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Showing posts from December 10, 2006

Dublin Day 6 - The Queen of Tarts (and London!)

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This morning we got up early to try a bakery we'd heard was one the best in Dublin, "The Queen of Tarts." Across the street from city hall, it's a feast for the eyes as well as taste. Debbie tried a raspberry scone, while I had to try the almond raspberry danish. The scone was great, a well executed example of the art, but the danish was astonishing. Like no other danish I've ever had, it was a flaky yeast dough around a warm soft center.

We accompanied our pastries with a decent lavazza cappucino, but don't go to Queen of Tarts for the coffee - go for the array of tempting pastries and baked goods. They had raspberry cheesecakes on display that made me regret that I didn't have all day to spend here.

We later went across the river and tried Panem, which was decent, run by friendly people, and had good coffee, but Panem seems more like a lunch and food place, while Queen of Tarts is a bakery.

After Panem, I went to work while Debbie hung out, logged in, boug…

Dublin day 5 - The Mermaid

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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 - …

Dublin Day 4 - Debbie and Thornton's

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Debbie arrived today! She called my loaner cellphone and we arranged to meet for dinner. My friend Iseult had generously arranged reservations at Thornton's - a fancy Michelin starred place in the Fitzwilliam Hotel. Debbie and I had agreed to meet there at 8pm, there was a small amount of confusion and after a tiny bit of anxiety we managed to find each other. She had been waiting in the hotel lobby, and I had been waiting in the restaurant.

The dinner itself was a delight. When I had walked in I saw a large open box full of truffles. Mmmm. I love truffles. In addition to their regular menu, and their eight course "surprise" menu (similar to a US style tasting menu) they had a special seasonal truffle menu.

This was the menu:
Sauteed Dublin Bay Prawn, Prawn Bisque and Truffle Sabayon King Scallop with White Truffle Slowly Braised Pigs Trotter with Creamed Truffle Potato Sauteed Foie Gras with Brioche and Winter Truffle Fillet of Brill, Artichoke, Truffle Egg Truffle Salad L…

Dublin day 3

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Most of the officehere doesn't show up till 10:30 ("half ten") or later so I got up at 8:30 ("eight thirty") showered and had breakfast. The hotel provides a breakfast buffet of cereals and milk, coffee, stewed prunes, grapefruit sections, orange juice, breads, croissants, cold cuts, cheese, bacon (irish bacon is soft and kind of like ham, delicious), scrambled eggs, sausage, white pudding, black pudding, and coffee. Surprisingly (t o me) the coffee does not suck. I have bacon, grapefruit, and coffee; edit yesterday's post and head off to the office.j

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After work a bunch of us head to The Porter House brewery/pub in Temple Bar. Rebecca ("Bink") had suggested it on the way to The Market Bar so I suggested it to some of my co-workers. It's in a four story building, and serves a number of ales, lagers, and stouts they brew themselves. They also serve food. I tried their "Porterhouse Red" (an Irish ale with crystal malt and decent bala…

Dublin Day 2

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Day 2 after work I met my friend Iseult who I'd known from San Francisco. She's moved back to Dublin and I hadn't really expected to get a chance to see her again. How nice to be wrong! She suggested we go to a place called L'Gueuleton, a very popular French bistro in Dublin City Center.

They don't take reservations, and when we arrived at around 9pm the wait was about a half-hour. We entertained ourselves in a nearby gay pub while we waited.

When we were seated I got the chicken liver and foie gras parfait, which was a little like a livery pot de creme with a hard port glaze on top and a caperberry. Served with toasted brioche, poached pear, cornichons and greens I found it to be excellent. I also had another starter, and a 50cl bottle of house Cotes de Rhone. An excellent place - I recommend it highly.

The company certainly helped. Iseult and I spent the hours catching up with our respective lives and relationships, what it's like to live in Dublin, what it wil…

Arrived in Dublin

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I'm safely in Dublin, at the Park Inn, Smithfields. Took the bus from the airport to the downtown bus station, then the Luas (pronounced "lewis") from there to Smithfields, which is one block from the hotel. Total cost €5.40. The hotel is more swedish modern than I would choose for myself, but it's apparently ownedby SAS so what do you expect? The Luas is fantastic. I love it. Reasonably priced, quick, convenient, goes useful places.

After arriving I wandered around Dublin for a few hours. St. James Gate Brewery is just a few minutes walk away, and the Heuston train station just a few minutes from that. Tried to take natural light night photos with the new Canon and no tripod. It was... interesting. I threw away a lot of photos.

After that it was time for dinner with co-wokers. We ended up at the Market Bar which serves tapas. I ordered olives, marinated anchovies, a cured meat plate, and patatas bravas (adventurous, eh?) other people ordered a "fish pie" t…

Lunch at SFO

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This was lunch at SFO, Firewood Grill. $10 for two tiny overcooked pieces of tritip, $6 for a beer. I should know better. On the other hand, I'm now waiting to board my flight to Dublin!