Stitch and Bear

A long-running Irish blog with reviews of the best restaurants in Dublin and throughout Ireland. Some wine and cocktails thrown in for good measure!

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Saturday, August 10, 2019

[Review] The Eddison, Dylan Hotel, Eastmoreland Place, Dublin 4

The 5* Dylan Hotel, located just off Upper Baggot Street has recently had a significant refresh. The vibrant jewel colours and velvets of the Celtic Tiger era are gone, replaced by a sleek and stylish modern interior full of light and wood which suits the gorgeous redbrick exterior. The original building was built in 1901 as a home for nurses from the nearby Royal City of Dublin Hospital. Miss Edith Anne Eddison held the position of Matron from 1909 - 1917, during which she oversaw the treatment of soldiers and casualties from the 1916 Easter Rising, and the revamped Eddison Restaurant is named in her honour. 

The dining room itself is absolutely stunning with bright white walls, sage green seating and a eye-catching plant installation at the far end. The room whispers that good things happen here, and I gladly settle in on the comfortable seats with an excellent gin martini from the adjacent Ruby's Room bar. The stated focus of Chef Paul Quinn is to create food which is seasonal, fresh, Irish and clean, and this is reinforced by the menu which changes monthly to take full advantage of seasonal ingredients.
Stitch & Bear - The Eddison - Martini
Pre-dinner martini at the Eddison

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Sunday, July 28, 2019

[Review] Ichigo Ichie, Sheares Street, Cork

Visiting a restaurant with a freshly broken ankle is not something I'd normally recommend doing. However, when the restaurant in question is Cork City's only Michelin-starred restaurant, and the reservation was made several months before, then you can understand why I was determined to visit. Thus I found myself, two weeks after fracturing my fibula, slowly hobbling along Sheares Street and into the calm interior of Ichigo Ichie. 

The story of Takashi Miyazaki is the type of story we all love to hear. Takashi came to Ireland in 2008 after spending his career working in a 5* star hotel and travelling around Japan, exploring the different regional cuisines. Like all good stories, he fell in love with an Irishwoman and the rest is history. Leaving Japan behind, he had a dream of opening his own restaurant, and he succeeded in 2015 with the eponymous Miyazaki which bought casual Japanese food to Cork. But the dream wasn't over for this quietly determined man and, in April 2018, he opened the fine dining Ichigo Ichie. Accolades were quickly earned crowned with the awarding of a Michelin star a mere 6 months later. 
Stitch & Bear - Ichigo Ichie - Welcome
Welcome to Ichigo Ichie

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Thursday, May 30, 2019

[Review] Circa, Terenure, Dublin 6W

There's something magic and just a little special in the air at Terenure, and it's all due to a collaboration between four friends. There is no shortage of new restaurant openings in Dublin, and in order to stand out, you've got to hit the ground running. But when you consider the collective experience of co-owners Ross Duffy, Robert Murphy, Emmet Murphy and chef Gareth Naughton.

Just about everything at Circa makes me sing with happiness. The dining open is bright, open and spacious with plenty of room between tables. There are beautiful shades of green and brassy golden fixtures, plus a stunningly elegant  marble-topped bar for drinks and dining. Even the pine green subway tiles in the bathroom make me smile and this that this is the most beautiful bathroom. 
Stitch and Bear - Circa - The May menu
The May menu at Circa

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Sunday, March 3, 2019

[Review] Assassination Custard, Kevin Street Lower, Dublin 8

It's been a while. I wrote my last review on this blog in September 2018 not realising that my life was going to enter into a whirlwind phase. I was promoted at work, putting me firmly into the ranks of senior management. I started a work project that quickly took over a large chunk of my time, and we purchased a house. Following a long day at work, I would often find myself painting or sanding in a hurried effort to get our house ready before we moved in. Christmas dinner was served on two mismatched tables, with a fancy gold cloth hiding all manner of sins. Life does indeed have a mean sense of humour at times.

Anyway, it's time to get back to food and eating out. Assassination Custard is a little spot on Kevin Street owned by Ken Doherty and partner Gwen McGrath that has attained cult like status amongst food lovers since its opening in 2015. Its mystique is enhanced by the steel shuttering that usually hides the interior and the limited opening hours (12pm - 3pm, Monday to Friday only) which are not so great for those of us that are office based. Given that there are just a mere 12 seats spread across the 2 tables, I can advise that it's wise to get there early, especially as dishes tend to run out quickly with the first wave of diners. I arrived at 12.15pm only to find all spots taken, the only time I've ever found Irish people early for lunch.


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Tuesday, September 11, 2018

[Review] The Ivy, Dawson Street, Dublin 2

Remember the hype of swapping Panini football cards or Pokemon cards? You wanted to see what everyone else had, jealous of your friend's stash or gloating over your good fortune. Right now, the Irish food critics are in a foamy frenzy, the likes of which we haven't seen since the great swops of Italia 90. 

What's causing all this noise I hear you say? What is causing food critics to trade photos and experiences, eager to read the next review and revel in the next salacious salty comment? Perhaps the question is more zen. Are you even a food critic if you haven't written a review of The Ivy?
The rather stunning interior, courtesy of @theivydublin
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Sunday, July 29, 2018

[Review] Host, Ranelagh, Dublin 6

This review is a love story, a story of a girl and the perfect grilled pork chop. But before we get into the details of how this came about, I need to get something off my chest.

We've all become conscious of the horrendous lives of battery-farmed chicken but we don't yet have the same awareness when it comes to pigs. Pigs are smart, very smart in fact. I've laughed as my father has duelled with Houdini-like pigs, determined to escape their field at all costs and I've cursed when they manage to find, dig up and chew through the solitary water pipe that ran under their large field. I've enjoyed glorious pork, ham, bacon and homemade black pudding from the free-range pigs occasionally raised by my parents, and I wonder why we tolerate treating such a smart animal with such utter disrespect, raising them without sunshine and open air, and slaughtering them to produce discounted €3 packs of bland pork chops. 

Anyway, back to the review and why this porcine diatribe is relevant. Host Restaurant in Ranelagh has been open for nearly a year now and during that time, I've become quite a fan of the approach of co-owners Chloe Kearney and Niall McDermott (also head chef). The style at Host is minimalist, all the way from the bright white exterior with its oh-so-discreet signage right through to the exposed air ducts and open kitchen. It's a small space, but a clever mix of seating options brings a form of texture to the dining room which is bright in daytime and alluringly cosy at nighttime. 
Host restaurant, Ranelagh

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Saturday, July 21, 2018

[Review] Mad Egg, Charlotte Way, Dublin 2

Chicken is a meat I rarely order when dining out. It can be bland, dry and just an all-round snoozefest. But there is undoubtedly a place in my heart and my stomach for  classic crispy chicken dishes like chicken Kiev and fried chicken. In fact, there are a lot of fried chicken fans out there, as I learned when listening to an episode of BBC's The Food Programme podcast. And when there are lots of fans, it's always a good idea to take that seriously.

New casual restaurant Mad Egg located on Charlotte Way at the southern end of Camden Street, takes fried chicken very seriously indeed. Since opening several months again, it's been packed all day and evening. I know, I work nearby. I was initially skeptical about opening a restaurant in that location, but hey, what do I know?
Love me Sticky Tenders with chicken salt fries

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