It’s been a while since we’ve had the pleasure of dining at Rustic Stone so we were hoping the experience was going to be as good the second time round. We need not have worried. We were greeted for lunch by a very welcoming and friendly host and presented with an interesting and varied menu. We were very pleased to see that while Dylan McGrath is busy innovating upstairs with Taste @ Rustic, down below he is still serving up the staples that have given Rustic their excellent reputation.
Although tempted by the salmon tempura, we began with the Chicken Wings which were cooked to perfection. It is difficult to achieve really good crispiness without compromising the quality of the meat and these wings are testament to the standard of the ingredients. They were coated in a sticky soya and sesame sauce and the balance of sweet and saltiness was spot on. We also shared the Selection of Organic Breads and Dips. The sourdough was beautifully dense and worked really well with the cumin spiced hummus. The accompanying baba ganoush was delicious, just the right level of spice with a hint of hazelnut oil and a silky smooth texture. A nice little addition was perched on top of the bread in the form of skinny brown breadsticks wrapped in succulent parma ham.
The Glamburgers are Rustic’s version of sliders for grown-ups, served in sweet brioche buns with a tangy chutney and a side of polenta chips. I was already a fan, having sampled them previously and my dining companion, although sceptical at first, is now an affirmed convert. The Rump of Beef was tender, juicy and smothered in a sharp basil pesto. The meat was served rare enough for us to delight in searing our own portions on the seasoned stone. This simplistic, almost childlike pleasure, is an entertaining novelty that adds another element to the experience of the meal.
Our server was friendly and informative and on his recommendation we indulged ourselves with sides of pesto and truffle chips. Coated in fresh parmesan, with one portion perched over a deliciously creamy truffle mayonnaise and the other balancing over sharp pesto, the chips are crispy and smooth and the perfect accompaniment to a long, leisurely lunch.
The surprise was waiting in the pudding. The Chocolate Mousse was presented in an elegant glass bowl and with a dramatic flourish the waiter poured the soup in on top of the dessert. The surprise is that this rich and creamy dish is completely sugar free and the crunchy hazelnut gives it a nice bite.
The service was excellent throughout the meal and thanks to another excellent recommendation we enjoyed a light and refreshing bottle of Portuguese Vinho Branco.
I returned to the Rustic Stone hoping for the same level of excitement and great standard of food that I experienced during my first visit. I was not disappointed on either front. Other diners will return for the great service and tasty dishes, but the child in me will always go back for the fun of the stone and to see what other surprises Dylan McGrath has in store.
A Surprising Taste for those who want something a little bit different.
South Georges St.
T: +353 1 7079596