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!

Thursday, May 30, 2019

[Review] Circa, Terenure, Dublin 6W

There's something magic and just a little special in the air at Terenure, and it's all due to a collaboration between four friends. There is no shortage of new restaurant openings in Dublin, and in order to stand out, you've got to hit the ground running. But when you consider the collective experience of co-owners Ross Duffy, Robert Murphy, Emmet Murphy and chef Gareth Naughton.

Just about everything at Circa makes me sing with happiness. The dining open is bright, open and spacious with plenty of room between tables. There are beautiful shades of green and brassy golden fixtures, plus a stunningly elegant  marble-topped bar for drinks and dining. Even the pine green subway tiles in the bathroom make me smile and this that this is the most beautiful bathroom. 
Stitch and Bear - Circa - The May menu
The May menu at Circa

Formerly of Drury Buildings & Suesey Street, Naughton's menus focus on the use of the freshest and most seasonal ingredients, served across a variety of small and large plates. One of these dishes, the buttermilk fried chicken with pea, bacon and lettuce fricassee, has quickly garnered recognition and possibly sparked more than a few copycat dishes across Dublin. 

Leaving the land behind and moving to the sea, pan-fried scallops come beautifully caramelised, accompanied by the fine richness of boudin noir and sweet golden raisins (€15). A fresh and light tuna tartare is lightly tossed in seaweed vinegar and yuzu, and given a touch of creaminess with smoked avocado (€14).
Stitch and Bear - Circa - Scallops
Scallops with boudin noir, cauliflower and golden raisins
Stitch and Bear - Circa - Tuna Tartare
Tuna tartare with smoked avocado
Duck breast, cooked a perfect medium rare, comes with sweet and salty flavours courtesy of chicory, marmalade, fresh figs and bee pollen (€30). Meaty ray wing, surely one of the best fish cuts, flakes away from the central cartilage, perfect for scooping up with the delicate morel cream sauce, and crunchy bright asparagus (€26). If only all seafood could be cooked like this, then we'd surely all be a nation of seafood lovers. 
Stitch and Bear - Circa - Duck breast
Duck breast with chicory, figs and bee pollen
 Stitch and Bear - Circa - Ray wing
Ray wing with morels and asparagus
Flavour combinations kick into a higher gear with the arrival of desserts. Despite the simple appearance, there is a elegance and intensity to both our choices. A semi-soft and slightly warm rich chocolate cremaux is topped with cold, sweet salted banana ice-cream which unite together in a glorious harmony (€8). Kaffir lime parfait with caramelised white chocolate and a passionfruit mango sabayon is a perfumed, aromatic plate of pleasure (€8). Naughton's deftness of touch is clearly evident in  the considered use of intense ingredients. 
Stitch and Bear - Circa - Chocolate cremaux
Chocolate cremaux with salted banana ice-cream
Emmet Murphy, of Celtic Whiskey & Wines on the Green, oversees the short but well-selected and well-priced wine menu, which covers Europe from East to West. There's also a short selection of spritzes, which come beautifully adorned with edible flowers and are nearly too pretty to drink.

There's an incredibly charming and youthful energy in the air at Circa and every staff member exudes enthusiasm and pride in the venture. The question that remains to be answered if if Terenure is ready for Circa.

Circa, 90 Terenure Road North, Dublin 6W
Tel: +353 (0)1 534 2644
Twitter: @CircaDublin
Instagram: @circa_dublin

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