autumn, Bath Ave, Beggars Bush, Best Food in Dublin, Burgers, Chocolate Tart, dublin, Dublin 4, Gastropub, Honeycomb, Juniors, Pannacotta, Paulie's Pizza, Pinot Noir, Pubs, reviews, Steak, The Old Spot
I have a guilty confession to make. Two of my all time favourite Dublin restaurants, Juniors and Paulie’s Pizza have, for some reason, never been reviewed here. They are without doubt the best casual restaurants in Dublin 4. Sorry everyone else, I do love lots of you too, but Juniors and Paulie’s have the best food in D4! And I don’t like that name, but that’s where they are so what can you do? I’m sure not complaining about having them nearby!
And now they’ve added to their foodie empire with The Old Spot. I’m not even sure why I have held back from reviewing Juniors and Paulie’s, as I have taken many a photo of my delicious, consistently excellent meals here over the past year since I started the blog.
I used to live around the corner from them, and even though I’m only slightly further away now, I really miss being able to nip down and get an amazing lunch or pick up a pizza in just 5 mins after ordering (I’m not even exaggerating – that’s how long the pizzas take to order usually). They have the freshest salads, tastiest sandwiches, most creative dishes and best quality ingredients on the menu. The staff is always happy to see you and the service is perfect!
Now they’ve finally opened up their new gastropub, The Old Spot, a few doors down on the corner of Bath Avenue, where the old dingy Lansdowne Pub used to be.
I was counting down the days for this place to open, trusting that the team would do it justice and it didn’t disappoint.
Please excuse the very dark photos, the lighting was very low and my camera battery was dead, so the phone camera had to suffice. I gave the Loftus Lens on Hipstamatic a good workout!!
I’ll go back soon during the day to get some more pics.
Mr. Cooksalot and I booked a table for 7pm last Sunday, just to be safe. We got there and the pub area was fairly busy, while the restaurant was really full.
They’ve really put a lot of love and thought into the décor with lots of old antiques and vintage style pieces, plus plenty of old books on the shelves to peruse with your pint…
I love the attention to detail and the classy, “old timey” atmosphere. They had a great but simple cocktail menu as well – which I only discovered at the end of our meal. Must try them out next time!
Snug area towards the back of the restaurant.
If you’re feeling a bit musical you can probably crank out a few tunes, although ask first!
Lovely tartan booth at the back of the restaurant.
We had been for a long walk on the beach to work up an appetite and as we waited to be seated, I spied the specials on the board. White onion soup with sage, my favourite herb of all, plus a yummy Surf & Turf with ribeye and garlicky gambas, served with roast potatoes. I already knew what I wanted.Once seated on the cosy leather couch, we spent a while studying the menu, just in case there was something else we couldn’t resist.
Dinner menu at the The Old Spot, Bath Avenue, Dublin
I was tempted by most of it, but stuck to my gut and went for the soup and the surf & turf, while Mr. Cooksalot went for the prosciutto and celeriac rolls and the delicious sounding dry aged burger with mature cheddar cheese and a brioche bun. We also ordered a bottle of French Pinot Noir to share.
When our starters came out I had to stop myself from squeeing!
The soup was absolutely delicious, quite creamy but not too rich. Like a smoother version of the best, tastiest French Onion soup with the lovely sage in the background. The toasted sourdough was perfect for dunking and I practically licked the bowl clean, or I would have if my head had fit in the little deep bowl!
Mr. Cooksalot’s starter was equally lovely. I managed to get a taste of it before he had gobbled the lot! The celeriac rolls were like a European version of a spring roll, with grainy mustard mixed through. Generous portions of prosciutto and rocket underneath. All in all very, very tasty and the perfect start to the meal.
Our wine was great too, a bit heavier than I would’ve expected from a Pinot Noir, but it held up well with what was to come…
Our mains came out promptly. My surf and turf was gloriously presented, with the gambas glistening in the candlelight.
The ribeye was tender, juicy and perfectly cooked, full of savoury, meaty flavour. The roasties were crunchy on the outside and fluffy in the middle, and the gravy was delicate and full of flavour. A little bit of rocket made me feel like I was getting my greens in too.
The gambas were fairly large and cooked carefully with plenty of garlic, parsley and lemon. Juniors always do great prawns and great steaks too for that matter, so it was the best of both!
The burger was also a thing of beauty. Presented with a platter of shoe string fries.
The bun was soft and sweet but not cakey, so it didn’t fall apart the way say Bunsen buns do (nothing wrong with that, but it does make for a decidedly messy burger). The meat was dry aged and packed full of flavour.
The cheese complimented it perfectly and Mr. Cooksalot declared it to be one of the best burgers he’s had in a long time, and “very old-fashioned” whatever that means. He was a happy man anyway!
We just about had room for desserts, so we felt it only right to indulge…
I went for a Muscavado Treacle Panna cotta with a lovely plum compote and pistachio biscotti on the side. For some strange reason it had sourdough croutons on top as well, which were very odd and unnecessary, but it was delicious nonetheless, so I won’t hold it against them! And not too rich as to tip me over the edge into indigestion…
Mr. Cooksalot went for a slightly more decadent dessert, a creamy dark chocolate mousse-like tart with a biscuity base. He wasn’t particularly excited about it from the menu, but he had to eat his words when he tasted it and declared it excellent. I think the honeycomb won him over.
Our bill came to about €105 before the tip, which was very good value for money if you ask me. You could easily spend less and have an equally good meal, but we thought it only right to try everything out!
I will definitely be going back again soon, hopefully during the day so that I can get better photos. The pub itself is just as cosy and atmospheric and I expect it will have shortage of customers. If you’re a fan of Juniors or Paulie’s get down there and show them your support! If you’ve never been to any of them, now is the time to change that…
PS: in case you’re wondering, the Old Spot is a rare breed of pig, from Gloucestershire, as far as I know!
The Old Spot
14 Bath Avenue,
Tel: (01) 660 5599