Irish Cook

Dublin Eats: Upstairs, Downstairs, Big, and Small

BeetGoatCheeseBlaaEvery time I return to Dublin I find some wonderful new space to indulge my passion for all things Irish, especially food. Hatch & Sons, for example, downstairs at 15 St. Stephen’s Green, serves simple, no-fuss, “honest” Irish food like sandwiches made on blaa, a soft white roll traditionally made in Waterford that dates back to the seventeenth century, beef and stout stew, and old time sweets like scones and lemon-raspberry-coconut slice. The Little Museum of Dublin occupies the second floor of No. 15, so after a quick bite you can go upstairs to learn more about this great old city.
The Winding Stair, upstairs over the bookshop of the same name on 40 Lower Ormand Quay, champions local and seasonal produce, and at it sister restaurant The Woolen Mills, an “eating house” next door at No. 42 on the north side edge of the Ha’Penny Bridge, you can grab a coffee and bun, a serious plate of Irish ham and chips, a box of salads and scones, or sit with seven courses of anchovies, crab, and herrings overlooking the Liffey!
Big spaces like chef Dylan McGrath’s Fade Street Social at 4 Fade Street (8,000 sq.ft. in two restaurants and a rooftop winter garden bar), celebrate Irish food and character, and its approach, says one reviewer, “is a departure from the formality of fine dining, while trying to capture the unique sense of humor of the Irish.” The Market Bar, across the street at No. 14A, is housed in a nineteenth century warehouse, which is part of the historic Georges Street South city market building. Both restaurants juxtapose their grand spaces with small plates menus — think Irish mushrooms with celeriac and sep dressing or lamb carpaccio with fig purée at Fade Street; baby potatoes and chorizo or piri piri chicken salad at The Market. Along with other wine bars and cafés, Fade Street has evolved from a street of tenements to one of the best eating streets in Dublin!
Serves 2
There’s really no substitute for an authentic blaa, but the filling in this sandwich from Hatch & Sons kitchen is delicious on a soft white roll or on ciabatta bread. The rapeseed mayonnaise, which features on many sandwiches here, is made with a ratio of three parts rapeseed oil to seven parts mayonnaise, but you can use mayonnaise alone if you can’t find rapeseed oil. Be sure to mix enough arugula into the mixed greens for additional flavor.
2-3 medium multicolored beets
Olive oil for roasting
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 tsp. olive or rapeseed oil
1/2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 tbsp. sunflower seeds
1 tbsp. sesame seeds
2 soft white rolls, halved
2 tbsp. rapeseed mayo
4 oz. soft goat’s cheese, crumbled
Mixed greens with arugula
1. To roast the beets, preheat the oven to 375° F. Trim and wash the beets and place on a piece of aluminum foil large enough to wrap the beets. Rub with olive oil and season with sea salt and pepper. Wrap the beets to form a pouch and roast for 55-60 minutes, or until tender when pierced with tip of a knife. (Roasting times will vary depending on size of the beets).
2. To roast the seeds, spread the seeds out on baking sheet and toast during the last 5 minutes of roasting the beets.
3. Remove the seeds and beets from the oven, and when cool enough to handle, rub the skin away from the beets with a piece of paper towel or foil. (To prevent staining your hands, use rubber gloves). Slice the beets and then cut into 1/2-in. cubes. In a small bowl, toss the beets with the olive or rapeseed oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
4. Spread one side of each roll with the mayonnaise and sprinkle with the seeds. Top with the chopped beets, goat cheese, and mixed greens. Cover with top slice of bread and serve.