Food is not always the prime reason for visiting a restaurant and the newly-opened Ivy in Dublin is testament to that. A buzzing vibe and ambience, probably second to none around the particular city, and a relatively tasty menu despite all the concerning reviews out there.
Rain is always the case when in gloomy Dublin, so to find yourself in a colorful low-lit dining place amidst a noisy crowd and some tasty drinks and bites is always welcome! First time we visited I was lucky enough to stumble upon a cancellation for a late dinner and immediately jumped on it. Apparently, the loud entry this hip UK outpost made when it opened last summer has everybody drooling, with reservations hard to get.
The menu is a bit of an overwhelming affair with a vast list of options making it a bit difficult to go through it. Nonetheless, the comfort food factor was definitely in mind when designing it, whilst also retaining some signature dishes from the Ivy, such as shepherd’s pie and crispy duck salad.
Pricing is well matched to similar venues in Dublin and a hell of a lot more affordable than its London counterpart.
For starters we had an incredibly good-looking steak tartare with Dubliner whiskey (and very tasty indeed), a mozzarella di bufala salad and some truffle parmesan chips! Admittedly, service was not operating in full swing although any hiccups were easily overlooked given the nice vibe of the place.
The main courses arrived: tuna steak check; beef fillet check. Cooking on the latter was a bit overdone but overall taste was good. The sea bass fillet was also very good. We later found out that rib-eye and sirloin steaks are being supplied by John Stone Beef in Longford. Leaving the meat and fish behind, we wanted to entertain our palate a bit more and asked for desserts. The waiter recommended the baba au rum with raspberries that didn’t really live up to our expectations. On the contrary, the perfectly flamed creme brulee was a wonderful note to leave on!