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Angela Sep 19th, 2006 01:31 AM

Dining in Dublin - Shanahans
My husband and I, and another couple, are going to Dublin for the weekend in October. We are staying in the Merrion Hotel. I have wanted to try Shanahans on the Green for so long, and havenít managed to get around to it yet, so I am going to book it for the Saturday night. The only problem being that one person in our group doesnít like steak, and obviously this is Shanahans speciality. Is it suitable for a non steak eater? She likes fish and chicken, and I really want us ALL to enjoy our meal.

I also need somewhere for dinner on the Friday night. Somewhere a bit more casual, walking distance from the hotel, maybe a wine bar or pub type atmosphere, with plenty of buzz and people watching. Any ideas?

Many thanks


cailin Sep 19th, 2006 01:42 AM

Shanahans is fab! They do have alternatives to steak. Their menu is on their website

Dobbins might be a good option for the Friday night. It's very close to the Merrion, does fab food but has a more casual feel.

cailin Sep 21st, 2006 02:12 AM

I just thought of somewhere else for Friday night - Fallon & Byrne. It's a little further from the Merrion. It's on Exchequer Street so would probably be a 15 minute walk, but they have a lovely wine bar downstairs, and restaurant upstairs.

Angela Sep 21st, 2006 03:06 AM

Thanks so much Cailin, I'll check these out.

I've went ahead and booked Shanahans so I'm really looking forward to that. The last time we were down we loved Cafe en Seine so no doubt we'll end up there on one/both nights after dinner!

Is Cafe en Seine nice for lunch? And I also looked at the website for the Mansion House on Dawson Street, do you know what this place is like for lunch/dinerr/after dinner drinks?

Thanks for your help, I really appreciate it. We go to Dublin maybe 4/5 times a year, but we like to try different places so I've always got loads of questions.

And Exchequer Street bought back memeries too, I got my wedding dress made in a boutique on that street!

Thanks again for the suggestions.


cailin Sep 21st, 2006 04:41 AM

No problem! I haven't been to Cafe en Seine for lunch in a few years, but it was good last time I went. There are some great spots on Dame Street for lunch - I was in Gruel yesterday and it was fab, and I also love the Mermaid Cafe.

Are you talking about Fire at the Mansion House? I haven't been myself but it got very mixed reviews when it opened last year - the food wasn't all that great if I remember correctly.

Another new place that is my current fave is Venu - just off South Anne Street. They don't take bookings so just turn up at the door and have a cocktail while you wait for your table. The cocktails are fab and the food is excellent. It's run by Patrick Guilbaud's son...but you're not looking at Guilbaud prices!! It's very good value - I was there recently with some friends and we had 2 cocktails each, starter & main and a half bottle of wine each and it was €80 a head.

Angela Sep 25th, 2006 12:41 PM

Thanks again Cailin. Venu is definitely on my list of places to go, but I think we want something more casual for Friday night. I'm really interested in Fallon & Byrne which you mentioned, it sounds interesting! Have you tried it? I can't find too much info on the web about it, is it a deli with a restaurant and wine bar? I wish I could find an example menu on the net, but I cant. Is it a relaxed, chilled out, smart casual, buzzy kind of place? (as that is what we are after).

Thanks again!


OReilly Sep 25th, 2006 12:48 PM

From what I have heard, Cafe en Seine has gone down quite a bit. I was in Dublin a couple of months ago and wrote up a restuarant review which I will top for you.

regards Ger

Angela Sep 25th, 2006 12:51 PM

And now, after checking out Venu extensively (read: obsessively!), I'm starting to think it might be a better choice for the Sat night than Shanahans!

Ooooh I dont know, I've wanted to try Shanahans for ages, but the couple going with us prefer more casual, buzzy, less stuffy restaurants (they're 20 & 21), and I think Venu fits this description better than Shanahans. Any thoughts?

Sorry for being so obsessive!


Angela Sep 25th, 2006 12:51 PM

Thank you Ger.


OReilly Sep 25th, 2006 12:54 PM

For "buzzy", check out Blue - I think it will fit the bill.

Angela Sep 25th, 2006 01:38 PM

I have actually looked into Blue a few times, and whereas I always thought the menu looked great, it just looked a little too modern, sterile and cold for our tastes.

Thank you for the suggestion though!


Angela Sep 25th, 2006 02:02 PM

And can anyone give me an opinion on Bang Cafe and Ely Wine Bar please.

I know Bang is close to the hotel and I like the menu. Anyone been?

Ely Wine Bar, I'm not sure where this is. Is it walking distance from Merrion Hotel?

It's between these two, and Fallon and Byrne for the Friday night.


OReilly Sep 25th, 2006 02:06 PM

Hi Anglea. Check out the thread I topped for you on Dublin Restaurants; BANG! is included.

I go to Bang regularly and always have the same thing - steak & chips, which is wonderful. I really like the restaurant - plain food, really good ingredients, well cooked.

Angela Sep 25th, 2006 02:10 PM

This sounds perfect for Friday night! Good food and a VERY short distance from the hotel. I've walked past it before and always thought it looked nice. We don't arrive in Dublin til about 4.30, so a few drinks in the hotel bar, and then walking to Bang sounds rather nice!

Thanks OReilly

OReilly Sep 25th, 2006 02:15 PM

BTW, One Pico is very highly rated. I ahve had lunch there a couple of times. Really great food, very chic restuarant and expensive. Thought to be one of the best in Dublin and is "Blues" flashier sister:|1/

Regards Ger

OReilly Sep 25th, 2006 02:17 PM

Opps, that link didn't work, try this:|685/spos|2

If not, go to, choose DUBLIN and you will find it on the first page.

Angela Sep 25th, 2006 02:17 PM

We like to do one buzzy casual restaurant and one expensive top notch one, and I think we're going with Shanahans for our expensive one this time. But One Pico has been on my list (my list is very long!) for a while, and somewhere I def want to try, so hopefully we'll get there soon! I have heard consistently good reviews, and never a bad one.



cailin Sep 26th, 2006 12:40 AM

For buzzy I would choose Venu over Bang. Bang is good but I much prefer Venu. I haven't tried Fallon & Byrne myself yet. It's very new which is probably why you can't find very much on it but, yes, it has a food hall, wine bar and restaurant. I have heard lots of excellent reports and will be trying it soon. It's one of the new "in places" along with Venu.

Angela Sep 26th, 2006 01:42 AM

Am I correct in saying that you cannot book Venu, you just turn up, put your name down and have a drink (or two!) while you wait for your table?

If so, if we turned up at about 7.30 next Friday night, would we be assured of getting a table?



cailin Sep 26th, 2006 05:28 AM

Yes, Venu only take reservations for large groups (more than 6/8 - I'm not entirely sure). We turned up on a Saturday at 8.30pm and got a table. We had to wait about 40 minutes for it, but there's a lovely bar area where you can have a cocktail or two and people-watch while you're waiting. So yes, you would be assured of getting a table although you might have to wait a while.

cailin Sep 26th, 2006 05:29 AM

PS If you do go you'll have to let me know what you thought!

Angela Sep 26th, 2006 05:59 AM

Ok, so I have definitely decided on and booked Shanahans for Saturday night.

For Fridy night I am 99% sure it is going to be Venu. It's just the sort of place I and my friends love. Sorry Ger, we'll try Bang next time!

One last question! I have read so many good things about Ely Wine Bar, and then I found out it's just around the corner from The Merrion Hotel. As I said, I am pretty set on Venu, but can you give me any info on Ely?

Cailin, thank you so much for your help on this post. I shall let you know what I thought of Shanahans and Venu.

I am also grateful to you for bringing Fallon & Byrne to my attention. Although I am not going to have the chance to have a meal there, I am determined to go there on Sat afternoon for some cheese and a glass of wine! It sounds like the kind of place my husband and I love to browse around! And cheese with a glass of wine, what else does one need?!


cailin Sep 26th, 2006 07:31 AM

I have never been to Ely and haven't heard any reports about it either. I know they've also opened in the IFSC - it looks lovely from the outside. Maybe Siobhan might be able to help if she's about.

Looking forward to hearing all about it when you get back.

SiobhanP Sep 27th, 2006 07:28 AM

I just tried to post a huge on and it died on me! Let me try to remember what i wrote! Cailin mentioned your post to me on another.

Shanahans - I hear great things from friends who eat here and its pricey but good food and service. Have a drink in the Oval Office bar first before heading upstairs. there is foof other than steak and I hear the creamed corn and creamed spinach are a must :-) I miss creamed corn!

Venu - Love the cocktails and good list of wines by the glass and reasonable prices for this. An employee from another upmarket restaurant reccommended the place and noted the good wines prices for the quality. I have not eated but friends have twice. Casual fun funkly bistro. 20/21 year olds will like it.

Ely is just down from your hotel and all the meats are from an organic farm which I think they either own or are linked to so if you are into food traceability its a good place. They also have an extensive wine list and its a nice place.

Bang - good steak and chips.

Unicorn in a laneway beside Ban is a more upmarket Italain (Not family style :-)) where the hoi polloi of Dublin eat. Could be fun.

Fire I would avoid - too many bad reviews and i am just annoyed with the place as they were allowed to place a huge hole in the ceiling of a listed building for an oven in the main dining area. Its appaling they did this. Its a joint venture between a catering Co and the local authority and in my opinion I have been to them about a work event I was not that impressed. Money seems to be the what they are about at the end of the day and not so muuch the customer. Maybe someone has a better view to add. Its previous incarnbation was not much better. Pretty room though.

Blue - Modern tredy good food

Harry's wine bar beside it looks like more fun and has wine (I was here once for this) and snacks.

Go across the road to the Dawson Lounge for the smallest pub in Dublin. Its fun for one drink and fits about 15-20 people in the basement.

The restaurant in Fallon in Byrne looks like a bistro and good reviews from the critics and my friends. I missed eating here 2 months ago due to a colleague who arrived too early for the lunch seating and made us leave in a name is diet on the reservation list there....Never use your name! I forgot that rule.

Also for wine and cheese go to Enotecca della Langhe in the Italian quarter (Bloom Quarter ) on the North Side across from the millenium bridge. Great atmnosphere outside very international crowd and the antipasti and cheese plates are fantastic.

The Port house on South William street is 1-2 monthds old and really good tapas, wines and ports in a dark cosy atmosphere. Its a fun place and the tapas are very good and reasonable. I think it would be fun to a 21-22 year old. It looks dark and imposing outside but try it!

Have fun and post your foodie reviews

P.S> Skip the food at Cafe en seine and go for a coffee in the day or drink at night. The decor is beautiful. Its overpriced carvery food and crummy sandwiches.

Angela Sep 27th, 2006 07:45 AM

Thanks Siobhan, I appreciate your help.

Ok, so I'm DEF going to Venu now. Really looking forward to it. And I see it's close to Cafe en Seine, ideal for an after dinner drink - not that we'll need any more, but you know what they say, when the drinks in, the wits out!

I'll avoid Fire and I'll avoid mentioning your name in Fallon & Byrne!!!

The Port House sounds lovely, I love dak, cosy atmosphere, and my husband LOVES port! Is South William Street walking distance from Merrion Hotel?

Thanks again


cailin Sep 27th, 2006 07:54 AM

Yes, I just read a review of the Port House 2 days ago, and walked passed it yesterday - will hopefully try it in the next couple of weeks. It's the other side of Grafton Street from the Merrion so it would be about a 15 minute walk...20 at most.

SiobhanP Sep 28th, 2006 02:33 AM

I meant to say my name is Dirt not Diet! Ha!

Yes the port house is walkable and they have a good selection of port. We had some wine and then ordered a bottle to take away and they show in the menu cost for staying in or take out with wine so you see the corkage charge which I find refreshing.

Sandylan Sep 28th, 2006 06:06 AM

Shanahans is a splendid restaurant with prices to match.See details at .It is American owned and specialises in steak and fish.

Angela Oct 4th, 2006 12:50 AM

Thanks for all the replies!

Now that I have the food sorteed out, I need a place for my husband to watch the Grand Prix qualifying on Saturday afternoon (insert rolling eye face here!!). I know the Clarendon has a tv, any other suggestions?

Thanks again


cailin Oct 4th, 2006 01:09 AM

Gosh Angela - I'm afraid I'm not going to be much use for this one. I know Sinnotts on South King Street (opposite the Gaiety) has big screens that they show sport on. It's not the nicest of pubs, but not the worst either. If the Clarendon aren't showing the F1 it's only a short walk to Sinnotts. I can't think of anywhere else off the top of my head.

SiobhanP Oct 4th, 2006 01:24 AM

If its the grand pric a lot of the pubs should be showing it. Try Davy Byrnes on Duke Street or Keoghoes on S. Anne St. Also McDaids on Harry Street and Bruxelles across from this. ALl of these are off Grafton street and you can leave him in and go off shopping without being too far away.

Angela Oct 11th, 2006 02:05 AM

Well, one thing is for sure the weekend went far too quick!

I'm going to give a quick report, mostly of restaurants.

On Friday night unfortunately we didnt make it as far as Venu. Maybe next time! We ate in the Unicorn which is a place I have walked by often and thought looked really cosy. We had a lovely meal. Service, food and atmosphere was just perfect. They even had live piano music which we really enjoyed. We wouldnt be in a huge hurry to go back, as there are so many restaurants in Dublin, but we had a lovely time.

Shanahans on the Green - we ate here on Saturday night. I can't say enough good things. The building is beautiful, and we loved the chairs which are huge armchairs! Service was so friendly, but professional too. Food was excellent. EVen though it is a steakhouse, 2 of us had fish and it was really, really good. We were celebrating a birthday, and the waiter overhead us doing a cheers and saying Happy Birthday, so just as we had finished our desserts and preparing to leave, he arrived up with 4 glasses of complimentary champagne!! This was so unexpected, we were so impressed! Such a thougthful gesture, really made the night for us, and left us with a great memory of the restaurant. We will definitely go back here again!

Cafe en Seine - went for a drink after dinner - if you like loud, buzzing, bunged bars (which we do), this is the place for you. It was great.

Fallon & Byrne - Cailin and Siobhan had got me SO excited about this place, I practically ran to it on Saturday afternoon, dragging everyone behind me! It was everything I imagined. The deli is wonderful and well worth a browse. We went downstairs and had some cheese and wine, and it was a great experience. One of the highlights of my weekend.

Merrion Hotel - as always, this hotel was wonderful. Breakfasts are great (service not 100%, but we love the hotel so much we overlook that!), rooms nice, and so handy for walking into the city.

Overall we had a great weekend in Dublin. Thanks again, Siobhan and Cailin especially, and everyone else who gave me advice.

On a side note, the next time we go down, we'll be trying Peploes. We always look in this restaurant and check out the menu when walking by, and it really does look lovely. I love restaurants with white tablecloths with a noisy atmosphere, and an interesting menu, this is next on our list!


SiobhanP Oct 11th, 2006 02:10 AM

Grat trip glad you had so much fun. Peploes I love for the atmosphere. We often go for a glass of wine at the bar and there is a nice atmosphere. the food is good but pricey and you can eat many of the same items if you eat at the side of the bar where the tables are in a more library area. The wine list is pretty extensive as well. Its more of a treat restaurant than an everyday place.

cailin Oct 11th, 2006 03:45 AM

Glad you had a great time Angela. I love Peploes too - although I have found the service to be a little bit hit & miss, the food & atmosphere are excellent.

cailin Oct 12th, 2006 04:00 AM

Siobhan - I tried the Port House lastnight and was a little disappointed. The room itself is gorgeous and the atmosphere was great, but I thought the menu was disappointing and the food in Salamanca is better. However, that said, I would go back!

Have you been to the Winding Stair yet?

SiobhanP Oct 12th, 2006 07:13 AM

Ho Cailin, Sorry to hear that I don't eat in Salamanca anymore as we had the worst meal ever there 2 years ago. It was all too "microwaved" for me. We had friends from the U.S. with us and it was embarassing. We went when it first opened for my B-Day and it was amazing.

I love the atmosphere in the poort house and while we only had 2 tapas I thought it was a little better than Havana. Lets try again in a few months and see if they even out.

I just read a so so review of the winding stair in the Herald am. Will try soon! Any idea for brunch this weekend besides odessa??

cailin Oct 13th, 2006 01:21 AM

I still haven't tried Havana - must try it soon.

How about the Mermaid Cafe? I love their brunches.

I'm looking for somewhere to eat tonight - a quick bite before the theatre. We're going to Venu tomorrow night, so not there. And not tapas as we just ate tapas on Wednesday! Any suggestions?

SiobhanP Oct 13th, 2006 03:49 AM

What time? My new favourity place iss Chez mac at the entrance to Dubkin Castle. Frech food, french owned and French staff. the food has been consistantly good. Or try the georges street area if its early as you may bet a table before the theatre. What about snack food like sufis? I have not been here in a year or two but they used to be good. Kinda arab style cafe food. Or Maloti has a great set menu and can get you out faster if you ask them. Tell me what the food is like in Venue...I only drank here but a friend ate. Like the place but hate the lighting.

cailin Oct 13th, 2006 05:09 AM

about 6ish - theatre is at 7.30 (Olympia). Might try Chez Mac - sounds good.

I've been to Venu a few times now and the food has been fantastic each time. Love it!

SiobhanP Oct 16th, 2006 04:02 AM

Sorry cailin it was Chez MAX! I am typing too fast again and not checking. We are looking at having my partners Xmas dinner in Shanahans but may have to try anoth place if booked out. Ever try Darwins on Angier street.....goood reviews

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