It was hubby’s turn to choose the restaurant this time. I was quite surprised, then, that he moved us right out of our comfort zone and chose a restaurant on Mountjoy Square on Dublin’s North side. What on earth was he thinking? How can you take your wife north of the Liffey and not go to Chapter One? But Louie’s Bistro is in The Dubliner – Top 100 Restaurants and therefore deserves to be tested.
The restaurant is located in the basement of a restored Georgian building on the square. The entrance area would remind one of the entrance to The Pearl Brasserie except that it, at Luoie’s, the area is a lot less claustrophobic. Our reservation was for eight o’clock and when we arrived we were the only customers! This set off alarm bells but the waiter assured us that others were expected. He said that that on a normal Friday night there would be a lot more bookings but because of Saint Patrick’s Day being on the Thursday there was only a handful of reservations on the night.
The room was absolutely lovely. The proportions were generous and there was ample spacing between the tables. The original bare brick of the building was partially exposed and the lower parts of the wall dressed in wainscot. The tabletops were made of red granite and were set with good, weighty cutlery. The floor was tiled in Georgian fashion and there was a large fireplace in the front room. The leather chairs were very comfortable.
The waiter brought the menu. It took me an age to decide what starter to have. I was torn between chick pea patties, goat’s cheese wrapped in Parma ham or Caesar salad. In the end I chose the goat’s cheese which was served with a fig compote and salad. It was truly wonderful. Himself chose a smoked haddock gratin and received a very generous portion which I tasted. It was very good and I might add that I am not a lover of smoked fish. For mains I bravely decided to have risotto of pecans and roasted beetroot with herbs, feta cheese and parmesan shavings. And ‘him outdoors’ chose fillet of pork served with mash and mange-touts. The risotto was absolutely first class. It was cooked to perfection but I couldn’t finish it as it was so filling. Luckily himself helped me out and we sent the plate back clean. I tasted his pork which was stuffed with Jane Russel’s black pudding and wrapped in ham (I think). It was lbeautifully tender, melting in the mouth. We washed everything down with a bottle of Albarino.
I had no space room for dessert but hubby did and he ordered pear crumble which came with home-made ice-cream. Two spoons were provided so I ended up eating the ice-cream which was very soft and light. I had a pot of tea (teabags sadly) and himself had a coffee.
The bill came to:
I thoroughly enjoyed my dining experience here and I will definitely return here for pre-theatre or post- theatre dining. An interesting menu, a true blue Dub front of house man and lovely environs all add up to a great night out.