Ciara McQuillan is in search of value and these four fit the bill, literally …
Main Image; Fish Shop, Dublin 7
FISH SHOP, DUBLIN 7
THE ROOM Whitewashed brick walls, gleaming black subway tiles, polished wooden fl oor and counter seating.
ON THE PLATE Excellent battered fish and chips of course, but it doesn’t end there. Try oysters, squid on toast, dressed crab or cockles with chorizo and sherry that would make a Spanish national weep for joy. Simple, unfussy and utterly delicious food and nothing on the menu costs more than €20.
WHAT ELSE An excellent wine offering with a great range by the glass. There is also a good selection of grower champagnes and of course, sherry. Fish Shop, 76 Benburb Street, Dublin 7, 01 557 1473; www.fish-shop.ie.
THE WINE CELLAR, FALLON & BYRNE, DUBLIN 2
THE ROOM Exposed brick and wine-lined walls, subtle lighting, bentwood chairs and vintage posters make this a perennially atmospheric spot.
ON THE PLATE Small nibbles, pizza and charcuterie. Pasta is made from scratch daily and a Mediterranean fish stew with gremolata and fresh baguette is a steal at €12.
WHAT ELSE Sunday-Tuesday, choose a bottle of wine from the well-stocked shelves and pay just €1 corkage. The rest of the week it will cost a modest €10, still excellent value. On weekends, linger until 2am over a bottle of wine, though food service stops at 10pm. Fallon & Byrne Wine Cellar, 1-17 Exchequer Street, Dublin 2, 01 472 1012; www.fallonandbyrne.com
A FIANCO, DUBLIN 7
THE ROOM Elegant, small but perfectly formed vineria with tan leather stools at marble counters.
ON THE PLATE Friselle di farro with straciatella, anchovy and lemon was substantial and delicious at just €7.50. Pappa al pomodoro e cozze (also €7.50) is a simple dish of stewed sourdough bread with tomato and mussels fi nished with a drizzle of spectacular olive oil.
WHAT ELSE Also excellent for pre or post-dinner drinks should you be lucky enough to have secured a reservation in sister spot, Michelin Guideannointed Grano, next door. A Fianco, 6 Norseman Court, Manor Street, Stoneybatter, Dublin 7, 01 445 2691; www.afianco.ie.
MULCAHY’S, KENMARE, CO KERRY
THE ROOM Cosy and atmospheric with dark walls and wooden furniture and when it’s busy, brilliantly buzzy.
ON THE PLATE Start with a Valentia Island Vermouth before scallops with buttered cabbage and celeriac broth or a lobster and crab croquette followed by fish pie, beef wellington. The halibut with leek and grape beurre blanc is excellent value at €26 for a notoriously expensive fish. Don’t skip dessert.
WHAT ELSE Mulcahy’s is exceedingly popular with locals and visitors alike so plan ahead and book a table, especially in the busier months. Mulcahy’s Bar and Restaurant, Main Street, Kenmare, CoKerry, 064 664 2383; www.mulcahyskenmare.ie