5 Restaurants Serving Small Plates with Big Impact - The Gloss Magazine

5 Restaurants Serving Small Plates with Big Impact

Love them or hate them, small plates are here to stay and these five restaurants prove that bigger isn’t always better …

Ah, small plates. Love them or hate them, they are here to stay. Devotees laud the freedom to while away a couple of hours nibbling at a range of dishes without being overwhelmed by one vast meal while detractors bristle at the concept of seemingly endless eating – and worse still, sharing. It’s not for everyone. If, however, like me you enjoy the conviviality of shared plates and the chance to sample an array of dishes in a more casual setting, these restaurants are for you.

Tartare, Galway

There is so much to love about JP McMahon and Drigin Gaffey’s Galway wine bar Tartare. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, the small plates are a celebration of all that is good in Irish food, which is hardly a surprise coming from the man who actually wrote The Irish Cookbook. An evening spent grazing on dishes such as potato crisps with fermented cream, trout roe and chives or chicken schnitzel with maitake mushrooms, ramsons and sea herbs is an evening well spent. Add to that the wonderful wine list and the amazing pastry creations and it’s not difficult to see why Tartare is so popular. www.tartaregalway.ie 

Allta Summer Rooftop, Trinity Street

There won’t be much sharing for those attending the newly launched Allta Summer House (2022 version) as the menu is a set menu for all diners, and what a menu it is. Smoked eel and horseradish broth, scallop, chicken, morels and wild garlic, and artichoke ice cream, px, coffee and buckwheat are just some of the dishes that make an appearance on the sample menu and with an option to book pre- or post-dinner drinks in Glovebox, the immersive art gallery and cocktail lounge located within the same space, a memorable evening is all but guaranteed. Bookings are now open for the month of May. www.allta.ie 

Table Wine, Pleasants Street

There isn’t a food loving wine drinker in town that hasn’t fallen truly, madly and deeply for Table Wine which is quite an achievement for a space that has only been open for six months. The crab melt is perhaps the most talked about ‘small plate’ in Dublin but there is so much more to love. The menu is concise and falls firmly into the small plates category with the aforementioned crab melt being the most expensive dish at €20. Bring a couple of friends and order it all. Their catchphrase ‘if it’s not in a bottle, then we made it’ really says it all. www.tablewine.ie

Goldie, Cork

I still dream of my first visit to Goldie on Cork’s Oliver Plunkett Street, and pinch myself with our luck nabbing a table with no reservation. Lucky we may well have been but I wouldn’t take that risk again when there are dishes such as Taiwanese fried fish nuggets and cauliflower karaage with salted lemon mayonnaise and sesame on the line. Goldie also caters for those who abhor sharing so this is one restaurant that will suit even the most vehement small plate critic. www.goldie.ie 

Frank’s, Dublin

As of the last couple of weeks, food is (finally) back at Frank’s. The much loved wine bar on Dublin’s Camden Street has introduced a new menu of small plates, reverting back to its pre-pandemic self. With just one long communal table, Frank’s has a strictly ‘walk in’ only policy so our advice is to make a beeline straight from work to get the best pew. Expect dishes such as Hegarty’s cheddar crumpet with cabbage and wild garlic and sweet treats like buttermilk ricotta, rhubarb and flowering currant all served with some of the most interesting wines the city has to offer. www.franksdublin.com 


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