It’s a well-known fact that Sundays are a day of rest. Made for duvet days binge-watching Netflix, drinking endless cups of coffee in your favourite café or hanging up your apron and dining out.
We love nothing more than nibbling away on culinary delights (with a glass of vino or two!) and wishing Sundays could last forever. Now comes the hard part, deciding where to eat. That decision is made all the easier when there’s a shiny new restaurant to try.
Sitting on Main Street in Swords village, Shaker and Vine is the new venture from cocktail creator extraordinaire Paul Lambert. The bustling village is already home to local favourites, Masterson’s Steakhouse and The Old School House.
The award-winning mixologist has won numerous awards worldwide and is the man behind many cocktail menus throughout the city. He has garnered great acclaim from his role in the hugely successful Blind Pig Speakeasy.
The menu at Shaker and Vine is compact but with some tasty options. Each dish has a recommended wine pairing to compliment the flavours of each course, an idea I appreciate. People can often be set in their ways with wine, or unsure which varieties they’ll enjoy. The vibe at Shaker and Vine is unpretentious, but with a gentle nudge in the right direction to taste some stellar wines.
They also offer wine flights, priced at just €10 for three tasting glasses. Choose from red or white and enjoy trying out different wines from your usual picks.
Across the table, a pretty looking starter of Duck Liver Parfait (€7.50) was served with a cherry and raspberry compote with toasted sourdough. Two large slices of beautifully smooth parfait sat atop a sweet compote which married well with the rich duck liver.
I went for the classic Charcuterie Board (€13.50). Here you can build your own board by choosing items from the restaurant’s daily changing blackboard. I love this idea as I was able to pick and choose my favourites. I chose a Wicklow Brie and a sheep’s cheese, which unfortunately was out of stock, but I happily replaced this with goat’s cheese. For meats, I went for the Bresaola and Fionnochiona (a salami style meat flavoured with fennel).
As I am a red wine lover, I forego the suggested Prosecco or Bordeaux White suggested to pair with this starter and ordered my old favourite, Pinot Noir.
A generous sized portion of charcuterie is set before me served with chilli and basil hummus, pickles, olives and crackers. I love this mini smorgasbord, which would be sustainable enough to share between two over a bottle of wine if you wanted a small snack.
For mains, I chose the Corn-Fed Chicken (€19.00) served with Smashed Potatoes, Grilled Asparagus, Smoked Bacon, Prosecco and Tarragon Sauce. The chicken was well cooked and moist with a deliciously crisp skin holding in the flavour.
The tarragon sauce was creamy and rich, adding a depth of flavour to the dish that sometimes chicken can lack. Under the chicken sat two thick strips of bacon, a little too crisp for my taste but the grilled asparagus was cooked perfectly, with a lovely al dente snap.
Most would choose a white wine with chicken, but I asked Paul for a red wine recommendation and was served a light Spanish Garnacha that complimented the dish very well.
The Pan Fried Fillet of Seabass (€23.00) sitting opposite me was stacked high with a crisp looking skin. This wonderfully meaty fish was served with Baby Spinach, Basil Mash and Lemon and Caper Cream.
The suggested wine of a La Chanaye Sancerre, worked extremely well with the rich sauce, the acidity of the wine cutting through the lush cream. It was a match made in heaven with well-balanced flavours and a nicely-cooked piece of fish.
To finish, we indulged in a simple Apple Pie (€7.00). This deep apple-filled dessert was served with rich vanilla ice-cream and completely hit the spot. Not lighting any fires in terms of creativity, but a satisfying dish all the same.
If you’re too full for dessert, why not treat yourself to a dessert cocktail instead? The Nut ‘n’ Berries (€10.00) is made with Kahlua, Chambord, Frangelico and Fresh Cream. This dessert cocktail, designed by Paul himself, is sinfully easy to drink and delicious. A rich caramel flavour balanced by the addition of super sweet strawberries garnishing the tipple.
To round off our meal, two glasses of a sweet Moscato wine, on the house, graced our table. Personally, I love dessert wine, but often the sweetness isn’t for all palates. The Moscato is a great option for those looking to try sweeter wines as it has a gorgeous sweetness without being too sharp.
As I leave Shaker and Vine, I feel like this is just a warm-up act for great things to come. With Paul’s vision and knowledge, Shaker and Vine has a number of exciting things up its sleeve. Paul eagerly tells me of the exciting plans he has for his impressive Vermouth collection and his passion is infectious.
This restaurant will without a doubt become a mecca for food and wine lovers and those looking for that extra special and unique cocktail experience. Definitely one to keep an eye on with a return visit on the cards.
In total the bill came to €98.50, well worth the price tag for the expertly chosen wines and well-executed dishes.
Shaker and Vine
14 Main Street
T: + 353 (0)1 8074398
Sinéad is a Culinary Arts graduate from DIT. She is a passionate cook with a love of fine dining and modern Irish cuisine. A gin lover, Sinéad loves seeking out cosy new pubs and sampling a variety of craft beers.
If she’s not dining out, Sinéad loves travelling the world exploring new cultures and cuisines. Working with TheTaste allows Sinéad to fully immerse herself in the Irish food industry.