December 16, 2006

Dublin day 5 - The Mermaid


Debbie wandered around town during the day visiting museums. In the evening, I met her at the Irish Film Institute, in their pub - does EVERYTHING in Dublin have a pub? Silly question. The answer is "yes." Iseult met us there a little later and we once again asked her to suggest a venue. This time she proposed "The Mermaid."

The Mermaid is a slightly upscale, slightly french place and seemed to be nearly full of the christmas parties that seem endemic this time of year. We managed to get a table for four near the kitchen and were seated immediately. Debbie and I shared a "rare beef salad" special, a terrine of game and foie gras, and a braised lamb shank.

The beef salad consisted of nice tasty fresh greens, marinated anchovies, seared beef, and shaved parmesan. A nicely balanced composition and good fresh ingredients, it was a happy choice. The terrine on the other hand was dense and dry and had very little distinctive flavor of either game or foie gras - disappointing. Finally the braised lamb shank was exactly what you'd expect in a braised lamb shank. Meltingly tender lamb, falling off the bone with satisfying sauce over potatoes and a yellow vegetable, in this case roasted sweet potato. Delicious. We accompanied this with a Crozes Hermitage (Iseult was drinking champagne.)

For dessert we had a sauternes creme caramel that was accompanied by braised prunes. I had a nice well balanced dessert white whose name I can no longer remember... I should have photographed it!
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