As I continue this blogging journey I’m trying to explore all aspects of writing and naturally I want to write about the things I love the most in the world. One of these being food.
Now obviously I’m no food expert (#chefshel anyone?) but I have discovered as I’ve gotten older that the dinner and drinks combo has become my favorite type of night out. I don’t think I’m the first person to come to this conclusion and I always love hearing about a good restaurant so I reckon that it’s time for me to share the love as well.
Myself and the other half have lived in Ranelagh for the best part of two years now. Anyone that doesn’t know of the area, allow me to describe it to you – it’s like the London of Dublin… for Southsiders. Not really getting the picture? How about it’s the New York of Dublin’s America – still unsure? Fine, it’s a busy communal area of restaurants and bars where late 20’s to late 30’s folk from all walks of life can enjoy mature (heh) drinks and intelligent conversation (double heh) without the worry that early twenty somethings are going to arrive and ruin everything. Basically, it’s where people my age go once they outgrow the Palace, Flannerys and Coppers (do people still do that combo? I’ll admit I was around when it was the old palace aka just the downstairs pub).
Ranelagh is great in that it’s one of the only places where I still feel like a youngster – going out in town just doesn’t have that effect any more. Double bonus is that it also boasts a lovely selection of restaurants. Now I could write about all of these restaurants as god knows I’ve probably visited every single one of them but I don’t have the head space, skill or the memory to recall every experience so I thought I’d maybe space it out over time and instead start with my most recent experience. This being at The Butchers Grill, one of the area’s pricier restaurants. Normally I’m all about the meal deals and early birds but this is a classy place that I’d talked about going to for years. After passing some exams we decided to treat ourselves by finally visiting the home of the apparent “best steak in Dublin“.
Here’s a quick rundown of what I thought:
Food: Delicious. From start to finish. I must admit that steak is not a dish I’d normally go for but himself had told me that it wouldn’t be worth our while eating there if we weren’t going to order what they’re most recognized for. Obligingly I ordered a sirloin and it was absolutely amazing. Cooked to perfection over a fancy grill that I could see from my bird’s eye seat by the window. Another dish I’d recommend is Chargrilled Gambas to start, I adore fish and this didn’t disappoint. It wasn’t too heavy either which is a necessary requirement I find when having steak.
Price: It’s expensive. If you’re going to make the most of eating in this spot then make sure you have enough cash to splash. Honestly, don’t doubt me when I say that. It’s the kind of place where you don’t want to make of tit of yourself by specifying it’s tap water you’re after and not the fancy bottled kind.
Staff: Friendly and attentive. They forgot about us near the end but the food had been so good that we didn’t really care. The place had also gone from quiet to jammers so I don’t begrudge them. I was fed and watered at that stage and I’ve been to places with far worse service. (An airport restaurant in Malaga once served me a cheeseburger with only the cheese, no burger. When I sent it back they returned it to me with only the burger and no cheese? – where did the cheese go??).
Ideal For: Pairings – either couples or friends. It’s a small enough place so I don’t know if I could see a big group of people slotting in without taking over the entire restaurant.
Also, bring someone who dines the way you do if you get me. This is just something I’ve learned from dinners out in general – make sure your foodie partner gets you. For instance when I go for a meal I love making the most of the full three courses – my worst nightmare would be to go for a meal with someone and as soon as we sit down they slip in that they’ll just be having the main and a water. I’d feel cheated. Now I know I could just do my own thing and order it anyway but I’d feel like a total eejit chewing on my chicken wings while Mary sips on a (tap) water opposite me. It should be a shared experience. This leads me to my next point, not everyone enjoys dining out. Some people actually see it as waste of money. Know your audience, a restaurant like The Butchers Grill where the main courses start from 20 euro onward is not for everyone. It is a splurge to put it lightly. I thought it was worth it but not everyone would agree. If you or the person you’d like to dine out are the opposite of myself then save yourself the hassle as you’re not going to enjoy it.
Final Verdict: If I can offer any advice I’d say give yourself a few weeks to make sure you’ve enough money to fully enjoy it. We’re talking saving 120-150 if you want to go all out and drink. We didn’t drink the night we went and it still cost us 112 euro. Might be pocket change to whoever is reading this but to us it certainly wasn’t. Be prepared. Nothing worse than freaking out the minute you see a menu over how much it’s all going to cost. Overall though I really liked this place. I’d recommend it to anyone as it’s a lovely experience with fabulous food.
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