I’m not particularly enamoured with Valentine’s Day, but as it happens Mr. Cooksalot’s birthday falls about a week beforehand, so I take it as a sign from the Gods to make it as romantic as possible. Last year we went to La Maison, which is the perfect place for a romantic meal à deux. This year I had something a little more mysterious and covert in store (more on that later!), but we started off the night with a steak dinner in Beeftro.
I had read good things about Beeftro and have passed by the Dundrum branch many times but I had never eaten there. This branch is tucked away on Balfe Street opposite the Westbury.
It has a decidedly French theme and reminded me a bit of Chez Max. We sat in the corner near the window. The walls are covered in vintage French posters and black and white photos of Paris and if you’re a Francophile you will probably love this place.
I started off with a glass of sparkling French white that our French waitress assured me was similar to Prosecco. Mr. Cooksalot took a while to peruse the wine list, and even though I suggested getting a caraffe of red to share (with the rest of the night in mind, unbeknownst to him) he ended up ordering a bottle of Malbec. I love a glass of red with food, but if I drink too much of it I get an instant headache and I feel very sleepy. I’m probably allergic to the tannins but when you’re having steak, only red wine will do!
To start, I had the French Onion Soup, which is probably one of my all time favourite dishes but can really go either way. This one was quite good but not great. Tasty but not particularly special. It’s such a simple dish but if done right it can be divine! In fact the best one I’ve ever had in Dublin was in Liston’s of all places!
Mr. Cooksalot went for the chicken wings with the ubiquitous Buffalo Sauce. Not very original or exciting but again, if done well can be delicious. He wasn’t disappointed – they were as crispy and tangy as you’d expect.
They have several cuts of steak on the menu including filet mignon, sirloin, ribeye and a New York Strip. I decided to go for a filet, instead of my usual ribeye. Mr. Cooksalot went for the New York Strip, out of curiosity if nothing else. The sauces are sold separately and you can choose between a béarnaise, roasted garlic butter, pepper sauce and a special steak sauce, which I imagine is a classic French style bistro sauce that is traditionally served with steak. Now I knew that the sauces were sold separately but I really couldn’t understand why they have it set up like this – it seems a bit ridiculous. The steaks aren’t cheap, ranging from €18 up to €29, so surely they should be included in the price?
Regardless I went for a béarnaise and Mr. Cooksalot went for the roasted garlic butter. The steaks come with either plain potato purée or bacon and crispy onion potato purée. I can’t really resist anything that comes with bacon, so I went for the more extravagant version. It was only when our steaks came out that I realised that they weren’t served with anything else on the plate. I was expecting some sort of small side salad, so I panicked and asked our waiter if I could have a green salad and he suggested some rocket.
Please excuse the terrible photos!
Mr. Cooksalot was initially served potato purée, which confused him, as he had ordered fries instead. But once he pointed it out, his fries arrived pretty promptly. Despite the initial hiccups we were more than impressed with the food itself. My steak was very tender and full of flavour, as you would expect it to be. The potato purée was delightfully rich and buttery with the crispy bacon and shoestring onions making a nice contrast in texture. The bitter rocket helped to balance out the richness of the buttery meat and potatoes, and the Malbec was smoky and full bodied enough to compliment everything perfectly.
Mr. Cooksalot’s steak was bigger, with a slightly less tender texture than the filet, as you would expect, but no less flavourful. His fries were crispy and delicious and we shared our potatoes happily! I’m sorry I don’t have better pictures to illustrate – they all turned out pretty shoddy for some reason!
When it came time to order our desserts I didn’t even have to look at the menu again. I had already seen the salted caramel sundae and when salted caramel is on the menu you don’t have to ask me twice! It also came with honeycomb and pecans but to be honest, they had me at salted caramel. It was excellent! Lots of contrasting textures and plenty of dark, concentrated caramel flavours.
Mine was so good, I think I was chuckling away to myself until I finished it. The pecans and honeycomb added so much crunch and extra burst of toffee-like flavour.
Mr. Cooksalot went for the raspberry, lime, marshmallow and chocolate sundae. He was highly impressed with it, even though the lime flavour never materialised. I shouldn’t have been so surprised, since he a huge ice cream fan anyway. As he reminded me several times later that week, most restaurants in Dublin don’t seem to put much thought into their desserts, but these sundaes were surprisingly scrumptious!
We thoroughly enjoyed our meal at Beeftro and will probably be back again soon. Or perhaps we’ll make a detour if we are out in Dundrum. If you want a great steak dinner with all the trimmings and a superior sundae, you won’t be disappointed. Stay tuned for part 2 of our evening, wherein I lead Mr. Cooksalot on a clandestine operation in search of bootlegged cocktails!!