There can be no arguing the fact that Irish businesses have proven their ability to think creatively when it comes to challenging situations and the wonderful array of offerings being presented on a weekly basis can bring us some joy in these trying times. Visiting restaurants might be on pause for now, but celebrating the weekends with a restaurant experience allows us an escape from the mid-week mundane, and for that we are thankful. With new ventures popping up on a weekly basis it can be hard to keep up, but here are four to try over the coming weeks.
Head chef of Pichet, Harry Quinn certainly knows his way around a kitchen having spent a combined total of six years in various Michelin star establishments including the much loved Chapter One, followed by spells in Clanbrassil House and Luna. Harry Quinn at Home is a ‘premium at home dining experience’, designed to give the patron as near to a restaurant experience at home as is possible right now. Each week, Harry offers a three course menu with a loaf of freshly baked bread and petit fours to finish. As Harry explains “everything in the box is prepared and created from scratch. Each element, from the food to the menus is created with the same love and attention to detail as you would find in a top-quality restaurant. It is designed to give people a restaurant-like experience at home”. You can expect dishes such as celeriac veloute with honey, thyme oil and toasted walnuts followed by beef wellington with charred broccoli and Coolea cheddar cauliflower gratin and green peppercorn sauce. To finish, a chocolate tart with blood orange and crème fraiche. Harry Quinn at Home is based in Monkstown with collection available from Thursday to Sunday, 4–7pm. Meals kits are limited to 40/45 each week and if his first weekend is anything to go by, you had better be quick. www.instagram.com/harryquinnathome
Based in Blackrock, Leroys is another new ‘restaurant at home’ venture you really should know about. The four course menus for two have a good proportion of Irish produce and we are advised that all that is required is minimal chopping and reheating before sitting down to enjoy a feast. Dishes such as pappardelle with seasonal mushroom and Irish sausage cream, and organic Irish salmon, topped with arjard, house pickled onion and dill are visually stunning but for me, it’s the drunk prunes in red wine with mascarpone that have caused me sleepless nights. Menus change every couple of weeks and there are options to add cocktails and natural wines from Natty Wines. www.instagram.com/leroysdublin/
Coconut and Moo Moo
Basque cheesecake delivered? It’s a dangerous concept (for me at least) but one I am most definitely open to. Basque cheesecakes are certainly having a moment and there is very good reason for that. The caramelised topping, creamy texture and melt in your mouth interior is difficult to perfect but now, that needn’t be an issue. Coconut and Moo Moo was created (like so many) from a lockdown fuelled spark of creativity by Simon Black and his wife Summer, who, over numerous lockdowns, perfected this creation and inspired by the reactions they received from ever grateful friends and neighbours decided to bring cheesecake to the masses. The Basque cheesecake is available in two sizes, serving 6 – 8 or individual. There is also a low carb, gluten free version. Delivery is available within 10k of their Sandyford premises and for the rest of us, collection is also (thankfully) an option. www.coconutandmoomoo.com
CQD by Colin Brogan
Colin Brogan likes to give back, that much is evident. His neighbours in Clancy Quay are no doubt grateful that the Spitalfields chef was suffering from some lockdown lethargy so made the decision to share his talents with those around him, hence, Clancy Quay Dining was born. Since launching in November 2020, Colin has offered a new four course menu each week featuring a soup course and a starter followed by classic winter warmers such as chicken and leek pie with Madeira or confit duck with bean cassoulet. There are plenty of veggie dishes too and each menu comes with homemade sourdough bread and shitake butter which is always a treat. Menus are available for pick up or delivery (Clancy Quay only) between 4–7pm Thursday to Saturday and minimal heating is the only requirement. www.instagram.com/cq_dining/
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