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!

Monday, May 30, 2016

[Travel] A quick weekend in Paris

Can you believe that until recently, I had never been to Paris? I had passed through Charles de Gaulle Airport several times, moving between one flight and the next, but I had never been in the city centre itself. So I must admit that I was quite excited when we booked a short weekend in Paris in March. 

As I was working in Amsterdam, I travelled via Thalys (high speed train) to Paris and it was a comfortable relaxing experience. I arrived at the Gare du Nord station, where I then caught a metro to our hotel on the Place de la République. The tall statue of Marianne (the personification of the French republican) at the centre of the square was still covered in tributes to the victims of the November 2015 Paris shootings and the grey, bleak wintery weather suited it well. 
Metro entrance near Place de la République


Saturday, May 14, 2016

[Review] Pickle Eating House and Bar, Camden Street, Dublin 2

Sometimes a new restaurant opens which challenges your perception of a certain cuisine, and highlights it in a way you've never experienced before. Indian food has been on an upward trend in Ireland, thanks to excellent cooking from restaurants such as the now-closed Jaipur, Kinara and Ananda. Sunil Ghai was the acclaimed chef behind the popular fine-dining Ananda and, along with Benny Jacob, he's opened the arguably best Indian restaurant in Dublin to date. 

Pickle, at the southern end of Camden Street, has a wonderful interior with beautiful tiled floor, solid wooden tables and a patchwork of bright Bollywood posters on the walls. It's not formal, but the fine quality of the fittings doesn't make it overly casual. The menu is mouthwatering with a wide selection, and it took a few visits before I felt that I had sampled enough dishes. What's clear here is that the food is undeniably exquisite, rich with flavours and spice. Whether it's a tandoor dish or a curry, every dish is far more than the sum of its parts and the best that it can be.

Highlights include the tawa machhi, or crispy pan-fried sea-bass coated in semolina, topped with crab chutney and a carrot and cauliflower pickle along with crunchy potato chips (€14). I adore tandoor lamb chops and the version at Pickle is sublime with juicy meat fading into charcoal bone, along with dashes of a mind-boggling but delicious strawberry green chilly chutney (€13). 

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