Harcourt Street on most nights of the week is a bustling place to be, more notably for it’s clubs than restaurants, which it strange considering the number of offices that surround the area. With the opening of The Dean and Sophie’s a lot more people are considering this street as a restaurant option. In fact you have probably passed by 1900 Restaurant many times and not even known it was there. Well it may be time to change that.
We headed in there for an early bird last Thursday as we had heard it is quite a popular spot for pre theatre dinner, especially if you heading a short stroll away to the National Concert Hall. 1900 is positioned right at the top of this well travelled road, housed to the side of the Harcourt Hotel. The restaurant itself is spacious; with lots of private enclaves perfect for small parties. To the rear the design changes slightly from the rich, dark mahogany woods to a more open plan design with cool green mirrored tiles lining the wall, playing on the whole “train station” history attached to the building dating back to 1900 when a train crashed into it. The famous crash is depicted beautifully on the walls by artist Michael McWilliams.
Apart from admiring the artwork we had a look at the menu which is pretty good value from €25 for the earlybird 3 courses. There is a strong focus on steaks, but a good spread of options including salmon loin, pumpkin risotto or chicken blanquette.
Starters dishes are always a good indication of an entire menu and a good helping of breads while you decide is essential. With plenty of choice and we decided on a Duck Salad Asparagus, Sweet Potatoes, Pickled Fennel and raspberry vinaigrette. A huge portion arrived with slivers of medium cooked duck (which was perfect) laced with tiny chunks of sweet potatoes and crunchy asparagus on a bed of fresh mixed leaves, nothing worse than getting a salad with wilted leaves! Second starter was a more traditional offering of Chicken Liver Parfait; Fruit Chutney, Madeira Jelly and Brioche Toast. A potted parfait with warm toasted brioche offset nicely with the zesty chutney.
Our server on the night Giovanni, an Italian native was as much a highlight on the night as the food. Engaging and friendly with a lovely charm and good knowledge of the menu but not over every 5 seconds asking if everything is “ok”, exactly the way service should be attentive not intrusive. With a little break, over a decent glass of Chilean house Sauvignon Blanc priced at €6.50 we had a quick chat with restaurant manager Mark who explained how 1900 have just launched a large Barbecue Area to the rear with matching menu which should be a great additional for the Summer months and one to look out for.
The mains just like the starter went more than generous in size, an appealing plate of medium rare Lamb Rump, Lamb Cutlet, Gratin Dauphinoase, Carrots and Mint Puree. Creamy potato with just a slight bite and a fine piece of rump with a mild mint puree always a safe bet with Lamb. The cutlet was tender and pleasantly seasoned. Second main consisted of a Pork Belly Confit, Black Pudding, Confit of Carrott, Bacon Mash and an unusual mustard fruit puree. A fine rustic dish and a good showcase of Irish produce.
Dessert was a very decadent delight, Sticky Toffee Pudding. Cute presentation that tasted amazing, nothing better than warm delicate sponge smothered in toffee, in a word heaven !
The Bill excluding service from the A La Carte menu came to €81 including two glasses of wine and one coffee, excellent value for the amount of food on offer.
This is a Generous Taste we highly recommend.
Click here to view more information on 1900 Restaurant.