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, February 25, 2018

[Review] Bresson, Monkstown, Co Dublin

There's a growing appetite for high quality restaurants in the suburbs. After all, who wants the hassle of travelling into town for dinner or lunch after a week of commuting to work? You need only think of Craft in Harold's Cross, Ember in Milltown or Michaels in Mount Merrion to see examples of successful restaurants, located right in the heart of their communities.

Chef Temple Garner, formerly of Town Bar & Grill and San Lorenzo's has joined up with Conor Kavanagh of The Old Spot to open French restaurant Bresson in Monkstown, located just a few minutes walk from the DART station. Bresson occupies the premises formerly filled by Seapoint, but whereas Seapoint was white and seaside-y, Bresson is all Paris-bistro with lashings of dark wood, dark leather and lots of Art Deco-esque French posters. Entrance to the restaurant is via a very tempting outdoor dining area, perfect for a glass of wine and lunch on warmer days.
Stitch & Bear - Bresson - Interior at Bresson
Bresson on Monkstown Crescent
We're here for lunch, which comes in the form of a set menu with two courses for €29 or three for €35. The menu is a joy to read, a celebration of all things French. It's not at all a stretch of the imagination to imagine myself in Paris, tucked into the back of a bistro. And there's also a seriously inviting wine list to go alongside. We order two glasses of Chateau du Coing "Aurore", a beautifully fresh and aromatic white from the Val de Loire (€8.50)

I start with salty wafter-thin slices of Bayonne ham, served with the classic combination of apple and black pudding (or boudin noir to be more precise). Grilled baby leeks and little dollops of Pommery mustard add some texture and spicy punch. Across the table, a single portion quiche lorraine tastes gloriously, properly of creamy egg, cheese and bacon, but is literally undermined by an undercooked pastry case. 
Stitch & Bear - Bresson - Bayonne ham
Bayonne ham
Stitch & Bear - Bresson - Quiche Lorraine
Quiche Lorraine
Coquille Saint Jacques are wonderfully creamy and a joy to eat. Whole Kilkeel scallops, including the delicious coral, are combined with small brown shrimp, smoked haddock and potato in a creamy white wine sauce that leaves you licking the shell and scraping off those lovely gratinated brown bits. The classic dish of confit Silverhill duck, puy lentils and a superb pommes Anna is every bit as good as the scallops, bolstered by the addition of chanterelles and spinach and a cutesy mini-copper pan of jus.
Stitch & Bear - Bresson - Coquille Saint Jacques
Coquille Saint Jacques

Stitch & Bear - Bresson - Confit leg of duck
Confit leg of Silverhill duck
Bum note of the undercooked pastry aside, we absolutely enjoy the food at Bresson. Garner makes strong use of Irish ingredients throughout, clearly showing provenance on the menu. However, there's no doubt that it's firmly traditional French, so French in fact that you expect to step out from the comforting darkness into the bright Paris sunshine. 

The prices at Bresson aren't particularly cheap, which goes against the grain for many of the latest crop of high quality suburb restaurants. At night, main courses start from €22, rising above €40 for a Cote de Veau. However, I'm sure that the local citizens of Monkstown won't feel too aggrieved and for the rest of us, there's always the DART. Next stop, Le Gare du Monkstown.

Bresson, 4a Monstown Crescent, Monkstown, Co Dublin
Tel: +353 (0)1 284 4286
Twitter: @Bresson_ie
Instagram: @bressonrestaurant

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