My sister’s birthday was in December and we agreed to postpone our customary lunch due to bad weather and bad (Christmas) menus. So yesterday we met at Cavistons of Glasthule for lunch. I chose the restaurant as it is near where she lives and also because it features in The Dubliner 100 Best Restaurants.
I phoned to make the reservation and was offered seating at 12:00 (too early), 13:30 (just right) or 15:00 (too late). I opted for the 13:30 sitting and was politely informed that the table would be required again at 15:00. That was fine with me. An hour and a half is ample time for lunch.
I arrived punctually and my guest was about five minutes late. We had a table by the window. I sat with my back to the room and with a view of the street. The table was small and my chair was backed up against the chair of the table behind me. I was concerned that this might be a problem. Thankfully, it wasn’t. The waitress brought the menu and told us what the soup of the day was and about a special scallop dish not listed on the menu. The print on the menu was a bit faded and the list of daily specials, on a separate small piece of paper, was attached by a paper clip which, unfortunately, obscured the second page of the menu.
For starters, my guest chose pan fried crab claws in garlic butter and I opted for chargrilled squid with chilli and corianed (sic) olive oil, both priced at €9.95. The two of us opted for the same main dish of ‘turbot fillet watercress beurre blanc’ priced at €26.25. All main courses were served with a salad and boiled baby potatoes. We also ordered a half bottle of Chilean Sauvignon Blanc at €11.00. Bread was delivered to the table along with a small dish of hummus. There was brown soda bread, granary bread and a fluffy white roll. I asked for a dish of butter because I thought the breads didn’t deserve to be overpowered by hummus. The breads were very tasty.
A picture paints a thousand words. The squid, left, was cooked to perfection. I gave some to my companion and she was delighted by it. She’d had a bad calamari experience in Spain some time ago but Cavistons squid has changed all that. My sister’s crab claws (left) were nice but not exceptional. She liked them though.
The turbot was delicious. It was impeccably cooked and was served with a generous helping of beurre blanc.The birthday girl noted that my portion was slightly larger than hers but I chose to ignore her remark for fear I’d have to swap plates with her. We were just tucking into our main course when the newcomers to the adjacent table asked what we had ordered as it looked so good. When we confirmed that it was excellent they both ordered the turbot too! The accompanying salad was very leafy with a few cherry tomatoes and a sprinkling of seeds. The baby potatoes were plentiful and proved to be very useful for mopping up the sauce.
Desserts on offer were a chocolate and pecan brownie, a pear and almond tart and a kaki fruit panna cota. But we were too full to even share one dessert. We finished with tasty, creamy americanoes.
The bill came to €88.40. The fish was superb. The salad and potatoes were fine but they didn’t stand out in any way. The table wasn’t booked again for a third sitting but that is hardly a surprise in early January. In all honesty, while I enjoyed the meal, I think I would rather spend the money on one of the ‘value’ lunches on offer in one of our Michelin starred restaurants.