Dublin's Best Farm-to-Table Restaurants


I always look forward to exploring the Dublin dining scene, and I’m rarely disappointed. More than ever, chefs are assertive in using Irish ingredients and creating farm-to-table preparations, rather than relying on Continental-inspired recipes.

Fallon & Byrne

Upstairs dining room at <em>Fallon & Byrne</em>
Upstairs dining room at Fallon & Byrne - Courtesy of Fallon & Byrne

An easy walk from Grafton Street, this is a must for those who love food markets. The cavernous ground floor, with its high, column-supported ceilings, holds a gourmet’s dream of teas, coffees, jams, crackers, cookies and condiments, as well as fruits and vegetables and counters of exceptional seafood, poultry and meats. The upstairs restaurant is elegant and sophisticated, with a large bar at one end and generously spaced linen-topped tables. The menu reads like a roll call of top Irish producers. My favorite starter was the smoked venison sausage, presented on a wooden board along with a flavorful cheddar-and-blue-corn cake, grilled scallions and a cherry-shallot relish. A main course of Achill Island lamb, complemented by smoked sheep’s yogurt, roasted carrots and a cashew gremolata, proved outstanding.

Fallon & Byrne
11-17 Exchequer Street. Tel. (353) 1-472-1010

The Pig’s Ear

This is definitely one of the hot tables in the capital right now. Located on the second floor, the restaurant occupies a small space with tables set without cloths, giving the room a casual yet refined feel.

Under the direction of chef Damien Derwin, the kitchen produces dishes that take full advantage of fine suppliers throughout Ireland. I opted to start with the crab accented with pickled yellow beets, trout caviar and a splash of langoustine oil. Afterward, I chose the rich dish of beef cheek cooked in stout with celeriac, asparagus, ox tongue and bone marrow. Accompanied by a side dish of potatoes roasted in duck fat, it was utterly delicious.

The Pig’s Ear
4 Nassau Street. Tel. (353) 1-670-3865

The Winding Stair

Bread and butter pudding with whiskey sauce at <em>The Winding Stair</em>
Bread and butter pudding with whiskey sauce at The Winding Stair - © Dave Sweeney Photography

This place was a pioneer in serving carefully sourced Irish ingredients. Housed in a narrow building on the unfashionable north shore of the River Liffey by the iconic Ha’penny Bridge, it is reached by a twisting staircase above a funky bookstore of the same name. Inside you will find a classic loft space with high ceilings, bare wood floors, big windows, bentwood chairs and uncovered café tables. The food is rooted in traditional Irish dishes and inspired by ingredients from the best producers. Starters could include the wonderful fish plate, with a selection of artisanal products from the country’s finest smokehouses. For the main course, I tried the smoked haddock, here poached in milk with onions and served with white-cheddar mashed potatoes.

The Winding Stair
40 Lower Ormond Quay. Tel. (353) 1-872-7320

By Hideaway Report Staff

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