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!

Sunday, September 24, 2017

[Opinion] The importance of transparency in blogging

Over the course of the last few weeks, I’ve kept up with the Twitter storm that has followed tweets from chefs Gaz Smith (Michaels of Mount Merrion) and Garret Byrne (of Michelin-starred Campagne in Kilkenny). No matter which side of the fence you are on, this debate has revealed some ugly sides to the world of food and travel blogging. 

It is claimed that a blogger contacted Campagne seeking a free meal in return for blog and social media coverage. On the surface, it appears gauche and self-entitled on the part of the blogger. But on the other hand, it was a business offer that Garret could either accept or refuse, and refuse he did. 

As a blogger, I’ve always tried to feature restaurants and venues that I feel deserve to be shared. As a result, I could probably count on one hand the amount of times I’ve written a strongly critical review. I’ve obviously eaten in many restaurants where the best thing was the exit, but I’ve rarely chosen to feature those spots. 


Sunday, September 17, 2017

[Review] Sova Vegan Butcher, Pleasants Street, Dublin 8

I often wonder how much vegetarians miss eating meat? Or in the case of vegans, how much they miss products such as butter and cheese. There's no doubt that being vegan is a dedicated life choice and with very few exceptions, vegans are poorly catered for in mainstream restaurants. But like any grouping, once a critical mass is achieved, commercial options do become viable. 

About 2 years ago, Sova Vegan Butcher established its permanent home on Pleasants Street after a period of pop-up residencies. Long time vegetarian, now vegan, Bart Sova is the eponymous owner and proprietor of this restaurant, which has tables on the cozy ground and first floors. It's been on my hit list for quite a long time, and I finally find the time and mood following a very zen-inducing yoga class at the close-ish Little Bird Cafe. We arrive on Saturday lunchtime, and we are quite lucky to get a free table amidst the busy churn of brunchers and gym-goers. Judging by the popularity, its clearly doing something right.

I suppose the clue to understanding the menu is present in the oxymoronic restaurant name, as many of the dishes on the menu are described in terms more familiar to meat eaters. Amongst the brunch menu you can choose from a full Irish breakfast complete with sausages, bacon, pudding and scrambled tofu, a chia burger, a pulled porc bap or even a doner kebab (made with seitan protein).
Stitch & Bear - Sova Vegan Butcher - Potato gnocchi
Potato gnocchi with mushroom ragu

Sunday, September 10, 2017

[Review] Beaufield Mews, Stillorgan, Co Dublin

There are some restaurants that exist outside the vagaries of time. They are not influenced by fashions and trends, they don't serve the current trendy dish, but instead they offer a solidly comfortable experience that everyone enjoys. They are always there for family celebrations, arrivals and departures, and form part of the background fabric that keeps everything stable. 

In Dublin, one such restaurant is Beaufield Mews. Located in Stillorgan, it's Dublin's oldest restaurant, having been in the same family for over 70 years. Outside, there's a lovely courtyard, which is charmingly lit at night. The downstairs restaurant and gardens at Beaufield Mews are arguably the most famous part of this former coachhouse and stables. But we are here to dine upstairs in the Loft Brasserie, a spacious and high ceilinged set of rooms with plenty of elbow room between the tables. 
Stitch & Bear - Beaufield Mews - Beef tartare
Classic beef tartare
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