Monday 1 July 2013

(Dinner) Rustic Stone, 17 S. Great George's St, Dublin 2

It took me a long time but I finally got around to eating at Rustic Stone a few weeks ago. I purchased a deal on The which consisted of a 4 course menu and a bottle of wine for 2 people for €80.

We visited on a Saturday and the place was buzzing, we were greeted by a welcoming Australian woman who directed us to the bar while we waited for our table. It was 'World Gin Day' so we treated ourselves to a Tanqueray and Tonic (€5.50) and a Tom Collins (€7.50), both were very good and made by a smiley and friendly bar tender.

When we got to our table we were given the menus, the deal was actually the €40 meal which meant we were getting a free bottle of wine, valued at €50. There are lots of little symbols on Rustic Stone's menu to help if you have any dietary requirement (sugar free, gluten free, vegetarian, etc...).

We started off with the 'breads'n'dips' that were served on a long wooden board. Their selection of organic sourdough bread came with a cumin scented hummus and a baba ganoush with almond oil. Both dips were full of flavours and delicious.We also had 2 crispy breadsticks wrapped with Parma ham.

I had the starter of crab mayonnaise smeared on very thin crusty slices of toast with torn herbs and wheatgrass on top. The dish was quite small and light but very flavoursome and opened my appetite nicely. Mr. FFID had a more substantial starter: an asian quail marinated in spicy soy sauce and grilled on a stick, served with radish, mango and coriander. I must say I had difficulties even looking at it. I actually had a quail as a pet when I was a child so I don't eat this bird for obvious sentimental reasons. Mr FFID loved the dish though I have to say.

Then he naturally had the rump of beef with basil and pine nuts, sizzling on a stone. Customers at Rustic Stone can cook their meat as they like on a lava stone brought to the table. He also had big chips served with pesto and tomato, topped with lots of parmesan. We thought the chips were too big and a bit too heavy. Also, having pesto on the meat and pesto on the chips was maybe too much for Mr. FFID. He did however, love the steak, which he cooked medium rare on the stone.

I got the dish 'for those who don't care about calories': the pork pappardelle. I was served a huge plate of pasta that took up half of our table and was covered with a sea of parmesan cheese. The pork mince with rosemary, honey, sage and pumpkin was so tasty and the dish was the ultimate comfort food, as well as being a generous portion of pasta. I ended up having parmesan all over my dress, face and hair but it was worth it! My side was a delectable salad of wild rocket, prosciutto ham, shaved slices of pear, toasted hazelnuts, parmesan and a mustard dressing. I couldn't finish everything even though I thought it was delicious.

The desserts were absolutely my kind of food, simple, not too big and just what you need after a heavy meal. Mr. FFID had a sugar free dessert of chocolate mousse with toasted almonds and a chocolate soup which he poured from a little jar. Apparently Dylan made this dessert 'for all the ladies, I better not tell Mr. FFID! I went for the warm Catalan mousse with an orange sorbet which went down a treat.

I'm glad I purchased this deal, it made me discover Rustic stone and we enjoyed our meal. The staff were friendly, although a bit forgetful and sometimes it was difficult to catch their attention. The restaurant was filled with good looking, trendy people and there was a nice buzz. It's definitely a place to go to with a group of friends to enjoy the cocktails and some casual dinner at the weekend. For people who watch their diet it's one of the rare places where you can find healthier options: they use seasonal ingredients and work closely with a nutritionist to create the menus. Don't expect any fancy or elaborate food presentations, it reminded be a bit of Jamie Italian's (I visited in London) but in a posher way, as well as being a little more expensive. Beware, with all the sizzling stones around, it gets very warm in there!

Rustic Stone
17 S Great George's St
Dublin 2
(01) 707 9596

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