Stephen McAllister's menu at The Pig's Ear reads like a paean to Irish food - showcasing Cuinne?g farmhouse butter, Maurice Kettyle's beef, Lough Erne milk fed lamb, Castletownbere crab, Gubeen chorizo and more. It's a menu so full of things you want to eat, the patient waitstaff will most likely have to come back at least three times before you decide. We'd been given the heads up to go straight for the beef and marrow tartare ??it came served in a marrow bone with tangy tarragon mayo and crisp sourdough toast on the side ??and we were eternally grateful for the tip-off. It was sensational. While the food here is not fussy it's impeccably crafted and presented. The (first floor) room is also buzzy and intimate with views out over Trinity playing fields and lots of characterful touches: we loved the sugar served in mini Siucra bags and milk in little old-fashioned bottles. When overseas friends come to call, this is the place to take them.
Star staff?Manager Carlo Mori runs a smooth operation with a friendly, clued-in team.
What to drink?The wine list offers a short selection in each style with bottles starting at €21 - namely the very quaffable Wild Pig (French) Sauvignon.
Savvy spender?The early evening menu (5.30pm-6.30pm) offers two courses for €21.95 and three for €26.95. A veritable steal for ingredients of this calibre.
We'll be back for?A night out at their Chef's Counter upstairs - an intimate space where you can share the table for eight or sit at the bar and the watch as your personal chef prepares a 12-course tasting menu (?85).
Top table?It has to be one by the window overlooking Trinners.