5 Things You Should, Nay MUST, Consume This Weekend

1. Stoneybatter's latest dinner and brunch addition, Cotto, brought to you by the posse behind D7's Oxmantown, has so far been garnering solid word-of-mouth and press reviews for their simple, yet engaging, menu - the Irish Times says, ?extremely well balanced [allowing] the core ingredients to shine in their best light?. And while there are certainly no duds on the concise carte, The Elliot (pizza) with its tongues of inky superfood: cavola nero, comforting housemade fennel sausage, subtle chilli undercurrent and creamy ricotta finish - is a knockout. [Disclaimer: Cotto is my brother, Conor Higgins's restaurant ... make of that what you will, but like I say, read the reviews elsewhere for testament. Yes, that's right, my brother ... in the papers! Sure where would you get it?] Added bonus: you can tell your friends you were in ?The ?Batter? - 46 Manor Street, Stoneybatter, Dublin 7, 01 552 2918; cotto.ie


2. If you can finagle a table - current critic's darling, Barry FitzGerald and his team at Bastible are doing very lovely things with the very lovely new season asparagus that's currently doing the rounds. Expect bistro-deluxe executions with a homegrown twist, like this stunner: Ricotta Dumplings with an Asparagus Velout? and Sorrel. And make sure to spend a penny, their bathroom is also a stunner, no really: four stars, would also recommend. 111 South Circular Road, Dublin 8, 01 473 7409; bastible.com


3. Coffee obsessives Dave Regan and Niall Wynn have been brewing a quiet storm in a demitasse for Dublin bean aficionados just off Smithfield Square these past few months with their first bricks and mortar set up - Proper Order Coffee Co. The proprietors, who are familiar faces on the specialty coffee circuit, are not tied to one supplier - although Square Mile is the house go-to, you can also expect a rotation of Koppi, Drop, N'mad and Ceremony roasts ... sure it's far from the likes of it you were reared. 7 Haymarket, Smithfield, Dublin 7; [email protected]


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4. If the promised sunshine materialises this weekend and you fancy cooling off with a novantanove con centinaia e migliaia, you could do a lot worse than rocking up to Gino's Gelato on George's Street for a cornet to go, or stay, if mounting one of their slightly odd half Vespa scooter seats appeals and walking is just a bit too much effort - because it's very warm out, like. All ice cream is made on 100% organic, Irish milk and the Pistachio version is worth getting to know, intimately. Gino, oh Gino, Gelato ... (sorry). 90 South Great George's Street, Dublin 2, 01 6798539; ginosgelato.com


5. Outrageously kitsch, while strikingly authentic, Afghani/Pakistani Parnell Street stalwart, Dera, is a restaurant that all naan bread enthusiasts (who isn't one?) should make it their mission to seek out. Try the Peshwari naan - crispy, slightly charred and oily (in a good way) on the outside; warm, sweet, and toasted coconutty within? - it's the kind of thing that'll give you random cravings, often at inappropriate times, for the rest of your life. If you're feeling particularly culturally adventurous, or just gastronomically foolhardy, you could ask for a spot on their raised dais (s)eating area, where dining cross-legged at a very low table is the order of the day. Good luck with that. Ps, Dera is a halal restaurant, so no booze! 138 Parnell Street, Dublin 1, 086 245 0345; www.facebook.com/Dera-Restaurant-Dublin-956741004351180

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