The front of Arthur Mayne’s Donnybrook is covered by countless vintage apothecary bottles which would shine at a 19th century medicine show in the hands of a charming chatter & sons, spot-on shout out to its Corkonian big brother and the bar’s origins as a chemist. Miracle cures, elixirs, syrups and magic oils grace the entrance, but once you’re in, there is a whole new range of bottles that have less bizarre instructions and way more predictable effects…
The bar has about a dozen wines by the glass and another two by the bottle, a tap filled with well known beers and a bar with a generous selection of Irish and world whiskeys as well as gins, liqueurs and other spirits so there’s certainly enough variety for you to find a potion that does the trick.
The atmosphere felt very relaxed, with music playing at a volume that encouraged conversation and a very versatile layout that combined some well lit areas ideal to enjoy (and photograph) food, your classic wooden bar with high chairs and some cosy corners with just the right amount of darkness for a candle lit date. Among the visitors, a mix of mates sharing a few pints after work, couples having dinner and a a bottle, and small groups of friends could be seen.
If you arrive with an appetite, Arthur Mayne’s Donnybrook also has a recipe for you. Their selection of mains (€15.50 to €24) plays it safe with dishes like the fresh fish of the day, steak and corn feed chicken. Their starters (€5.50 €8.50) include a good mix of seafood and poultry options and they also have a Bar Food selection (€12.50 to €35) with sharing-friendly alternatives as well as more gastropub style dishes.
From this we tried three starters (crispy calamari, pan-fried tiger prawns and duck terrine) and a cheese board. The food was neatly presented and the portions’s size was fair. Everything arrived at the same time and the staff was helpful and friendly, checking on the table every now and then without becoming invasive.
Drinks wise, wine was the elixir for the night; two glasses each, the dose. The by the glass options were varied and good value (€6.20 to €8.10). We tried Picpoul de Pinet, Chardonnay, Malbec and Rosé.
The place really becomes whatever you want it to be: it’s a wine bar where you can share a few nibles and a a glass (or bottle), it’s a pub where you can get a burger, chips and a pint, it’s a restaurant with a la carte and also a comfy spot to quietly sip on a good whiskey.
Arthur Maynes Donnybrook is bit of a Jack of all trades, but unlike some of the empty concoctions that decorate its front, this cure-all works just as needed; it’s a friendly, down to earth and no-nonse bar in the middle of D4 which stays true to its Corkonian heritage.
The bill, including three starters, a cheeseboard and four glasses of wine arrived at €65.
Arthur Mayne’s Donnybrook
48 Donnybrook Road, Dublin 4
T: (01) 218 7869
Gabriela’s passion for writing is only matched by her love for food and wine. Journalist, confectioner and sommelier, she fell in love with Ireland years ago and moved from Venezuela to Dublin in 2014.
Since then, she has written about and worked in the local food scene, and she’s determined to discover and share the different traditions, flavours and places that have led Irish food and drink to fascinate her.