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Dublin - Where to go to be wowwed?

I am from San Francisco, and my favorite restaurant in Dublin is Bang Cafe on St. Stephen's Green. It's kind of a Chez Panisse Cafe for Dublin: all locally-sourced, kind of nouvelle Irish with a good dollop of everywhere thrown in. I really like it, and I am really picky. I'm in Dublin this week, and I am really sad that they picked this week to renovate.

Aug 06, 2009
lbc2 in U.K./Ireland

Wine country question - I really did search first!

Since you are starting in St. Helena, there is a great wine store on Main Street called St. Helena Wine Center. While they have their fancy wines, they stock a lot of small productions. (They have a handful of spirits, for example, and they are all hand-picked.) They don't sell anything they don't drink, and they are great on about telling you where to go locally that's different. (There's a great free map that you can get that shows all the wineries, even those off the beaten track.) Also, JV Wine in Napa (looks like a liquor barn, owned by Vallergras) has a great higher-end section with wine tastings on Friday and all the locals hang there. I met the guy there from Parador (really delicious napa cab/tempranillo), and learned about Amici, and on and on. Tastings are $2. It sounds crazy, but it's like hidden Napa, and it's not fancy, and you get all the tips on where to go. For a few suggestions, try Saintsbury in Carneros, Quintessa (book it) on the Silverado trail (Charles Thomas formerly of Cardinale is making wines there), and Hess Collection (see the modern art collection, watch the video of Mt. Veeder) (high-end Mt. Veeder cabs are awesome and you won't find them, though you'll find the cheaper ones). But your guys at St. Helena wine center? They'll steer you right.

Jun 11, 2008
lbc2 in San Francisco Bay Area

IF YOU HAVE 3 DAYS in Chicago Where would you eat?

To piggyback on this conversation, I have one day (tomorrow) in Chicago, I'm staying at the W Lakeshore en route to a family event, no car (but cabs are fine), and one night for dinner. And I'm from San Francisco, which I mention only for context. My favorite restaurants tend to the smaller (but cool) places with younger chefs who aren't so popular that it's become a huge production yet (fancy restaurants become a business, and it's hard to keep cooking with love). but I still like Gary Danko in San Francisco (and go to the Mission or Potrero Hill otherwise, if you know the area).

Jun 11, 2008
lbc2 in Chicago Area

Dinner Tonight (Clerkenwell

I'm in town from San Francisco, and have spent some time browsing the boards, but haven't hit on the right spot for dinner tonight. (I know it's last minute.) We are going for drinks first at a friend's flat, and he's somewhere near Clerkenwell/Hoxton (I understand), so East End, right? Over time, I've collected different restaurants in a list I have on my Palm, but the concierge here was steering me to Zetter Hotel (despite my telling him I wasn't that excited about hotel dining). (He was described by the guest services person as a foodie, so maybe he's right.) I told him no Gordon Ramsey/Alain Ducasse fanciness, and I'd prefer something fun but not too posh. I don't mind a bit trendy, but as Gary Danko says in San Francisco, I'd prefer somewhere where they cook with love.

There are four of us, and I'd prefer a reservation. Places on my list (that I've gathered over time from various reviews or recommendations, though the sources are now lost to me) include the following:

St Johns (but I heard it's offal, and, well, two of the four of us are Americans) (I at least eat liver, but not beyond that) (and f.g.)
The Eagle (I've read here that the Fox is better but the concierge said, no, the Eagle) (except they don't take reservations tonight except for parties of 6 or more) (I hear the last night of the month is a busy night out?)
The Fox
Bleeding Heart Tavern (though the concierge said it's fancy?)
Le Comptoir (he said it's posh, and a club too) (I prefer "fun Saturday night" not way dressy)
Smithfield at Smithfields
Cock Tavern
Little Bay
La Flaneur
The Real Greek Mezedopolio

And that's what I've got. In San Francisco, I tend to go out in the Mission, SoMi, and Potrero, and in New York, I tend toward Nolita and lower East Side, if that helps at all. I guess that can be described as sort of young chefs in nice spaces, but not at all pretentious. Locally-sourced products within a 100 mile radius, a bit local rather than for tourons, that sort of thing. And if you wonder why my friends here haven't picked for us, well, my friends end up relying on me to pick restaurants. Even if I'm from out of town.

Thanks very much for your help. I'll continue to try to poke around the boards, but I've spent hours.

Nov 30, 2007
lbc2 in U.K./Ireland

Dublin Suggestions

I really like Bang Cafe. I suppose it's a bit trendy, but I find it spare and pretty understated, and it's (not to beat a cliche) sort of Irish nouvelle cuisine (locally-sourced, organic, all that).

Nov 30, 2007
lbc2 in U.K./Ireland

Dinner in the Mission District?

In addition to some great recs here (the only one I didn't like was El Delfin, though I wanted to, and I haven't tried Spork or the Front Porch yet), I really liked Lolo, billed as Mediterranean/Latin American (chefs are Turkish and Mexican, with the interior hipster furnishings designed by the chef's wife, also from Mexico). I thought it was classic Mission, interesting, inventive, maybe not perfect, but you don't care because it's stretching. Slow Club is one of my favorites, period. And I liked the others, too.

Query: does anyone on this board know the name of the brand new restaurant that is opening or has opened across the street from Lolo? so 3200 block of Mission, odd-numbered side of block? I'm trying to figure out on line what it is, and I'm not having luck!

Nov 20, 2007
lbc2 in San Francisco Bay Area