Monday 8 October 2012

Le Bon Crubeen, Talbot Street, Dublin 1

The Dublin sky had beautiful pink shades that evening, autumn was in the air and I was excited to start the week-end by attending a play at the Abbey Theatre. But before that I needed to fill my French belly with good food at a reasonable price.

“French Food for feck all” is what they say on their website and outdoor signs. Le Bon Crubeen is located on Talbot Street, on the North side of the Liffey. It’s written ‘Brasserie’ on their façade and inside it feels like it with the big bar on the left and the French posters on the wall.
Their lunch menus offer open sandwiches served with fat chips for €10.95 and mains such as Bangers and mash (€10.95) or 8oz Rib eye steak with béarnaise sauce and hand cut fries (€16.95). They also do a ‘Sunday lunch menu’,  a Saturday ‘Jazz super menu’, a’ value dinner menu’ and of course ‘A la carte’.

We went for their attractive pre-theatre menu, served from Monday to Friday from 5pm with tables to be vacated by 7.30pm. The price is €18.95 for 2 courses and €20.95 for a three course menu. I didn’t find the menu particularly French as advertised but still found it appealing.
I decided to have their chicken liver parfait. It was served on a slate with some grilled ciabatta bread, frisee salad and red onion jam. The parfait was smooth and beautifully matched the sweet red onion jam, delish on the crusty bread! Mr FFID ordered the ham hock, pork and pistachio terrine. Similar presentation to my dish, he also had grilled ciabatta bread and frisee but also an apple puree. Lovely flavoursome starters I must say.
I didn’t want to expect too much of the mains but I was almost gobsmacked at the sight of my dish. Here came my 12hour roasted pork belly beautifully accompanied by its crackling looking far prettier than expected on a bed of creamy mash and buttered spinach. Around the mash was a delicious pork jus and apple puree. The meat was tender and the crackling very crispy, I loved it and was almost feeling guilty for messing up the beautiful presentation. 

Of course the man had to order the dry aged 8oz rib eye steak (€5 supplement). My frenchness rubbed of on Mr. FFID and monsieur now likes his steak rare. Chunky chips came on the side and the steak was topped with roast tomato and garlic butter. We agreed and thought it was a good steak, I enjoyed the strongly flavoured garlic butter. It reminded me of the one used for escargots and there was also red wine jus, perfect to moisten the fries.

To finish, love is sharing, so we decided to order one dessert between the two of use. Two love birds sharing a chocolate chip bread and butter pudding with crème anglaise, sweet isn’t it? Simple and well platted, the melted chocolate and the pudding was delicious.

Thumbs up Le Bon Crubeen! I thought it was an excellent value pre theatre menu, not a surprise that they were the winner of the best value restaurant of The Dubliner’s 100 best restaurants 2012 edition.  I certainly didn’t expect such attention to detail for the low price. The menu is more Irish than French but I certainly saw the French twist in the décor and some of their dishes. Think about this place if you are heading to the Abbey, the Gate or even Croke park and looking for some casual dining.
I left as a happy French frog. Fantastique!

Le Bon Crubeen
82 Talbot street
Dublin 1
01 704 0126

This is an independent review, I paid for my meal.