The abundance of classic Victorian and Georgian buildings all around Dublin means that there are many hidden upstairs gems tucked cosily out of sight. The team behind Delahunt restaurant on Camden Street have lavished love and care on their Victorian building which originally housed a "purveyors of groceries and provisions", and even garnered a mention in the classic novel Ulysses.
Downstairs, a dark wooden bar runs the length of the dining room, with darkly muted walls and marble-topped tables. Take the narrow door next to the bar however, and you ascend a wooden staircase to the cosy cocktail bar. Two rooms have been opened up to create the bar, with fantastic marble fireplaces and a bay window overlooking the street below.
|The interior at Delahunt cocktail bar|
The cocktail menu is nicely short, with a selection of 10 cocktails. Bar snacks, wines and beers are also available. After a warm greeting, we took two low chairs and sipped on little vintage crystal glasses of elderflower-infused prosecco as we selected our drinks.
We were heading for dinner at the newly opened Pickle (by Sunil Ghai), meaning that we had time to sample 4 of the lovely drinks. First for me was the tequila-based Little Bird (€11), mixed with Aperol, yellow Chartreuse, Folláin orange marmalade and smoked sea salt. A Manna-Hatta (€12) was a fun riff on the classic Manhattan with a floral note added by a frozen hibiscus ice ball.
I'm very partial to milk-based cocktails, so I had to try the Bourbon Chai (€11), which was sweetened with a touch of Drambuie, all spice dram and gingerbread. The Dandy (€12) was refined and elegant, made with the light Fine de Cognac, Cointreau and Lillet Blanc. We also snacked on a plate of gelatinous crispy pig's ear strips with a delicious honey mustard caramel-type sauce.
I really enjoyed the Delahunt cocktail bar. The tables are well spaced with low-pitched music to fill the background. There's a really nice 50s vibe going on in the decor, that sits well in this lovely Victorian building. The cocktails are well-made and well-priced, with special praise due for the stronger stirred drinks. So if you are heading for dinner somewhere on Camden Street, make a date for some relaxing pre-dinner drinks in Delahunt.
Delahunt, 39 Camden Street Lower, Dublin 2
Tel: +353 (0)1 598 4880