The weather might be rubbish outside, or perhaps you want to cosy up for a delicious dinner with your loved one? Whatever your reason for wanting a cosy wee evening, you might want to head to one of these great restaurants.
The clue is in the name. This elegant, independent restaurant in Harold’s Cross is a failsafe, you’ll always get a delicious meal here. It’ll please grandparents, cousins, a new squeeze, and an old friend. Start with a bellini and finish with a banging dessert, like the chocolate mousse, buttermilk, cookie, and miso caramel. One ResDiary reviewer said “super jealous of people on your doorstep!”. Set up by Phil Yeung, who spent five years as head chef at Bang on Merrion Row. He’s now set up this great neighbourhood restaurant, with a selection of snacks such as Jerusalem artichoke chips with a smoked bacon mayo. Drool. As well as Crab crackers with avocado and coriander, and the pickled apple sauce with the deep-fried pork croquettes is a winner. If you need a place to go for a good ol’ catch up, craft is the perfect spot.
In the heart of Dublin is Mr Fox in the basement of what used to be The Hot Stove. This place is the sister restaurant of The Pig’s Ear so expect good things. If you’re looking for something cosy in the city centre, this is your bag. The informal atmospheric bar and dining room serves the best of local and seasonal ingredients to create modern international dishes. Anthony’s cooking has been described as natural and honest, presented in a relaxed setting. When you arrive you’ll be treated to a delightful bread basket with whipped butter and a cheesy cream, and we would wholeheartedly recommend the snacks, especially the lardo on toast. If you’re going all out, the bone marrow is a definite ResDiary recommendation, as well as the deer meat tartare to start. You can be rest assured that any of the mains will be cooked to perfection.
Fancy going somewhere that feels so homey it’s been named after the French word for home? Yeah, that’s La Maison’s vibe. With artwork by Leonetto Cappiello, L’oir Dor, and Diable Vent, from the Paris at Puces market, you’ll feel like you’re in a cosy restaurant in one of Paris’s “arrondissements”. On the second level the dining room is light and airy, with sash windows looking out onto the bustling Castle Market Street. Rest assured the food will be good, as it’s the brainchild of Breton chef Olivier Quenet, who has spent most of his working life in Michelin-starred kitchens. Enjoy a traditional coq au vin or opt for the fish of the day, whatever you choose, you know you’ll be getting a dish prepared to perfection.
Chameleon Temple Bar
A hidden gem, tucked away in Dublin’s infamous Temple Bar, Chameleon does set menus of Indonesian dishes which are brought to a hot plate in the middle of the table.Their list of “Asian tapas” plates and craft beer is the perfect way to spend an evening in Dublin’s busy center. Here the satay sauce is delicious and thick, and obviously homemade, not as jammy and sweet as the Thai version. If you’re into steamed buns, this is the place to go. If you have arguments over WhatsApp about the best steamed buns in Dublin (I’ve seen it happen), settle them here. There’s no sugar on the top of the dough so they brilliantly white and sticky in texture.
Etto is an award-winning restaurant on Dublin’s Merrion Row. Their daily changing, seasonal menu, uses ingredients from local producers and suppliers where possible. Their wines are carefully selected with a focus on interesting grape varietals and small producers. Even their nibbles are delicious, you’ve got another delicious croquette to try in Dublin, and their crispy pork and veal stuffed olives will leave you speechless. Yep, we said it. Their main courses include roast onion squash risotto, chanterelles and taleggio (TALEGGIO), and dreamy côte de bœuf, bordelaise sauce and crispy garlic potatoes.
From the owners of Etto and chef Paul McNamara, comes Spanish inspired restaurant, Uno Mas on Aungier Street. You’ll want just “Uno Mas” of every dish on the menu, especially the potato and onion tortilla, something I have a bit of a soft spot for. If you’re not sure when you can get a table, just have a search of the availability on ResDiary. They’re usually booked way in advance, so sometimes have times free you might not expect. See if that Wednesday evening next month is free for you. The wine list is equally as spectacular and moreish, so perhaps book the next day off work just to fully enjoy that vino and sherry selection. Get cosy, and you’ll feel like you’re in the middle of Barcelona when actually you’re in Ireland’s capital city on a dreary day.
There’s a small restaurant with a big heart (and an even bigger oven) on Thomas Street, offering that perfect pairing of fire and flavour. At the time of writing, their Instagram profile was void of their own posts, adding an air of mystery about chef Keelan Higgs’ new restaurant. You’ll need to view the highlights of their Instagram stories to see exactly what kind of food could be on offer when you go. The sample menu on their website boasts dishes ranging from comte ravioli to foie gras to spaghetti alfredo. If you’re wondering whether or not to book a table for your next meal out, let us bring in Catherine Cleary from the Irish Times who wrote “It’s been a heartening start to the year to find one of my meals of the year in an unloved stretch of Dublin street. Hearth and home in one place.”
The Old Spot
The Old Spot is a classic and timeless gastropub, “a good spot for hearty pub food”. Order any of their classic pub dishes and you’ll be pleased. We’re talking burgers, pies, and good ol’ fashioned beer battered fish and chips. If you’re looking for a cosy spot with a roaring fire, and all the best comfort food you’re used to, then this is the place to go. In the leafy suburbs of Sandymount, you can go for a wee walk around the neighborhood before, or after your delicious meal. One of our favourite dishes on the menu is the “White Pudding Scotch Egg, with homemade brown sauce, bacon and caper dressing”. Pubs are usually associated with a Sunday Roast, and we would definitely recommend booking The Old Spot for a cosy Sunday Lunch.