Thursday 15 May 2014

Isabel's, 112 Baggot Street Lower, Dublin 2

Blog update: Isabel's is now closed

I've always wanted to go to Isabel's, ever since I saw it on Masterchef Ireland a while ago and when I saw the Rewarding Times offer of a 3 course meal for two with bottle of wine for €69 I simply couldn't resist.

Isabel's is located in a basement level venue on Baggot Street Lower and it has to be one of the most atmospheric restaurants in Dublin, the kind of place you go to for a romantic meal, it's candlelit and looks very pretty. The walls are lined with wine shelves made out of pallets and wine boxes were used to make the table tops: it feels like a cosy wine bar.

As we were a little early we were offered to wait in their heated terrace, it's a lovely space with stone walls and fairy lights.

Mr. FFID ordered 2 kirs for aperitif, I think he's becoming a bit too French sometimes.

Then it was time to head to the dining room. The place is quite small and and the tables very close together.

I started my meal with roast asparagus and duck ham. I love asparagus and these were nice and crunchy and the duck ham was tasty. There was also natural yogurt and liquorice that was quite unusual but added some smoothness to the dish, I enjoyed it.

Mr. FFID's Iberico ham (Paleta Iberico Bellota M. R Reserva) was melt in the mouth, drizzled with rapeseed oil and served with 2 shavings of Parmesan cheese. It didn't required any cooking but with  this starter and setting around us we could have easily felt like we were in Spain.

Himself then went for the ribeye steak with salt baked parsley root and cep butter, it was cooked rare as requested and served with parsnip root puree and pressed potato. This was delicious and I envied his dish.

I had the roast fillet of monkfish, saffron potato, pea puree, broad beans and asparagus. The dish was well cooked and I liked the freshness of the ingredients but it lacked a bit of flavour.

We loved the mixed cheese board (Corleggy, Coolatin and Bellingham Blue) with apple, a delicious fig and date chutney and some crackers.

The dessert was delight: a tonka bean custard, almond crumb for a bit of crunch and the apple sorbet and sorrel granita were great palate cleansers after the cheese. This was really something different.

As I was using a discount voucher I definitely thought it was good value for what we paid (€69 excl. tips). The menu is quite short and the dishes were interesting, I liked the ambience and the pleasant waiting staff. It isn't cheap when you pay the usual prices on their a la carte but lunch and the early bird are reasonably priced. I can see myself going back on a winter evening as it's a charming little place.

112 Baggot Street Lower
Dublin 2

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