Saturday, October 24, 2009

Champagne Socialists on the town - bargain-basement fine dining

I had a very enjoyable day at the Labour Women's Conference last Saturday, and I have already blogged about it in my previous post here. After all the hard work was over, and the delegates left the Mansion House, those of us in the Waterford delegation who were staying in Dublin decided to head for a bite to eat. Half jokingly we said how about somewhere like Marco Pierre White's - and found that research had already been conducted which revealed that as it was Dine in Dublin week, we could actually afford to eat in places we could previously only have dreamed of eating in!

What this meant was that dinner in a posh place like this was discounted to €20 or €30 for a four-course meal with tea or coffee. Now that was more like it. I rarely eat out at night, and at most would eat lunch in a bar or restaurant with colleagues once every few weeks. I usually bring a sandwich and fruit to work and occasionally have something from the Naked Lunch van at the Dungarvan Farmer's Market on Thursdays - they have spicy lamb burgers to die for and their sausage rolls are equally tasty - but that's weather permitting when you can sit out and pretend you are on some continental terrace instead of in the square in Dungarvan!

We were shown some of the wonderful reception rooms in the Mansion House by our hosts for the day, the Labour Lord Mayor Emer Costello and her husband Joe, who's a Labour TD (is he the Lady Mayoress, we wondered?) We got a glimpse into the somewhat surreal life of the Lord Mayor, who receives visiting dignitaries in these imposing rooms, including all visiting ships' captains - as the head of Dublin Port. There is a Lady Mayoress's drawing room where Joe can hang out.

Back to posh dining. We had left it way too late to book and didn't think we'd a hope of a table, but the recession must have left its mark as we were immediately shown to a table on the terrace which was cosy and warm with lots of wall heaters, and nice ambient lighting. Our corner table which was perfect for people-spotting, and we had a lovely dinner, with plenty of variety on the menu.

I had the gravadlax starter, posh fish'n'chips with mushy peas and a delicious sauce and Eton Mess for dessert. The latter was new in name for me, as it's simply meringue, strawberries and cream mixed together in a sticky, crunchy melt-in-the-mouth...mess. We found the service good and the staff friendly and professional, which is infinitely preferable to the snooty aloofness that can be found in uber-pretentious eateries that have got a bit above themselves from their celebrity chef links.

The Waterford Labour women were out for an enjoyable evening and we had good "craic" (which is not what it sounds for the uninitiated) and took some funny photos of each other as well as the food. After coffee or tea we headed off to our different destinations.

I got the bus back to "de Nortsoide", home of the Spire, with its myriad witty nicknames, and Big Jim Larkin on the photos. It's also that pariah state that's such anathema to the fictional Southsider Ross O'Carroll-Kelly, as well as home to our former Taoiseach and wannabee Presidential candidate, Bertie Ahern, the self-proclaimed Socialist.

We certainly put the social back into Socialist last weekend.

Photos show Jane, Dee, Lorna and me enjoying our night out, and the menu, and my dishes, as well as the Spire and Big Jim Larkin

1 comment:

jeux xbox 360 said...

Great food!
I just can stop my self to eat if plates will putted on the table near me. I really want to know how these made however want to try in next party? Thank you for posting!