurants down the country, like the Tannery, McNean Bistro and Aldridge Lodge have added/updated accommodation for weekend breaks. It's interesting that you should mention Babbington House, as a similar hip retreat called Bellinter House has opened recently in Meath (near Tara). It's owned by the Eden/Odessa/Cafe Bar Deli people and the restaurant there is going to be Eden goes to the country, so Eleanor Walsh's smokies, Guinness stew etc.

And yes, good food and sourcing is where it's at. Execution, unfortunately, is not always up to scratch, glad you mentioned it.

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thanks for the clarification C.

As an aside - everyone is suggesting the location for D7 is wrong but I am not so sure. If the restaurant was good enough I think people would go. the winding stair is very near (being by the river helps I suppose). Panem is always full, gubu does good business and so does the new soup dragon on the Quays (I believe) and no-one says Mick Wallaces wine bar etc. are in the wrong place. Also if he can survive for a few years the city council is supposed to be developing all manner of things in the area (including a borough market type thing in the corpo fruit and veg. market). Arnotts have lots of plans and already Great Strand Street (as un-preposessing a street as you could imagine) has the Morrison at one end, the Kevin Kavanagh gallery in the middle and that South African shop, gubu bar and a food shop at the other end. Also the excellent asian shop and Mr. Midleton's garden shop are around the corner on little mary street.

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In terms of location, I think D7's time will come, but it's not there yet. I think it suffers hugely from not being by the River or on Mick Wallace's stretch. As you say, if it was good enough, it would perform better. I do think that after the Novelli experience, foreign big name chefs have to really prove their worth before they are welcomed into the fold. OK, they were up front saying that his nibs wouldn't be in the D7 kitchen, but it leaves a big... and then what?... and to get on the radar, a celeb newcomer will have to be much better than the competition.

II expect Ramsay to deliver on quality, if he delivers on price and value, it will be brilliant.

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