The Picky Eater

by Staff Reporter

EATING outdoors is so nice – I mean, it can be so nice, if the weather permits, and if the sun is beaming down on you as you sip a cold glass of rose, preferably in France.
Okay, so I have let myself drift off into one of my regular fantasies, about a life lived in Provence, or Ibiza, or anywhere that regularly guarantees four to five months of consistent sunshine.
In this fantasy, I am sitting overlooking the bay in the old town of Eivissa, with the orange trees lightly swishing in the breeze, and wearing very little …
However, this fantasy is never going to become a reality in Ireland – and definitely not in Dublin – but I love when a restaurant attempts to make their outdoor dining space a place where I want to eat.
La Maison, a French restaurant on Castle Market Street, does just that. They have a lovely enclosed outdoor dining space on the walkway between Drury Street and South William Street – an area that’s choc-a-bloc with decent restaurants.
On a busy Saturday night recently, I was only too delighted to get a table in this area, which offers a good view for people-watching and snug blankets to throw over your person when the temperature drops.
The waiting staff really are lovely and go above and beyond. Bread and dips are always welcome to nibble on, and the restaurant offers this in abundance, almost leaving us not requiring a starter.
But, for the purpose of this article – and with downright greediness – we sampled the platter of mediterranean dips, with lots of tasty bits and pieces from that region (which cost €7.50).
I decided to share Pat McLoughin’s Rib of Irish Beef with my sister. This masterpiece comes with chunky chips and a green salad.
It was presented on a beautiful platter, and there was plenty of food left over, enough for a pretty tinfoil doggy bag!
The meat cut like butter, and was cooked exactly how we asked for it; medium-rare. This cost €59 to share.
The second sister dining with us went for a classic sole meuniere, pan-fried black sole with lemon and capers (€33).
She went for this dish on my recommendation, and I recoiled in horror when she told me she had never sampled this fish before.
However, she wasn’t disappointed, and she was chuffed with an interesting selection of potatoes and vegetables on the side.
All this was washed down with a bottle of Moulin Montarels sauvignon blanc, from the Languedoc region (€23). This was a perfectly fine wine; nothing special, but very drinkable.
I really recommend trying this place as it offers value for money, insofar as you are guaranteed good-quality food with a decent food providence.
It may not be cheap, but what you are getting is worth every penny.

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