As the restaurant industry tentatively negotiates its way into vastly different terrain, it has been a joy to see some old favourites reopen their doors to patrons and enjoy meals out with family and friends. Spare a thought however for those who are opening their doors for the first time which, in itself can be mind numbingly stressful, even at the best of times.
In Terenure, Kitchen 101 is a brand new venture by chef owner Jaco Pretorius, former head chef at La Maison. Pitching itself as a neighbourhood family bistro, Kitchen 101 will be open for brunch at the weekends and dinner from Wednesday to Saturday. The cardamom quinoa porridge with grilled caramelised peaches is one to try or for those who require a little more spice in their lives, the grilled jalapenos with Macroom buffalo curd and roasted hazelnut would be just the ticket. www.kitchen101.ie
The Kemp sisters are at it again with a new venture on the third floor in Brown Thomas, Hugh Browns. Lunch will be served Monday to Friday with a brunch menu available at weekends. Overall, the menu is full of classic dishes such as omelette Arnold Bennett with smoked haddock, spinach and Wicklow cheddar and Caesar or Cobb salad, as well as roasted cauliflower with baba ganoush, radish salad and almonds. There is a small but perfectly formed cocktail list and a children’s menu for the smaller shoppers. www.brownthomas.com
While not exactly a new opening, Canteen restaurant has finally opened their doors in their new quarters in The Marlin Hotel. This is the third home for Canteen and it was due to open its shiny new doors just before Covid swooped in and changed everything. The early evening menu is a steal at €29 for two courses and the food is visually stunning, and by all accounts, the taste does not disappoint either. www.marlinhotel.ie/canteen
In Malahide, a new steakhouse named Ribeye has opened its doors and the menu ticks all the requisite steakhouse boxes. There are steamed Lambay Island crab claws over crushed ice with Marie rose, mustard mayo and lemon and an array of steaks for mains. Classic sides include truffle fries, mac n cheese and crunchy onion rings. There are quite a few non-steak mains as an alternative, however it might be best to let the vegan in your life sit this one out. www.ribeyesteakhouse.ie
In the ever expanding food metropolis that is Stoneybatter, Cow Lane Tapas has opened, much to the delight of the locals. Cow Lane opened its doors around two days before Covid erupted so while not officially brand new, they are definitely in their infancy. The menu is broad with quite a few quirky dishes that while may not be quintessentially tapas, still sneak in under the ‘small plates’ rule. Either way, I wouldn’t say no to dal falafels and at €9.95 for a steaming bowl of paella, this is bound to be a popular spot. www.cowlane.ie
Finally, should you be lucky enough to get to Galway this summer, The Sea Hare Pop Up has opened in a new location at The Pier Bar in Cleggan, Connemara. Cleggan Bay Lobster and a pint of Guinness or glass of wine can be all yours for €25 and the new Sea Hare ‘pick up’ menu allows staycationers a night off from cooking. The Sea Hare will also be hosting ticketed seafood dinners every Thursday night throughout the summer which sounds like reason in itself to head west this summer. www.theseahare.ie
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