Lunch at The Ivy at Dawson Street, Dublin, Ireland

“It’s a lavish experience that adds a pop of color to your life,” said my daughter when she insisted we go.  “It’s a trendy place.”

A new restaurant, the Ivy at Dawson Street is the first Irish brasserie from its father company, The Ivy, West Street, London. The Ivy Collection, well-known in England for its contemporary cuisine and unparalleled service for over a century, now includes more than 40 venues. Irish magic may make this Ivy even better than its forefathers.

The effortless glamour, combined with dawn-to-late night availability, make it a must-dine restaurant during your time in Dublin.

Location: The Ivy of Dawson Street, located in Dublin 2 north of St. Stephen’s Green, in Dublin, Ireland.

Menu: The menu covers everything from Irish classics to continental cuisine. Locally inspired dishes, like Dublin Bay prawns and Dungarvan oysters, remain popular with those who love shellfish, while meat-lovers find steak tartare with Dubliner whiskey, and chicken Milanese.

My daughter, a vegan, could easily spot food that met her needs. Meals are well marked as to vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free status. There are separate menus to make it easier for people with dietary challenges, so don’t be afraid to ask.

Thoughts: The restaurant itself reveals floor-to-ceiling vibrant art deco. Casual chic to business dress is expected. Don’t forget to check out the bar where ivy vines combine to add to the overall glamour.

With so many menu options, I wasn’t certain if I’d care for a salad with chicken or a salmon dish. The server patiently weighed the merits of each with me. With his help, we found excellent dishes, from starts to dessert, that pleased our palates.

Some of my favorites are:

  • The truffle arancini, crisp little fried Arborio rice balls that delights many. The light taste of truffle and parmesan cheese create a strong vegetarian dish.
  • Roast Salmon Fillet with smoked almonds and an herb sauce on the side with broccoli (I substituted green beans) grilled to my specifications, presented beautifully and utterly delicious.

  • The sweet potato Kerelan Curry, exactly the right consistency, spiced a little past medium, as requested, and tickled my daughter’s taste buds in exactly the right way.

  • The Chocolate Bombe, a well-known favorite (many guests make reservations solely for the pomp & circumstance of this chocolate covered honeycomb ice cream dessert’s ceremony). The server pours a hot salted caramel sauce over the hard-crusted chocolate bombe forcing a rapid melt, revealing a vanilla ice cream and honeycomb center (set your phones to video in advance).  While honeycomb ice cream is not commonly found in the United States, it is quite popular in New Zealand and Australia.

At my daughter’s suggestion, I made a special trip to the ladies’ room. The stair art is impressive. The four private floral powder rooms and five tufted seats before three paneled mirrors create an ambiance of sumptuous elegance.

We met the front desk staff, the server, the manager and general manager over two separate visits. Each was personable and professional, warming to the topic of life on staff at The Ivy at Dawson Street.

Executive Chef, Nick Lentini, works diligently to present a high-quality product and is “all about the quality and consistency” meeting with his suppliers weekly. His perfectionism may slow things down at the pass, but it’s to the guests’ benefit with exquisite meals that make you want to return soon for another experience to remember.

Price Range: Soups are €7.50. Salads range from €7.95 to €10.50. Other appetizers range from €7.50 to €13.95. Sandwiches range from €13.50 to €17.50. Entrees or “Mains” run from €16.50 to €43.50 (the steak). Desserts at lunch or dinner range from €4.75 to €12.50. The must-have Chocolate Bombe is €10.50. Afternoon Tea is €21.50 per person with the Champagne Afternoon Tea €33.50.

Lunch for two costs about 70 Euro. To put it in perspective, I’ve not found another sit-down restaurant in Dublin where I leave lunch for two much under €50. The ambiance and food quality here are superior.

Guest Reviewer Bio: Gail Clifford, MD, a physician for more than 25 years, has traveled to five continents and all 50 United States. A freelance travel and food writer, she writes about multi-generational travel and food, shares tips on must-do events you may not hear about in guide books. You can follow her on Facebook and Instagram, and see her

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