I think it's a brave thing to run a steakhouse in Ireland. We have some of the very best beef in the world, yet overall we have a strange attitude when it comes to cooking and eating steak. A lot of restaurants just don't seem to know what the words "rare" and "medium-rare" mean, while the concept of giving steak a good char is often lost in a sea of watery steaks that have only seen a tepid pan. Lots of restaurants claim to be steakhouses, but I've only eaten in a few that compare to the best in the US, despite our better meat.
Beeftro is newly opened in the Pembroke District at Dundrum Town Centre and on paper, it has good credentials. Head chef, Ryan Bell, is formerly of the famous Shanahan's on the Green and all the 30 day matured steaks are from "stockman selected Irish cattle". The interior sits somewhere between American steakhouse and classic French bistro. There's white tiling, red brick walls, marble-topped tables, wooden floors and dark red leather seating. It's bright and fresh, yet dark and relaxed. It seems the perfect place to get stuck into some steak. The name, Beeftro, is a nifty play on words, and this continues with the well-designed graphics on the placemats and menus.
|The interior at Beeftro|
A wooden box of fresh bread and Glenilen butter arrived at the table shortly after ordering. It's great to see a proper creamy salty butter like Glenilen in a restaurant, rather than anemic unsalted margarine-y butter. Bonus marks for Beeftro on that front. We hadn't ordered any starters, so it wasn't too long at all before our steaks arrived. Both of us had chosen the 300g rib eye steak (€27.00), ordered medium rare. All steaks in Beeftro come with a choice of pureed potato included, while a sauce will cost an additional €1.50. I must say though that at this level of pricing, including the sauce with the steak price would be far more palatable.
|300g ribeye steak|
I really liked the fact that the steak arrived naked on the plate. No garnishes or distractions to take away from its charred exterior and beefy aroma. The steaks were quickly followed by the potatoes and sauces. For me it was bacon & crispy onion potato with Béarnaise sauce, while he chose the jalapeño chili and marrow melt. In the interest of having enough food for a decent review (!) I also ordered a side of corn fries (€3.50).
From the minute that I cut into the steak, I knew that I was on a winner. I could feel the crispy charred exterior giving way to tender, soft meat, with just the perfect amount of pink. The thick, crunchy charred outside was well flavoured and full of smokiness, while the inner pieces of fat in the ribeye had been softened well. The potato purees were perfectly smooth and creamy, although he wasn't a big fan of the BBQ sauce on his mash. The standout sauce was his bone marrow melt or basically liquid fat, with rich salty meaty bits floating in it. So so good.
Corn fries were essentially a kind of waffle chip with a slightly crispy coating. They were fluffy and nicely cooked, but a bit of overkill given the large steaks and mash. A typical case of my eyes being bigger than my stomach. During the meal, we shared a 50cl carafe of Le Petit Pont, a Grenache and Vermentino blend, which was crisp and very drinkable in the warm late evening sunshine (€18.00).
|Bacon and crispy onion potatoes with Bearnaise|
|Jalapeno BBQ potatoes with bone marrow melt|
Beeftro is a very pleasing place to sit and enjoy a steak. Not only is the interior smart and contemporary, but the cooking of the steaks is also bang on. It's very much in the style of an American steakhouse, and I quite like that. You could stick a stetson on me and call me Desperate Dan.
I noticed that Beeftro also offer daily deals up to early evening time, making it a nice spot for a meaty lunch or early dinner. It's early days yet for Beeftro, and some (eejity) diners may be offput by the fact that it's located in Dundrum Town Centre. But I genuinely believe that it will become known as one of the best venues for steak in Dublin. Yee Haw!
Beeftro, Pembroke District, Dundrum Town Centre, Dublin 16Tel: +353 (0)1 298 8874
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