There has never been a more exciting time in Dublin, with new restaurants flinging their doors open to the public every month. We have been spoiled for choice in the last year with chic eateries and stylish bars, but one venue looks set to conquer them all, with one of the most stunning settings we have come across in Dublin to date. Welcome to Roberta’s – the hottest new kid on the block.
A welcome addition to an area which has for the most part been confined to tourist itineraries, Roberta’s invites you to brave the cobbles of Temple Bar, next door to the five star Clarence Hotel on Essex Street. Ascending the stairs past gold-rimmed mirrors and embossed tiles, you won’t be sorry you went out of your way.
The newest addition to the Press Up portfolio, Roberta’s joins chic eateries Angelina’s and Sophie’s and you will recognise many features – plush leather booths, NYC meets Italy vibes, but in Roberta’s the concept has been taken up a notch. Nowhere is this more obvious than in the sheer scale of Roberta’s, which is now the largest restaurant in the group, seating 220 at capacity.
Roberta’s decor is striking with every little detail considered, bulging light bulbs lining windows overlooking the oldest street in Dublin on one side and the Liffey on the other. Achingly chic black leather Italian half moon booths, teal bucket chairs and floor to ceiling windows make this more than a little striking.
Roberta’s a New York warehouse with a seriously chic art deco edge. Having gutted the interior to add a marble top free-standing bar perched under a glass roof, it is clear a great deal of thought and cash has been injected into this space – and by the looks of things it has been worth every penny.
On the food front, Roberta’s will offer casual Italian dishes from their bespoke wood-fired oven, all with a distinctly Irish accent in the form of well sourced local ingredients. On the pizza front, Skeaghanore Duck Pizz(€16)a goes head to head with Irish Four Cheese(€14), layering Gubbeen, Cashel Blue, Bandon Vale Cheddar and Toons Bridge Buffalo Mozzarella.
For something a little more refined, starters like Wood-Fired Duck Hearts with smoked mayo celeriac remoulade will make yours flutter with distinctive and unique flavours. Sourdough warm from the oven, studded with Atlantic sea salt and dunked in Stracciatella – Italian soft cheese with lemon confit and slow braised fennel – will offer a lightness and refinement you would never expect from cheese and bread.
Mains include one of the most underrated cuts of meat in a dish Roberta’s has dubbed Iberico Secreto, blushing, slightly rare slices of prime pork kissed by the woodfire oven for tender sweetness, expertly paired with fennel two ways – simple, delicious, contemporary classics.
Rich and luxurious Orrechiette, Linguine with Clams and Lamb Rump with Aubergine Caviar make up an original and exciting dinner menu, well worth making a booking for. Head chef Troy Watson brings with him a wealth of experience from Melbourne to some of Dublin’s buzziest restaurants, some of you may recognise him from Fade Street Social, so you know the kitchen is in safe hands. It is expected that a weekend Brunch menu will be up and running towards the end of May.
Once dessert plates are cleared, Roberta’s will become a late night hot-spot with craft cocktails – from a Little Stunner to Pear Side Car, keenly priced at €11, as well as an extensive wine and beer offering. DJ’s from The Workman will provide the tunes from Thursday to Saturday, from 11pm til late. The aim is to emulate the success of Sophie’s, which magically transforms from an eatery to one of Dublin’s hottest night-time spots in the wee hours.
Roberta’s will undoubtedly attract a chic crowd, as will the hotly anticipated gourmet market place and casual 100 seater restaurant due to open downstairs in July. The plans for this welcome city centre artisan food store include the possibility of take-away dishes from the most popular Press Up group restaurants such as Sophie’s gnocchi, to be trialed in the coming months – watch this space.
Having been given a sneak peek at the newest addition to the Dublin dining scene, we are fully confident the venue will wow you as much as it wowed us. Decor-wise, think Luna meets Nolita, with a crafty Italian menu to tempt all palates. With the expert hospitality you expect from venues like Angelina’s and the uber cool vibe you find in Sophie’s – Roberta’s is a sophisticated older sister who looks set to come into her own.
Roberta’s is now taking bookings and opens for dinner this Friday May 19th. For more information click here.