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, January 21, 2018

[Blog] Most popular reviews of 2017

I always find it extremely interesting to load up Google Analytics, and analyse my blog statistics. I particularly like to do it at the end of every year with the specific objective of understanding what reviews were most interesting to my readers. Thankfully this year, your preferred spots coincided largely with with my favourite venues from 2017. So without further ado, here are 5 most popular restaurant reviews from 2017, plus one wildcard from yours truly.

In 2007, TV chef and Ballymaloe family member, Rachel Allen opened her eponymous restaurant and cocktail bar on Cork's Washington Street. Within a few months, Rachel's had garnered a selection of mixed reviews with an overall consensus that Cork had gained a smart new restaurant, with a strong focus on using local produce.

Stitch & Bear - 2017 most popular - Lamb at Rachel's Cork
Rack of spring lamb with wild garlic and almond crumb

One of my personal favourites from 2017, new gastropub The Legal Eagle landed with a stellar wine and drinks list, and glorious food that simply knocked my socks off. In November, the Legal Eagle  continued to innovate by launching a series of Nose to Tail dinners, featuring a diverse range of dishes paired with beers from selected Irish breweries.

Stitch & Bear - Roasted bone marrow at The Legal Eagle
Roasted bone marrow with oxtail, Gaelic Escargots, capers and watercress at The Legal Eagle

The brainchild of Thom Lawson, the Lucky Tortoise first popped up as a regular event at The Hill Pub in Ranelagh, before relocating as a regular evening feature in Hobart's Cafe. Their selection of incredibly tasty and keenly priced dim sum and Asian-inspired bites, along with BYOB, proved a smash hit. Although Lucky Tortoise planned to temporarily close their doors in December, popular demand has resulted in extra January dates being added on the 19th, 20th, 26th and 27th. Book at

Stitch & Bear - Pork and chive dumplings at The Lucky Tortoise
Pork & chive dumplings from The Lucky Tortoise

2. Klaw Poke

When I think back on 2017, I believe that there are a few chefs who could confidently say "That was a good year for me". Without a doubt, it was a good year for seafood-loving Niall Sabongi who capitalised on the rising popularity of poke with the opening of Klaw Poke on Capel Street, followed by the Seafood Cafe in Temple Bar at the end of the year.  If you like seafood, and you haven't visited  any of Niall's restaurants yet, what's wrong with you?

Stitch & Bear - Poke bowl at Klaw Poke
Poke bowl at Klaw Poke

Although Thai food has been hugely popular in Ireland for several years now, it received a mighty kick up the backside in 2017 with the opening of Nightmarket in Ranelagh. Husband and wife team Conor and R have pumped up the flavours and spice level to a whole new level, while super friendly staff, a truly local welcome and a great drinks list will keep you coming back. 

Stitch & Bear - Yum Makeua Yao salad at Nightmarket
Yum Makeua Yao salad at Nightmarket

Wildcard. Michael's, Mount Merrion

Chef Gaz Smith has revitalised Michael's in 2017, mainly it must be said through the very liberal use of butter and garlic in his cooking. In his capable hands, the very freshest Irish seafood and beef become dishes of hedonistic delight. Lobsters, crab claws and prawns, all caught earlier in the day in the shadows of Lambay Island, find themselves swimming in butter rather than chilly Irish seawater while restaurant manager and sommelier Talha is always on hand with the perfect wine.

Stitch & Bear - Prawn and crab claw gratin at Michael's
Prawn and crab claw gratin at Michael's



Unknown said...

Thanks for sharing the post..I study one thing tougher on completely different blogs everyday. I am sure that if I ask enough people, they'll agree with me, too
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Unknown said...

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Thanks for sharing the post..I study one thing tougher on completely different blogs everyday. I am sure that if I ask enough people, they'll agree with me, too

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