Starter choices looked sound enough – kipper pate, crab and salmon, foie gras and a few others with me ultimately choosing a langoustine cocktail (€14.50). I was already set on having a steak for my main but, which steak? Now there’s a thing. I’m a fillet girl so that piece is easy – but steak au poivre or steak with béarnaise sauce, beurre bordelaise or herb butter with snails?! And that’s not even all of the options – dilemma. Finally settled on the béarnaise (€30.00) after some serious umming and ahhing.
My man was on a slightly different vibe from me, trying to keep it a bit lighter and had a kipper pate (€9.95) followed by tuna steak with Provençal salad (€29.95).
We had a lovely, lovely waitress who couldn’t have been more helpful (hurrah!) so we got our order in and settled in with a couple of glasses of Rioja. It’s a really comfortable and cosy dining room – you find yourself surrounded with black and white photos of the rich and famous (and nearly famous) and there’s an opulent feel with it being a little dark and plenty of gold on the walls and around.
As both of our starters were cold service was quick. Very quick. Maybe a little too quick. My langoustine cocktail (I feel a bit of an arse saying ‘langoustine cocktail’ – it actually came up on the bill as prawn cocktail, so I’ll start again). My prawn cocktail was delish – big, juicy *cough* Dublin Bay prawns, creamy tangy marie-rose sauce and crispy iceberg lettuce. It was served in martini glass, which made the practical eating of the dish a little challenging, but I survived, heheh.
The kipper pate came with crispy melba toast and the portion size was generous. I asked my man how he liked it and the response was ‘it’s fishy and pateish’ – see what I have to contend with! ;o)
Unfortunately we only got a fairly brief break before our mains arrived – for a late lunch on a Saturday afternoon I would have liked a bit more laziness about the whole affair, but I suppose it is a balance for the restaurant and I would have hated too long a wait.
My steak was great. I ordered it rare and it was cooked perfectly. It was served with maybe 8 chunky chips and the béarnaise. The chips were tasty – well cooked, and nice and fluffy in the middle – my only issue was the chunky chips aren’t my fave and I saw that someone next to me had swapped them for skinny ones – doh, wish I’d done that! The béarnaise sauce was thick and rich - I wish the vinegar had cut through slightly more, but that certainly didn’t hold me back.
The tuna was a winner as well – the Provençal salad was full of fennel and olive flavours. The only fault you might pick was that the salad was slightly oily, but the fish was cooked nice and rare and everything balanced well.
Feeling emboldened by my two glasses of vino (how did that happen?) I was enticed into a dessert and an accompanying amaretto – well it was Saturday afternoon?! I blame the wine for not thinking about that fact that the strawberries in the Eton Mess might not be exactly seasonal, but they were served in a syrup and it was still gorgeous. Big chunks of meringue and lots of thick cream.
So overall – I had a fab time. The food was tasty and the atmosphere cosy and welcoming. The only big drawback was the price – if felt a little decadent for lunch at €130. You could bring that down if you didn’t have as much booze or ordered from the set menu, but on other hand it has the kind of atmosphere that has you ordering a large glass of red and a steak whether you realised you wanted one or not!