Arch Bistro, The
Above Glenside Pub, Landscape Road, Churchtown, Dublin 14,
Telephone: +353 (0)1 2966340
As we all know, the restaurant scene, and every other scene, has changed beyond comprehension in the past twelve months. Fine dining went out the door with the bankers and wanker...
How to get there
Over the Glenside Pub in Churchtown.
Good to know
Tuesday - Saturday
Lunch 12.00 - 14.30
Dinner 17.30 - 22.30
A La Carte:
Mains €12 - €19.50
2/3 Course €15/€18
Yes - 2 Course €15
Yes - Mains €3/€7
1 Scoop icecream €1.50
Kids drinks/juices €1.50
Number of Covers:
No - Upstairs Premises
About The Restaurant
As we all know, the restaurant scene, and every other scene, has changed beyond comprehension in the past twelve months. Fine dining went out the door with the bankers and wankers who had been puffing up prices for a decade – on our money. During this same decade I was constantly asking why did every chef want to be a celebrity chef; why could they just not get on with the job of pleasing their customers like they do for generations in French towns; why could we not have decent reasonably priced eateries as they do on the Continent. Sniffy “celebrity” chefs here did not like my saying this. However, I also think far too many young chefs were set on the wrong path out of training colleges, all looking for stardom rather than a good decent job. You could say the likes of Gordon Ramsey had them all driven out of their minds!
Personally I find ‘fine dining’ hard work! I love the buzz of a casual eatery with simple well cooked food, bottles clanking, laughter rather than hushed reverence over a ‘walled garden beetroot’. I understand chefs want to show off their skills but you get tired of looking at inedible pictures on plates. A number of wise restaurants adapted rapidly – some unfortunately are caught in their own image and havent even yet faced up to the fact that value lunches alone are not going to save them. They are trapped in their former succss – hoist with their own petard – not realising that they have to re-jig and rebrand their operations. One very successful chef said to me recently “I didn’t realise I’d be coming in here one day and making ‘sandwiches’ but the casual end of our business makes up one-third of our business now.” What does it matter where the money comes from as long as it comes in?
In April 2007 I reviewed Alan O’Reilly’s then new “Alexis” in Dun Laoghaire saying “how does this man feel he can do food at these prices with every other restaurateur in the country bleeting about their low margins and what favours they are doing feeding us at exorbitant prices?” In actual fact, on my visit we were the only three people in the restaurant- I felt kind of sorry for him! Two weeks after the review was published, I couldn’t get a table, to the amusement of diners who recognised me!! People were beating a path to his door.
Perhaps hoping to emulate this success, chef Stephen McArdle, who “formerly headed up the kitchen in Alexis”, has just opened The Arch Bistro in Churchtown. Armagh born McArdle trained under Paul Rankin and has worked in Chapter One, One Pico, and was Head Chef in The Gables in Foxrock,. A good pedigree which his French style food reflects.
Starters included potted duck and foie gras parfait with spiced plum jam; braised ham hock with Puy lentils, crispy bacon and caramelised apple, and spatchcock quail. Friend Rena had a brace of seared scallops on cauliflower puree, centred with a rondelle of potato and cod brandade, and veal jus. Top drawer stuff! I had a salmon tartare with capers, cornichons, hard boiled egg, crème fraiche, and parsley.
Mains included confit duck, roast rump of lamb, wild game pie, risotto and fish ‘n chips. I had melt in the mouth slow roast pork belly with an apricot and rosemary farce, topped with big crispy onions, choucroute mustard mash. Rena had cracking fillets of monkfish sitting on fondant potatoes and leeks with a sabayon. We also indulged in delicious Dauphinoise potatoes.
We shared a perfect lemon sabayon tart with honey mascarpone cream and washed it all down with a bottle of El Coto Crianza Tinto 2005.
I suppose I’ll have no chance of getting a table here again either, never mind a wave from the podium when they start collecting Value Awards!
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