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!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

[Review] Ouzos Bar and Grill, Blackrock

There are some people in this world who simply don't let barriers get in their way. My own father is one such person. When he wanted a camper van, he simply built one. As a result, I spent the summer between my Leaving Certificate examinations and results learning to how stick aluminium skins to wooden frames. It's a measure of my father that he doesn't give in. Instead he thinks about problems, and proceeds to figure it all out.

I felt a chord of similarity when I recently met Padraic Hanley, owner of the Ouzos group of restaurants. In order to ensure a steady supply of fresh seafood, he went out and bought a trawler based off the West coast. The resulting catch was transported up to Dublin and served fresh in the Ouzos restaurants. Since then, the trawler has moved to the East coast, it's been traded in for a bigger model, it's been sold on, but Ouzos still retains a share. The devotion isn't limited to just seafood, as Ouzos also offer a fine selection of aged beef.

I recently found myself gathered around a table in Ouzos Blackrock with Rachel (one half of Gastronomic Girls), David (The Silver Chicken), Julie (Shananigans Blog) and Sarah Ryan. It was a chance to solidify our Twitter relationships and get to know each other. We had all been invited by Padraic to sample the seafood and beef on offer, and provide some feedback. The restaurant at Blackrock has a cream and wood colour scheme, which when lit by candlelight, was warm and welcoming on a cold winter night. The menus are a little awkward, printed as they are on large cards, but there's a good choice and it took me some time to choose my meal.

I started with a half dozen Irish queen scallops, served in the shell with a mornay sauce (€9.95). Simple, but so sweet with lashings of sauce. This was followed by grilled organic Irish salmon with crab crust, served with roast potato Provençal (€19.95). Once again, there was sweetness, due to the  thick layer of fresh crab meat on top of perfect salmon. 
Irish queen scallops
The scallop aftermath
Grilled Irish salmon with crab crust
Despite protestations of being full, we still all managed to find room for a dessert. I chose the simplicity of a vanilla creme brûlée (€5.95), which was spot on. 
Vanilla creme brulee with shortbread
There really wasn't a single thing that I could fault throughout the meal. The seafood was superb, cooked simply with a minimum of fuss and service throughout was wonderfully friendly. I'm always partial to a bit of value, and Ouzos offers two fixed price menus (The Early Bird and The Crab & Lobster Feast) for €21.95 and €24.95 respectively. That alone will guarantee a return visit to Ouzos.

FYI, I didn't return to making camper vans with my father.

My meal & drink at Ouzos Blackrock was complimentary.

Ouzos, 39 Main Street, Blackrock, Co Dublin
Tel: + 353 (0)1 210 1000
Twitter: @OuzosDublin

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