29th Jul 2016
It’s a drizzly summer evening as me and +1 rock up to Bath Avenue. Billy Elliot at the Grand Canal Theatre hadn’t been all that, so we’d slid out at the interval, slightly shell-shocked by the SINGING. Turns out we’re not musical people.
At The Old Spot, thankfully, a relaxed cosiness seemed to be the only thing turned up to 11.
We had a pint in the comfy bar before Dublin front-of-house reliable, Conor Kavanagh, brought us to a lovely, snug table down at the back of the dining room. The restaurant is clubby, dark, but in a cosseting, rather than dreary, way.
Our waiter, a friendly Floridian woman, was perfectly knowledgeable, attentive, yet never overbearing – a fine exemplar of the best of North American service professionalism – and a pretty cool lady to boot.
The menu was short and although there were a number of interesting specials available, we stuck mostly to the carte. To start, a shared 1/2 dozen rock oysters. Plump, firm with a fresh, briny tang, these Waterford beauties were all that fresh Irish oysters can be.
To drink, +1 requested ‘something very hoppy.? The Bru R? Irish Craft IPA we got was very nice, though the hops played more of a subtle supporting role to the scene-stealing of the floral/chocolate centre stage.
For mains, the curious ?gnudi? caught +1’s eye – a gnocchi-style dumpling made with ricotta rather than spud, which makes for a lighter bellyful. The basil-green gnudi came with a medley of fresh greens, dressed in fresh mint and rich shavings of aged Parmesan and delicate summer truffle (?18). It impressed in spades. On Conor’s recommendation, I went for the free range pork. Why there aren’t more restaurants executing pork like this, I don’t know – there’s more to manly meat dishes than beef, lads – the Flintstone-sized ?chop? was absolutely cracking, accompanied by a harmonious smattering of warm earthy beets, crisp fondant potato, sweet Irish cherries and a spiky mustard jus (?24).
As puritanical followers of the Most Holy Church of the Round White Dinner Plate, our one niggle was with the heretical crockery: black, textured, triangular, rectangular, wool … I may have made up the last one up … all had a role, but it was very much a First World problem, so we soon got over ourselves.
Background music was perfectly-pitched, at a civilised volume and at no point did the staff break into a hysterical song and dance routine, which was a relief.
We skipped dessert but we’re told the pavlova is legendary. The bill came to €67.20, a little pricey for a mid-week dinner perhaps, but we certainly felt value for money was had – and we’ll definitely go again.
The Old Spot,
We are used to celebrities oversharing their lives. But sharing...
This healthy fish and courgette chips recipe from Jane Kennedy...
Still one of our favourite homes ever, the easy-breezy interiors...
For Mother's Day Lia Hynes sits down with Rosanna Davidson, whose exceptional journey into motherhood has given many hope.
The documentary Miss Americana has shown a different side to...
“Every baby costs you a book” – that’s something women...