Over the last few weeks, I've been trying to deal with the Sunday evening fear. I know I'm not alone here, with many workers feeling the same on Sunday evenings. In fact, I've given consideration to setting up a Glenroe-themed nightclub, where the theme music plays constantly and the tables are stacked with copybooks full of overdue homework. However, in my case, the Sunday fear is exacerbated by the fact that I am currently flying to Amsterdam at ridiculous o'clock every Monday morning, making it hard to sleep the night before.
My latest tactic to handle my insomnia is to go for a nice meal on Sunday evening, helped in no small part by the liberal application of a good bottle of wine. I'm hoping that by the time I return home from dinner, I'll be fit only for bed and a solid sleep before the alarm clock wakes me up ahead of the dawn chorus. Plus, this plan also gives me a chance to catch up on some of the new Dublin restaurants.
This Sunday, it was the turn of Richmond, a new local venue located in the old, iconic Gigs Place on Richmond Street. The Gigs Place, established in 1970, was apparently the ultimate Dublin greasy spoon, and I have to admit that I never crossed its doors. I could never figure out if there was an etiquette for entering or if it was some "exclusive" club. Now head chef Davy O'Byrne and owner manager (the veteran) Russell Wilde have restored and revitalised this piece of Dublin dining history.
We chose from the superb value Early Bird menu where two courses costs €21.50 and three cost €25.00 A full dinner menu is also available with daily specials chalked over the kitchen pass. My risotto with wild mushroom and white truffle was superb, with little parmesan and sesame crackers for added crunch. A bowl of white bean and wild garlic soup, topped with shredded ham hock, was a nice seasonal touch.
|Wild mushroom and white truffle risotto|
|White bean and wild garlic soup|
For mains, I continued the vegetarian theme with plump pillowy pan-fried gnocchi served with roasted butternut squash, dried butternut squash, pinenuts and plenty of delicious sage butter. My second choice meal would have been the seared hake, except for the fact that it came served with lentils. For some reason, I can't really get with lentils and often avoid menu items that feature them. However, Himself didn't object and I have to say that the classic combination of fennel and lentils worked well. The crispy chicken wing didn't really live up to its billing however, but that's not a lot to complain about.
|Gnocchi with roasted butternut squash, kale and pinenuts|
|Seared fillet of hake, crispy chicken wing, fennel and lentils|
The wine list is short, but nicely selected, and I was delighted to see one of my favourite white wines, the Heinz W Gruner Veltliner, on the list.
Even on a Sunday evening, the restaurant was operating at full tilt, meaning that reservations are absolutely recommended to secure a table. It seems to be quite a hit with local diners already, and the burger option was the clear favourite dish of the diners on the night. Indeed it seemed that every table was ordering at least one burger. The Richmond is a bright spot on Richmond Street, offering warmth and a comfortable, cosy meal.
Richmond, 43 Richmond Street South, Dublin 2
Tel: +353 (0)1 478 8783