Last Wednesday we flew to Dublin for a wedding of two close friends of ours, but before this kicked off in Trinity chapel on Thursday afternoon, we sampled a few of the restaurants in town. I'd been looking forward to our dinner at about trying out RhodesD7, Gary Rhodes new restaurant. We'd heard good things about it but I have to say, I was slightly disappointed. Though located in a beautiful space, I found the service pushy and the food very mixed. Some things were lovely, like the carpaccio of beef and whitebait but then the risotto was still raw in the middle and the scallops overcooked and rubbery. The same was the case for the main courses. The sea bream was lovely but the steak overdone. Dessert was satisfying but I couldn't help feeling a bit short changed by the whole dinner. I feel the menu had great potential but it just didn't quite deliver and it's not the hardest food to cook.
So the next day, in stead of trying something new, we went back to my favorite breakfast/lunch/shopping place in Dublin....Avoca. I fell in love with this shop the first time I visited 5 years ago. From it's foodstuffs and cookbooks in the basement, via it's colorful soft rugs and pretty clothes, funny children's stuff and house accessories to the restaurant on to. It;s a lovely place to spend a few hours browsing, buying and eating. We had a great lunch packed with flavor, the staff was friendly as usual (offering the bread with my salad before I'd even thought of it), and the desserts were beautiful. Plus, if you really like the food (as I do), you can just buy the cookbooks and recreate it all at home (as I do)