If you ever had the pleasure of dining at the Dylan previously you may remember how stark and white everything was, including the crisp linen tablecloths. Head chef Mark Bodie and Operations Director Oscar Navarro have have overseen quite the transformation to this restaurant both in menu and decor. First thing that will strike you is how beautifully contemporary the room is but in a comfortable and relaxed way. Something a lot of diners often complain about is how in city centre restaurants where space can often be an issue, seating can be very cramped. Not at Tavern, generous spacing between you an your neighbour, deliciously dark rich wood tables with luxurious seating to encourage you to sit back and really enjoy the surroundings.
We headed to Tavern for a mid week dinner and decided to try out their 5 course Tasting menu, which Mark likes to vary in line with the seasons to ensure diners are constantly experiencing something new and that the produce is at it’s finest. There is an option of an early bird menu from €29pp for 3 courses or you can choose from the a la carte menu. We were greeted by the very dashing Oscar who talked us through the menu and wine selection. The Dylan has certainly relaxed the environment but the service is most definitely 5 star, friendly and warm with no fuss.
The Bodega Valdehermoso, Verdejo Rueda came highly recommended by Oscar and lived up to expectations a delicate and light Spanish wine, the perfect accompaniment for a 5 course dinner. Like most Irish people we love our breads at TheTaste and easily could have spent the evening nibbling away on the caramelised onion breads with dips, some of the finest pesto tasted in sometime. Reluctantly we declined the offer of some more and moved on to the first course. A delighted plate of cherry tomatoes and goats cheese arrived, the tomato soup was then poured over adding a little fine dining touch. Soup can sometimes be a slightly heavy starter however this hit all the right notes with the delicate pieces of goats cheese not over powering the dish.
Next up were two very different dishes. Firstly a complex pork dish, a real showcase of how to utilise seldom used pork cuts in a stunning way. A cone of black pudding truffle, smoked pork with divine crispy crackling of pig’s ear with pea purée and an inviting little spiced pork roulade. The tiny little gherkins and pickled onion added a pleasant sharpness to the dish. A relaxed little break between dishes gives you a chance to appreciate how other diner’s appear to be enjoying their evening just as much as we were. It is always a nice touch to see front of house really engaging with the room, this makes such a difference to the overall atmosphere of any restaurant for both diners and staff. Charm is something Tavern has in spades.
Fish courses are something Mark Bodie is renowned for and we were thrilled to see a delightful plate of delicate cod placed in front of us. Surrounded with a flavoursome lemon alioli, avocado and heavenly little mussels and topped with a tomato salsa. A light and refreshing dish cooked beautifully.
It seems you can’t have a tasting menu without a beef dish these days, after three courses a small plate is a welcome sight. A succulent rib eye with meaty beef croquettes, spinach purée, velvety truffle mousseline & red wine jus. This is most definitely a plate that will please all!
Something Tavern is loved for is their unique desserts and we can guarantee you that you will not see such pretty presentation often. Feeling like a kid in a candy shop (forgive the pun) when our little dessert trolly arrived, billed as a “Fairground for two”, we could not wait to tuck in. Dainty little toffee and apple doughnuts, vanilla cone marshmallow, scrumptious honeycomb chocolate with a crunchy bite to it and our own personal favourite fluffy sugar laced candy floss. Pure heaven and a modern take on some old school classics.
From the food, to the ambience to the chic surroundings, this is a Taste we cannot recommend enough.
For More Information see Dylan.ie
Keith & Jules Mahon are the founders of TheTaste. We want TheTaste to be a culinary kaleidoscope to champion every taste, food, wine, cocktails, whiskey, etc. We are delighted to be part of such a creative and fast moving industry and are very passionate about sharing with you our unique journey around Ireland finding the best culinary hotspots.