With children safely back in school and Halloween chatter beginning to swirl around us, now is the time to take advantage of the late summer evenings. Before outdoor furniture is packed away, and prior to awnings being retracted for their winter hibernation, enjoy one last hurrah on any of these stunning al fresco terraces. The food is quite excellent too.
777, South Great George’s Street
Long before taco vans sprang up across the country, 777 were offering Dubliners a taste of Mexico that could possibly compete with anything you might find in the Rio Grande Valley. Afuera is their outdoor area and on the menu you will find taquitos, tostadas and elotes along with a range of more substantial dishes from their wood fired grill. The atmosphere is electric when it’s busy and booking is advised, although they do keep space for walk-ins. Wishing the summer would never end? Just add margaritas. www.777.ie
People watching in Dublin can be a tricky business, but La Maison on Castle Market offers the perfect pew to while away an afternoon watching the crowds go by. Unsurprisingly, the menu is decidedly French, so expect dishes such as ‘La Maison’ scallops, pan fried sole with petit pois á la française and some of the best olives I have tasted in Dublin. www.lamaisondublin.com
Michaels, Mount Merrion
There are two words that come to mind during a visit to Michaels in Mount Merrion, surf ‘n’ turf. Or seafood platter. Or seafood bowl. Or duck arancini. Ok, there appear to me quite a few more than two but you get the idea. The terrace is small but perfectly formed and we advise you to bring friends so that you can order and taste absolutely everything. Better still, order extra to bring home. The wine list is also well thought out and the staff are knowledgeable and friendly. www.michaels.ie
The Woollen Mills
Rooftop views over Dublin city? Yes please. Add excellent sandwiches during the day, pizza and more substantial mains for evening service and this really is an all-rounder. Try the Pigs on the Green pork T-bone with apple ketchup, Béarnaise or bone marrow gravy, an excellent alternative to a steak and something we don’t see enough of. When it comes to drinks, if a Buckfast negroni is not your thing then a rhubarb spritz will certainly evoke memories of hazy summer days. www.thewoollenmills.com
Saba Secret Garden
Tucked away on Dublin’s Baggot Street you will find perhaps the worst kept secret in Dublin in the form of Saba Secret Garden. The space is colourful and oh so summery and the menu perfect for either grazing or gorging. Black pepper squid, sweet potato and corn fritters, crispy seabass with betal leaf, Saba has it all. The flavours are fresh and vibrant as you would expect from a Thai and Vietnamese eatery and cocktail bar and needless to say, the cocktails do not disappoint either. Pattaya margarita anyone? www.sabadublin.com
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