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Our Latest Great Place To Eat - The Baths At Clontarf

Our Latest Great Place To Eat - The Baths At Clontarf

Friday 06 July 2018

People have been fascinated with the idea of anyone taking on the long-closed Clontarf Baths, and I have to say it’s one of the most impressive and happy creations I have seen in a long time. It’s a very long room with a bar at one end, an open kitchen, spectacular views out over Dublin Bay, not to mention the big yellow rubber duck sitting in the actual baths.

The Baths, which is under the same ownership as the Seafield Hotel in Ballymoney, Co. Wexford, seems to be really on the nose of what people want by way of good fun combined with casual dining. Kevin Arundel of The Chop House was involved in the setting up of the restaurant here, as he was with their Village Bar & Grill a couple of years back.

Diving in, some lovely breads quickly arrived – Guinness and flatbreads – on a board with hummus and seaweed butter, as good quality Castillo Canena extra virgin olive oil and Manicardi aged Balsamic were placed on the table for our use. So far, so great – and it got better.

Starters included a seafood chowder of smoked and fresh fish with Guinness bread; oysters were served tempura style with harissa and pickled ginger or cold with a Vietnamese-style dressing. Warm chicken terrine was with pickled vegetables, sauce gribiche and a balsamic reduction; spice baby-back pork ribs had a celeriac and apple slaw. Dublin Bay prawns, for my friend Mary, were three whoppers in their shells; heads, claws and all – finger-licking stuff – on toasted sourdough. Ireland’s Eye crab for me was also ace. Three pieces of toasted La Tartine sourdough were cut into manageable bite-size pieces and topped with three blobs of dressed crabmeat, a blob of lambs lettuce, and some diced mango, with a lemon slice – all very fresh and tasty.

The menu is well thought out with something for everyone – singles and families – from rotisserie chickens half/whole, and a natty range of pizzas, including gluten-free bases, covering the simple Margarita; spicy pepperoni with pancetta, bresaola, and torn burrata; Fivemiletown goats cheese with chorizo, pine nuts; artichoke with fig and lemon truffle oil, which would take my fancy, and the Dublin Coddle with Guinness sausage, organic bacon, potato, parsley and mustard honey glaze, which wouldn’t – but no doubt there’ll be someone on the tourist trail.

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