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, May 20, 2017

[Review] Michaels of Mount Merrion, Dublin 14

Ever hear of the saying "Never trust a skinny chef"? Cue mental images of a jolly fellow, who clearly enjoys food, wine and their own cooking. These days a lot of chefs are running triathlons, completing marathons or just plain staying fit, in an effort to balance out their hectic careers and the fact that they're constantly around food. Tom Kerridge, well known for his delicious cooking, recently dropped over 70kg, and published a diet cookbook along the way. 

It's always reassuring when you meet a chef with a clear passion and sheer delight for the food that he cooks. One such chef is Gary (Gaz) Smith, who previously worked as Development Chef for the Kinara restaurant group, which included Michaels of Mount Merrion, before he took the helm as Chef Patron at the revamped Clonskeagh House gastropub. Having worked his magic there, Gaz and  his wife Rita have now taken ownership at Michaels of Mount Merrion and the results are simply delicious. 

Stitch & Bear - Michaels - Talha-tini
Cucumber and prosecco Talha-tini

We visited on a Friday evening, looking forward to a good meal after a week's work. Saiyid Talha Pasha is the manager here, having formerly worked at Kinara Kitchen in Ranelagh and he has a passion for cocktails, even though he doesn't drink himself! In fact, he's a fully qualified sommelier. Michael's does not have a full drink license, so Talha creates light daily "Talha-tinis" based on prosecco; the special during our visit is a refreshing prosecco and cucumber cooler. 

Michael's started out as a rustic Italian restaurant and it still very much feels like that in terms of decor. There's dark wooden furniture and roughly plastered walls. All around are shelves laden with wine and other goodies to take home. There are Italian dishes on the menu, but Gaz has increased the focus on steak and seafood. Dry-aged steaks are sourced from Michael Madden of the Village Butcher in Ranelagh, while fresh seafood comes courtesy of Kish Fish. 

We start with deliciously fresh and perfect langoustines, served whole with lemon and aioli. We tear them apart, exulting in their sweet, delicate freshness. Monkfish fritti, or thin monkfish strips, lightly fried until crispy, is served simply with lemon aioli, chili and garlic olive oil (€10.50). The classic Italian dish of osso bucco is silkily rich and smooth, served with crispy fried goats cheese ravioli (€10). 
Stitch & Bear - Michaels - Langoustines
Fresh langoustines
Stitch & Bear - Michaels - Osso bucco with crispy ravioli
Osso bucco with crispy goats cheese ravioli
For mains, I go old school and choose the Surf n Turf. In this case, it's a 6oz fillet steak of Drumshanbo beef, beautifully charred on the outside, and perfectly pink inside. The surf element are gloriously garlicky Howth Bay crab claws. The plate swims in delicious garlic butter, which I mop up with my steak and the homemade triple cooked chips that accompany the dish (€32). The other main is a large bowl of plump wild Irish mussels, cooked in a Cococciola white wine sauce, with garlic and lemon cream, and more of the delicious chips.
Stitch & Bear - Michaels - Surf n Turf
Surf n Turf - fillet steak with Howth Bay crab claws

For dessert, we are presented with a generous range of options from which we choose Tiramisu and a vanilla & blood orange panna cotta, both of which are excellent.

Gaz is a man with a love of good food and big flavours, and the kitchen at Michael's certainly delivers. In fact, I don't think I've ever eaten so much garlic in one sitting (and I loved it!). The rustic charm, lack of pretentiousness and simple presentations allows the flavours to shine through. As I look around the room, and see all the various couples and groups enjoying themselves, I remind myself that this is what it's all about. Great food, good flavours, done well. 

Michaels, 57 Deepark Road, Mount Merrion, Dublin 14
Tel: +353 (0)1 278 0377
Twitter: @MichaelsCoDub
Instagram: @michaelsmountmerrion

No comments

© Stitch and Bear | All rights reserved.
Blogger Template Developed by pipdig