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 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
The menu offers plenty of choice for each course, and there's a superbly priced Early Bird offering two courses for €21 available all Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday, and between 6pm - 7pm on Fridays & Saturdays. A classic beef tartare with anchovies and bright yellow egg yolk is spot on (€9) while a raviolo of wild mushrooms, sage and ricotta is tasty but really could have benefited from another few spoonfuls of the butter sauce to combat the dryness (€8).
Stitch & Bear - Beaufield Mews - Wild mushroom raviolo
Ravioli of wild mushrooms with hazelnut spinach and butter sauce
I choose a kassler pork chop for mains, not having seen kassler (cured and smoked) pork since I left Cork many years ago. A thick and juicy pork chop comes atop a mound of bright green tarragon mash, accompanied by a tasty tomato and chili jam (€18). The only downside is the honey and cider glaze which could have heeded the mantra of "less is more". Across the table, the classic surf & turf rib eye comes with wonderfully light and airy cod goujons and a cracking crispy piece of pancetta (€28). Unfortunately the steak isn't quite as medium rare as is liked, but overall, it's a generous dish. 

At the urging of jovial head waiter Paddy Rice, we order the tempura mushrooms and skinny fries as sides, and neither dish disappoints (€3.50 each). Just like the cod goujons, the mushrooms are light as a feather, while the skinny fries are some of the best I've eaten, each one providing a really satisfying crunch.
Stitch & Bear - Beaufield Mews - Kassler pork chop
Kassler pork chop with tarragon mash
Stitch & Bear - Beaufield Mews - Surf and turf rib eye
Surf and turf rib eye with tempura cod goujons
Given the homely and welcoming nature of this restaurant, I'm not at all surprised to see that desserts are keenly priced at €6.90 each. This venue clearly knows what its customers want. We choose a Broken Banoffee, which is a delicious deconstructed version of the dish, complete with banana and rum puree. We also share a cheeseboard of four Irish cheeses, complete with frozen grapes, relish and crackers (€8.50). 
Stitch & Bear - Beaufield Mews - Broken banoffee
Broken banoffee dessert
Given that Beaufield Mews is a family owned business, it makes sense that it's the perfect place for a family meal. The original owner, Go-Go Kirwan was apparently the kind of lady about which legends are written and over the years, she built up the restaurant at Beaufield Mews. Now her granddaughter Julie Cox and husband John Hoade have taken the reins and have updated the venue in line with the times. 

There's an attractive and well-priced wine list, managed by John, with classic and eclectic choices available. Head waiter Paddy Rice is the man with the biggest welcome in Ireland. Even though he's the only staff on duty the night we visit, it's no challenge to him, and he manages to keep up a running banter with all tables while delivering and clearing dishes. 

Is the food perfect? No, there are definitely a few things that could be improved and the kitchen could do with taking one ingredient off each plate. But the combination of good old-fashioned charm and hospitality shines through and makes Beaufield Mews much more than the sum of its parts. 

Beaufield Mews, Woodlands Avenue, Stillorgan, Co Dublin
Tel: +353 (0)1 288 0375
Twitter: @beaufieldmews
Instagram: @beaufield_mews
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