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Need experienced advice Dublin restaurant 40th birthday, coming from Chicago

Pearl is one of my favourites, but I think for the mix of atmosphere and food you are looking for Unicorn would be the best option.

Sep 04, 2009
dublinminx in U.K./Ireland

Dublin - Where to go to be wowwed?

I think the thread has become confused by comparing what might be a wow $300 meal with other general recomendations.
To answer the OP, for that sort of wow factor, I would recommend Patrick Guilbauds. The only 2 michelin * restaurant in Dublin. It has fantastic food and service. My personal favourite in that category would be Thorntons. They previously had 2* but last year lost one. Still for my money the most wow in terms of food. Their tasting menu is fantastic.
Otherwise L'ecrivan is another with good standards, but less of a wow factor to compare internationally in my opinion.
Unfortunately Dublin still has very expensive restaurant prices relative to what you get, although that is changing.
In the mid price range, some of my favourites have been mentioned already. Pearl Brasserie, One Pico, Eden, and also Bentleys which hasn't been discussed yet.
I think Roly's is over rated, and still trying to trade on a reputation and menu from a dated past.
What I am glad to see is that there are some great new casual restaurants doing fantastic, local ingredient food, at very cheap prices. These places do not have any wow factor in terms of setting, but are trying to offer good food, cooked well in casual surroundings with great service. My current favourite is Green 19, where no main course costs more than 10 Euro.

Jul 28, 2009
dublinminx in U.K./Ireland

Thanks to all. Food report

I felt it was the mix of potatoe and cheese that did it. Very heavy.

Thanks to all. Food report

Thanks to all the SF hounders. I just returned from 6 days in San Fran, and 4 nights in Cambria.
We had a great trip, and some fab food, helped mostly by recomendations from the board. So thanks to all. I cannot remember half of the places we ate, but for the ones I can, here are my thoughts.

- The Great
- Kokkari - This was our best meal. Lovely setting close to the Embarcadero. Great service, and everything we ordered was sublime. We had a long, leisurely and boozy lunch, but ordered from both the lunch and dinner menu. They also had a very interesting wine list.
I loved the prawn starter. They were the most succulent, best cooked I had the whole trip. They were cooked in a fantastic mediteranian spicy sauce with a hint of feta. The portion was large with 6-7 large prawns in a teracotta dish. Still sizzling when it hit the table, but never felt overcooked, one of my usual complaints about prawns. This was the best prawn dish I have tasted in a while. For Entree I had the whole cooked fish, seabass. This was cooked a point, flavoursome, still leaving room for the fish to win.
My companion had the meatballs which he loved. But is still talking about the daily special of Pork chops which had been marinated for 2 days. The meal was outstanding, and if I lived in San Fran, would be a regular visitor.
-A 16 - We had a fantastic lunch here. The pizza is worth the trip alone, and salads are fantastic.
-Sens - This was another outstanding meal. The setting seemed very buisness like, with little atmosphere the evening we dined, as there was a large corporate do on. However, despite initial reservations, we had a great experience. This type of fusion, both in Kokkari and Sens really worked for us. I cannot recall exactly what we ate, but my companion loved the steak, and I loved the mediteranian spreads, flat bread and sea bass again.

-The Good
-Le Colonial - Decent Thai food in a lovely garden setting. We had a large selection, and found most dishes to be done well. Not the most authentic Thai, but pleasant, well cooked food in a nice setting.
-BetelNut- I loved this. Again a fusion/Thai sort of place in the Marina. The lettuce cups were really good, as was all the seafood. The cauliflower appitizer was one of my favourite things of the trip.
-Cafe Claude - Really decent and well priced bistro french lunch. Good service, crisp/fresh food.
-Zuni - The sunday brunch here was very good. The service less so. Very chilled, nice brunch atmosphere, with a great and no so traditional choice of brunch options. The salads/pizza/pork chop were very decent.
-Epic Roasthouse - We had some bar food here the night we arrived. The sausage sandwich was fantastic, but I felt the burger left a bit to be desired. Some of the skewered options are tasty, as bar food.
- Perrys - Due to jeg lag, and early starts, we breakfasted here most mornings. My companion is a staunch diner breakfast sort of guy and loved it. He said the French toast/tortilla scramble were top notch.

- The downright dissapointing.
- Foreign Cinema - I had made a reservation here ahead of time, and was looking forward to the meal. The setting is fantastic, the service good, but the food was we felt, very dissapointing. The crab brandade starter was sickningly heavy after a couple of bites, very sweet and clawing.
I had one of the fish entrees, I think Halibut, but it came so rare as to be cold and uncooked. Having sent it back twice, I gave up. My companion ordered their 'special' chicken. He couldn't eat it, it was so greasy. This is a guy who loves KFC! All in all a very dissapointing experience, and our worst meal of the trip.
- Slanted Door. - I had read the mixed reviews here, but we decided to try. The food is ok. Nothing earth shattering, nothing terrible. But the room is far too crowded, the tables too close together, and the overall experience was lacking.

Out of Town.
After San Fran, we drove down the coast for 4 nights and stayed in Cambria. I will post seperately there, but felt the Black Cat Bistro was worth a mention here for any of you who travel.
This is a fantastic bistro that we ate in 3 times in our 4 days. Their happy hour bar snacks comprise of braesola wrapped around ripe warmed nectarines in balsamic reduction/tempura avocado, etc.
The menu is small, well thought out, and excellently executed. We tasted most things off the menu, and I would return in a heartbeat. It is small, friendly, and the waiter is the patron who takes great pride in everything they serve. Worth the drive.

Thanks again to all who gave great advice and helped us eat so well on our trip to San Fran.

Early breakfast near Embarcarado?

Thanks folks, some options there. We will be in San fran from Tues through Monday. So might get to try them all.

Early breakfast near Embarcarado?

From past experience, I am expecting we will be awake very early from jetlag the first few days.
Our plan will be to walk out from Hotel Vitale each morning. Is there anywhere close by that opens for breakfast early? I have been up from 6am previous times. My travel partner seeks stodgy fare, omletts/pancakes etc. Where I would be looking for healthier options. I don't mind walking or travelling a bit if we can find a decent breakfast spot open early.

Where for chilled brunch?

Sorry, chilled as in mellow.

Where for chilled brunch?

I am coming to SF shortly for my first trip, and am compiling a list of restaurants.
Can anyone recomend somewhere for Sunday Brunch? It doesn't matter where in the city, I'm happy to travel. We will have been out very late Sat night, so really want something chilled with a local atmosphere, good food choices, and great drinks. We may need a cure.
It should also have simple food options like a burger, as my travel companion is not too adventurous.

Shang, in Thompson LES

Anyone tried this or seen it yet? I am staying there over Christmas, so eager to see what the lounge/restaurant is like?

Dec 08, 2008
dublinminx in Manhattan

Christmas Trip. Avice?

Thanks for the suggestions people. Am taking notes.

Dec 08, 2008
dublinminx in Manhattan

Christmas Trip. Avice?

I am going to be in NY again for 6 days over Christmas.
I have some reservations, and was looking for advice from you hounds.
Given my travel partner. We can't do fine dining. He is a basic food type, Steak, some seafood, but no shellfish, sushi. Grilled Cod is about as adventurous as it gets;). He will also eat chicken, but thats about it.
I'm pushing it a bit with the restaurants I have booked, but I think he will be able to find something off all the menus. We are mid 30's, dont want anything too fancy. Like a relaxed/buzzy vibe, good wine/cocktails. So all advice suggestions welcome.
Christmas Eve - I have booked Mas farmhouse. I think this will be the biggest stretch for him. But Im hoping it will be worth it. Set meal for $98
Christmas Day - We have booked Allen & Dellancey, as we are staying LES, and will be uptown earlier. Plan champagne in the Plaza, breakfast at the Rivington.A & D seemed like the only decent dinner option in the area, as once we get back from a long day will want something close to Hotel for dinner. Any other suggestions/options?
26th - Seven bar & grill before a Nicks game.
27th - I have booked Public in Noho. Have been here before, like the ambiance, food. Is there something equivilant Soho/Village area that might substitute? Preferably less fancy food wise?
28th- Travel Partners choice of Dylan Prime.
We will eat out every meal, so breakfast recomendations in LES would be great. I have a good list for lunches, but any other options welcome.
We also have a plan for a day in Brooklyn around Park Slope etc. So lunch recomendations for there would be great too.

Dec 07, 2008
dublinminx in Manhattan

How flexible are Degustation?

I am spending a week in NY over Christmas. Have most of my restaurant trips planned, reservations permitting. Fingers crossed.
I would love to try the tasting menu at Degustation, but my travelling companion is a little fussy. He only eats red meat, no offal. Poultry or non shell fish. Is this too much of an ask for the tasting menu, or would they accomodate?

Nov 05, 2008
dublinminx in Manhattan

West Village/Meatpacking District breakfast?

I will be visiting over Christmas and staying around Horatio St. I know the area well, and love Jacks for my coffee & bagel.
My travelling partner prefers omlets etc for breakfast. Since Florent has closed, can anyone recomend anywhere close by where he might get his breakfast fix?

Oct 12, 2008
dublinminx in Manhattan