Only Hobnob’s first trip to Ireland! I say that because we experienced such a fantastic assortment of experiences that there is a return trip already on the mind’s agenda. I cannot say enough about Irish hospitality—a genuine sense of generosity and humor encircled all we did. I felt nostalgic all week after coming back to NYC, a lingering sense of longing for those one-on-one exchanges that still bring a smile to my lips. Irish humor stands out as a predominating factor. ……(see other posts from our 10-day trip…. dinners… lunch… the drive…)
My friend Bob had eaten at Bang 19 years ago, his last time in Dublin, so that is a testament to their reputation. This was our first foray for dinner in Dublin, so we were fresh, anticipatory, yet duly disoriented by the time-change from New York-to-Ireland. Bang turned out to be bang-on, and delivered comfort food specialties that helped us get on track in a hurry.
Our reservation was at 7:30, and because there was a bachelorette party taking over the downstairs space, we could not do an early drink at the bar, as our friends Allison and Dan informed us. No problem, we had already stationed ourselves at nearby Kehoes, one of Dublin’s oldest pubs, soaking up the vibe (see our drink post) and loving it. Dublin, much like Nashville, was a haven for the just-pre-married—gay and straight—who headed to the environs for a fun-filled, let-loose time. We witnessed them time and again. bangrestaurant.com
(photo top of this post) Bang was a dual-level restaurant, the bare table in front (left) shows where the bachelorette party had been stationed. Photo, right, freeze dried foie gras being spooned over my gnocchi appetizer.
Carrots were definitely on every menu in mid-May, and these were a joy to ingest. Another trend in Ireland: lots of nuts, especially hazelnuts, which reigned. Right, showing the duo-level.
These look like scallops but NO, it’s actually the Spring gnocchi with crème fraiche, peas, broad beans & wild garlic, which was wildly applauded by our table. Right, our lovely server who’s outfit I admired.
The banister that separates the top floor from the bottom filled with foliage. Right, actual scallops accompanied with black pudding.
After three days of driving we welcomed coming back into town. Wilde, inside the Westbury Hotel was our welcome back to Dublin. A Thursday night, it was ripe with upscale mischief and mayhem. Noticed: Ireland’s restaurants are very accommodating to large groups (8 or more) and there was a group here that was already primed and vocal. Gorgeous environs, including flora and fauna strewed about, got us back into city mode. wilde.ie
I admired the logo. Right, a perfectly cut and cooked piece of salmon, one of Ireland’s foodie gems, served with tenderstem broccoli, soy, and toasted sesame seeds.
Bob ordered the soft-shelled crabs appetizer, a crunchy delight. Right, love the mod-minimalist interior approach, right up my alley.
Risotto, a recurring theme on menus throughout the trip, due to the fact that 3 out of 4 diners in our group leaned vegetarian. This one a lovely butternut squash risotto with truffle ricotta. Right, the center of the restaurant.
Loved this bottle of wine (also ordered the exact bottle at our dinner the next night at Bastible). Right, heirloom beet salad, figs, truffle honey, candied pecans, goats cheese. Beets graced many menus.
Sweet and innocent flora. I like when a table accessory is low-key and admirable. Right, Allison loves onion rings and was delighted to see them on the menu as a side. We all enjoyed a crunch or two.
Fade Street Social
Locals recommended this spot, and it turned out to be the perfect Sunday dinner. We dined in a vaulted subterranean industrial space with a sophisticated crowd. There was a choice of atmospheres: full menus or tapas section. The pizzas, or flatbreads, here were most satisflying. fadestreetsocial.com
Lots of entrances to restaurants in Dublin defied the ultimate reveal. Right, an ample dose: Tuna, Mozzarella and Rocket flatbread with thinly sliced raw tuna, truffle bechamel, mozzarella cheese, arugula and fennel.
The space left room to breathe. Right, Dan claimed more than one time, these ravioli to be the best ever. Mushroom Open Ravioli: open mushroom ravioli with truffle, parmesan and gremolata.
I always tend to be attracted to the meat options: Veal, Onion and Truffle Flatbread came with truffle béchamel, onion puree, veal mince, parmesan, onion lyonnaise, parsley, brie, truffle and langoustine mayonnaise. Rich and wonderful. Right, we ordered the Seasonal Cabbage to share. Personally, I like to eat rich foods cut by fresh and zingy accompaniments. this seasonal cabbage glazed with a layer of apple purée, celeriac and truffle felt too heavy as a side, but could work as a veggie entree.
See Dublin’s Ultra Fine Dining, Part Two for more fabulous meals.