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!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

[Review] San Lorenzo's, S Great George's St, Dublin 2

More than 6 months after opening, we finally managed to make it to San Lorenzo's for lunch. Way back in December, I had the option of choosing lunch in either Yamamori's Oriental Cafe or San Lorenzo's. The Oriental Cafe won the vote that day, a decision that I still regret. Since then, all the positive press and Twitter plaudits have rubbed salt into my wounds.

The first thing I liked about San Lorenzo's is the nicely priced lunch menu which is also available as an Early Bird, giving 2 courses for €19.50 or 3 for €24.50. The interior is long and thin, with the tables neatly arranged along the walls, thus giving the waiters a clear run at the kitchen. The arrangement also gives the sense of space, despite the narrowness of the room. Red painted walls and Tiffany style lamps warm the interior, but I just didn't like the wooden paneled wall. Its varnished plywood effect simply reminded me of construction sites and temporary hoardings.

A starter of buffalo mozzarella with heirloom tomatoes, aged balsamic and torn basil was a splash of colour against the plain white plate. I didn't find the tomatoes to be as flavoursome as they were colorful, but it was a lovely simple starter. Pan-fried prawns were served whole atop a thick slice of crusty bread, soaked in garlic, chili and wine wine. These were wonderfully juicy and bursting with flavour. After a little nibble at the bread (I'm currently restricting my wheat intake) I passed it to himself, who gave it a decent end. 
Stitch and Bear - San Lorenzos - Buffalo mozzarella and tomato salad
Buffalo mozzarella with heirloom tomatoes
Stitch and Bear - San Lorenzos - Pan-fried prawns
Pan-fried prawns
Service was probably a little slow overall, meaning that it was a few minutes before our plates were cleared. Main courses of lamb and salmon were magnificent though, justifying the wait. His sliced rump of Comeragh lamb came pink and juicy, draped on top of horseradish potatoes and beans, with a rich reduction. My choice of grilled salmon was properly crispy which meant that I was able to eat every last morsel including the salt flaked skin. It came accompanied by a little dollop of creamy pea risotto, roasted courgettes, some salsa and a knob of divine shrimp butter.
Stitch and Bear - San Lorenzos - Rump of Comeragh lamb
Rump of Comeragh lamb 
Stitch and Bear - San Lorenzos - Salmon with risotto and shrimp butter
Salmon with shrimp butter
We hadn't planned to eat the 3 course lunch menu, but after seeing strawberry pavlova being delivered to other tables, we came to the only logical outcome, ordering one dessert but two spoons. Strawberries are one of my favourite foods and the meringue in this case was exceptionally good. A simple dessert, but excellently executed. 
Stitch and Bear - San Lorenzos - Strawberry pavlova
Strawberry pavlova
Out of the five courses we enjoyed, only one was weaker than the others, and even then, it was still a good dish. There is a real elegance and joy to the food in San Lorenzo's, which is fittingly named after the Italian patron saint of cookery. We were pleasantly surprised by the attention to detail and exuberance present on the plates, each of which really showcased the ingredients to full effect.

Two set lunches and a large bottle of sparkling water cost €47.00, representing great value for some very special cooking. Sometimes the hype is justified. 

San Lorenzos, South Great George's Street, Dublin 2
Tel: +353 (0)1 478 9383
Twitter: @SanLorenzos
San Lorenzo's on Urbanspoon


Stef said...

Probably my favourite restaurant in the city, have eaten there at least 5 times since it's opened!

WiseMóna said...

Wow - the photos are just mouthwatering Joanne.
Lovely review and I am always glad when the review and hype about a place pans out.
Hope to see you in Galway over the summer!

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