“If it ain’t broke don’t fix it” was a phrase uttered by many when Brasserie Le Pont announced a complete refurb and name change to boot. Having been fans of the old incarnation we were interested to see what vision Director Fiona Kelly had in mind. Like many Dublin venues which may have been tarred with a slightly stuffy image the team decided it was time for a total rebrand with a more relaxed feel and with better use of the unique space, now with cocktail bar, terrace and restaurant, whilst retaining high standards in the kitchen. The name Suesey Street was one that was agreed on after many other possibilities, with a play on the area’s history of Leeson Street being named Suesey St. in a previous life. Housed in one of the most beautifully restored Georgian houses in Dublin, Suesey Steet is located in the basement of 26 Fitzwilliam Square right on the corner, just follow the red awning and you’ve arrived.
We popped in for lunch on a Friday and made our way through the bar to the spacious dining room. Keeping in line with the less formal theme tables are bare mixed, wood with simple yet elegant seating. The redesign of the venue has been well thought out with every space now well utilised. Although almost lured by the stylish dining room we decided to eat out on the terrace which we believe is one of the best in the city if not THE best. Even though as a nation we are getting a hell of a lot better at al fresco dining you still can’t help but feel we have some way to go before we catch up with some of our more cosmopolitan neighbours. Suesey Street however has got this bang on point. Seriously comfortable cushioned seating, tastefully decorated with a blazing fire and heaters abound, the only way to do it!
Being located where they are, within a buoyant business district it makes sense that two lunch menus are available, a set menu of 2 courses for €21 and 3 for €26, which in this neck of the woods is good bang for your buck. The A la Carte was what we had come for, as it was Friday we wanted to spoil ourselves with all the best that Head chef Lumir Tousek (formerly of l’Ecrivain) had to offer. With a background in Michelin starred kitchens it’s a natural assumption that Lumir’s menu will be quite contemporary with a strong European influence and if the dishes we had are anything to go by this assumption is correct. Whiskey Cured Salmon was all we needed to see and we knew this had to be tried as one of our starters. A picture perfect piece of stunningly good cured salmon arrived with a light mustard dressing topped with a shaving of beetroot, walnut and some very in vogue kohlrabi. A well executed dish which we enjoyed every element of.
Scallops are a sure bet on most restaurant menus at the moment but this was unlike most you will taste Poached Scallop Mousse lovingly plated with Alsace bacon and served with a mushroom broth. A truly refreshing take on what is probably one of the most overdone ingredients out there.
Had this been dinner we would have jumped at the Beef with smoked cheese custard, however we settled on two fish mains in our very weak attempt to be healthy for once. Firstly was the visually impressive Monkfish with the best dressed beets we’ve seen in some time. Couple this with a fine ham hock, slivers and minute cubes of apple and a generous sprinkling of chopped walnut and you have a pretty damn good plate.
Whilst the Hake could never live up to the artistry of the monkfish, it did not disappoint. A fine seared fillet on a bed of carrot puree with roasted carrots and a gerkin beurre blanc sauce, with the unusual but welcome addition of chicken skin powder. Another creative dish showcasing how fortunate Suesey St. is to have such a skilled and imaginative team in the kitchen.
Usually on a lunch we would pass on dessert but we knew we would be missing out, a classic with Tousek’s personal touch. Passionfruit Parfait with fresh blueberries and a honeycomb sorbet set on a backdrop of splendid speckled tableware was a fitting end to easily one of the most exciting lunch menus in the city.
Brasserie Le Pont is now a very distant memory but Suesey Street will be etched in our minds for sometime to come. The transformation of this venue coupled with the accomplished talents of the team in the kitchen have created a venue well worth discovering.
This is a Fresh Taste we cannot recommend enough.