This is the stunning new sister restaurant to Forest Avenue. It's described as a small neighbourhood wine room and kitchen, run by chef Ciaran Sweeney. You're in for an elegant experience.
They don't take reservations so we arrived at 5.30 for fear we wouldn't get a table. The restaurant is small, but cleverly layed out. The interior and attention to detail is simply stunning. Having lived in New York for such a long time time, it reminded me of being nestled away in the heart of the West Village.
We all decided on the Chef's tasting menu for €39. It's a little more fun when you don't know what to expect and was suitable for the occasion, we were celebrating a birthday. What followed was simply stunning.
We were first brought out a caramelised onion bread with aged butter, delicious. This was followed by small bites, first we were given quinoa crisps with pickled carrot, goats cheese and truffle. Wow, the combination of flavours and crispiness of the crisp was perfection. Next was an artichoke crisp with ceps, hazelnuts and onion. Probably two of my favourite things combined, artichoke and mushrooms so I was delighted. Next was whipped brandade with lemon and cod skin chips, this actually reminded me of one of my chef's in New York, I know he would appreciate this. Bear in mind all these small bites come out separately, you're given time between each. They're the perfect bites to come in and have at the bar with a glass of wine and are priced individually on the menu between €4-€6.
Next we were given smoked salmon with lovage and radish. Beef tartare with oyster, celeriac and tarragon, and beetroot with walnuts and borderlaise. The precision of these plates is an art. The combination of flavours makes each dish exciting. These are also priced separately on the menu between €10-€12.
Onto the larger plates. We were given the cod with peas, asparagus and coconut and lamb with artichoke, anchovy and samphire. Both were exquisite. This is fine dining but without the fussiness. The staff were friendly and inviting. We had to have dessert and opted for one of each on the menu, which was a tart with lime leaf custard, strawberry, hibiscus and meringue and a white chocolate yogurt with almond and dill sorbet. Silence came over the table until each morsel was eaten. This may sound like an awful lot of food but it was actually perfect. Nothing is too overpowering, the portions are controlled and the menu fits perfectly together.
This restaurant takes pride in what it does and is doing it well. We look forward to our return.