I’m not totally sure I’m quite effortlessly cool enough for Meet Me in the Morning. Exuding that kind of “I woke up like this” vibe, minimalist, mis-matched and pared back, my mainstream millennial tendencies initially kept me from trying the much lauded eatery, but on a recent brunch mission I decided to meet my fears head on.
Arriving to a full house on a bright and airy Saturday on Pleasants Street, we are told by friendly waiting staff that there will be a twenty minute wait for a table, although we are welcome to pop next door for a takeaway coffee at Reference, the slick newly revamped spot next door.
Spotting a couple of seats at the communal outdoor table, we opt to make the most of a mild Spring day and peruse the menus while we wait with a more than pleasant view of the street’s ample artwork.
Sipping on a La Cabra flat white, lovingly crafted with oat milk, that slightly sweet and abundantly creamy foil to the deeply intense Costa Rican blend, we settled in and pored over the menu – decisions, decisions.
Meet Me in the Morning’s weekend brunch menu aligns closely with the midweek offering, which is firmly built around dedication to provenance and sourcing. Names like McNally Farm, Toonsbridge Dairy and Ballyhoura Mushrooms jump off the clipboard menu and almost make the task of choosing too daunting – good complaint.
I never knew a Rice Bowl(€12) could be tempting, but the pride of the Paddy Fields was made to shine, tossed with punchy and seasonal wild garlic and sorrel pesto and topped with the best of our own fields – shards of charred McNally kalettes (like the brussel sprout’s infinitely more stylish cousin) which would convert the most ardent objector to the green goddess life.
Sharp in-house pickled carrot, spiralised golden beets and candy pink pickled ginger cut across the richness of grilled Toonsbridge Halloumi (+€3) to finish a bowl far tastier than it’s non-descript moniker would ever have suggested.
On my side of the table was the star dish of the day, a celebration of the most humble of roots and my favourite vegetable, celeriac. My Fritters(€13) of cabbage and celeriac, like an enlightened rosti both in terms of bloat factor and vibrancy of flavour, crowned a golden turmeric and tarragon yoghurt laced with the kind of aniseed punch and brightness you’ll never get from a claggy hollandaise.
In a place that can make cruciferous vegetables that enticing, it is little wonder that brunch staples like the poached eggs that sit atop the crispy fritter are pleasingly plump and flood the bowl with sunshine-like yolks with the tickle of a knife. Multi-award-winning raw milk Corleggy goats cheese nuggets, Cavan’s finest, complete a bowl which truly bowled me over – Benedict who?
A narrow avoidance of baked beauties like Creme Pat Filled Doughnuts, bursting at the seams, and darkly delicious looking Dulce de Leche Brownies saw us out the door for €35, having enjoyed two main dishes and two coffees.
Brunch at Meet Me in the Morning replaces G&T’s with David LLewllyn’s Lusk Apple Juice, Espresso Martinis lose out to Iced Lattes laced with salted homemade dulce de leche and the usual suspects – the dishes built on brunch basics – bacon, eggs and even avocado – are replaced by kaleidoscopic bowls laden down with beautiful Irish produce.
I am now sure I am not quite cool effortlessly cool enough for the stylish masses who descend on MMIM on the regular, but I do know one thing – I will tackle that inferiority complex head on, time and time again, to eat my way through the most tempting and unique brunch menu I have yet to have the pleasure of meeting or to savour that perfect oat milk flat white again. Early morning or late afternoon, the bowls of goodness served up in this Pleasants Street gem verge on greatness.
Meet Me in the Morning
REVIEW BY DARINA COFFEY