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, July 20, 2010

Pichet Restaurant - Dublin

Pichet restaurant is famous for a few reasons. Firstly, it featured in the TV3 series "The Restaurant" which depicted the trials and tribulations of setting up a new restaurant in the midst of the recession in Dublin. The team members have worked with many leading lights in the restaurant industry and have now turned their attention to the Pichet venture.

We arrived for our pre-booked table on a very rainy Saturday. You can enter the restaurant via the cafe from Trinity Street, or more directly from a door on the adjacent side street. Inside the decor features French gray walls with comfortable blue leather chairs with white piping detail.

We decided to go for the shortened lunch menu where you can enjoy 2 courses for €20 or 3 for €25. As it was a diet-free day, 3 courses was the order of the day. For starters, I chose the country-style terrine with sauce gribiche, parsley puree and brioche. I can't stand parsley, but that aside, the terrine was rather excellent. A decent sized slice was meaty and chunky and well-flavoured. The OH chose the summer vegetable risotto with Portobello pesto and pea shoots. Despite being a little too "loose", it was very tasty and nicely cooked.

For mains, I chose the rare breed pork with caper and spinach cream, tomato chutney and champ mash. What I got was a very substantial pork chop, which was cooked on the right side of juicy, but unfortunately it hadn't been seasoned well prior to cooking and as a result was a little less flavorful than it could have been. The accompanying champ mash was nothing short of delicious. The OH went for the roast cod, shellfish orzo, fine ratatouille and saffron. It was exactly the kind of dish he likes, fish with vegetables and creamy sauce.

For deserts, I selected the Eton mess, which was a light, crumbly pile of lemon curd, meringue, cream and strawberries. His baked vanilla cheesecake came with passionfruit jelly and little raspberries. The separate layers could all be tasted separately in the mouth with lovely clarity.

We added two americanos (excellent coffee too) and one large bottle of sparkling water. This bought the bill to a very acceptable total of €60. I really felt that this represented amazing value for a delicious, high quality lunch. I don't know if I would pay the higher prices for the a la carte menu when there is such good value available on the fixed price menu.

Pichet Restaurant, 14-15 Trinity Street, Dublin 2. 01 - 677 1060

Monday, July 12, 2010

Micka - Frances Kay

Micka has to be one of the most poignant and heart-breaking stories I have ever follows the life of Micka (a poor council-flat child) and Laurie, the disturbing offspring of divorced middle-class parents.

Micka is hungry, cold and frequently physically abused by his older brothers. He finds some refuge in a gypsy camp, in his artwork and dreams of owning a pup. Despite all the nastiness and violence in his life, he is innocent, but powerless to protect himself.

This debut novel from the strong voice of Frances Kay is, at times, downright disturbing and horrific. Yet, it is clear that such events are real and happen to children on a regular basis. It shapes their lives, and drives them to do things that appear perfectly normal due to the warped dimensions of their world.

Micka is not a happy novel, it is not a pleasant read. It is very very good.
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