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!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Food on Hanover Quay

I recently had two meals in two new restaurants on Hanover Quay in Dublin 2. Given that there are a large number of businesses in that area, the number, variety and value of restaurants has never really been adequate.

First up was a lunch for two in Riva Restaurant, which I understand bills itself as organic and Mediterranean. I had a duck, plum, hazelnut and bacon salad which was dressed with a tamarind or hoisin type sauce. I like coming across new salad combinations and this was absolutely delicious. Our other dish of seafood risotto was perfectly cooked with nubbly rice and tasted of the sea. It could have benefited from the texture of some vegetables such as peas or asparagus, but it was still better than a lot of other risottos I've tasted. Riva isn't cheap, our lunch including a bottle of sparkling water and two espressos was around 45 euro but the food was good and I'm looking forward to trying it out for dinner some evening as it does seem to offer good evening value. Service was good with one of the most snake-hipped waiters I've ever seen. Well done Riva, it's not often a restaurant surprises me.

The other new kid on the block is Herbstreet, which has a funky concrete interior complete with
orange electrical conduit lighting and comfortable wire mesh chairs. We ordered a hamburger with cheese and saute onions and a hot corned beef sandwich. When the burger came, it was with bacon and onions, but it didn't bother me too much. The bun was an odd kind of yeasty bread which demanded too much chewing. It was clear after a bite or two that the burger was slightly off, as if the meat used to make the burger was slightly old. I left it on the plate. The accompanying shoestring fries were perfect. The hot beef sandwich was stuffed with meat and was very filling and represented good value at 7.50 euro. Two espressos and a diet coke bought the menu to about 25 euro which is good value for a lunch. However, I'll be wary of returning following that burger experience.

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