Dublin’s cultural quarter is full of trendy bars and restaurants that no matter the weather seems to be teeming with people. During the summer or any sunny day, in fact, you’d be hard push trying to find a seat outside in the crowds of people enjoying an alfresco treat. Sitting just off the bustling South William Street is Coppinger Row, a lovely little spot that seems an oasis of calm compared to its neighbour across the lane, the youngster hangout Pyg.
When the weather has been in flying form, I’ve sat outside Coppinger Row many times, enjoying Aperol Spritz and savouring wine on the restaurant’s cosy terrace, although I had never sampled the food. Recently myself and mammy Smyth were rambling around town when we decided to pop into the restaurant that once served Beyoncé (my inner fangirl is screaming, for a quick lunch.
The restaurant only had a couple of tables in use, but within twenty minutes of our arrival, the room was buzzing with people. While we perused the menu our eyes drifted towards the specials board, and I was immediately sold when I noticed the venison option. My mam chose the Chargrilled Chicken (15.50) special served with lemon, barley, kale, and parmesan.
A large portion of well-cooked flavourful chicken sitting on top of barley was placed on our table. The barley was a nice change from rice or potatoes and had a lovely bite to it with lashings of parmesan adding a saltiness to the dish. This warming winter dish was washing down with a delicious glass of Clos La Coutale Malbec (€9.50).
My Venison Ragu Rigatoni (€14.50) came with heaps of rocket and large shavings of parmesan. The venison was soft and tender, bathing in a comforting rich sauce. Although not homemade pasta the dish was hearty and enjoyable all the same and was exactly what I needed to warm me up on that chilly afternoon. Not wanting to overpower the venison I opted for a glass of light La Boussle Pinot Noir (€9.00).
While the portions at Coppinger Row are more than generous we were tempted by the Sticky Toffee Pudding (€7.00). This simple dish has long been a favourite in my household and its rich gooiness is the stuff of dreams.
Again, a large portion of wonderfully warm light sponge, placed in the centre of a sweet caramel sauce graced our table. The mascarpone ice cream was sinfully creamy and was almost devoured immediately.
For an unplanned lunch, our visit was exactly what we needed: friendly service, comforting food, good wine and a great atmosphere. The day we visited they were serving a menu del dia of meatball rigatoni and the moreish sticky toffee pudding for just €14.50, whopping good value considering you’re in the heart of the city centre.
In total for two main courses, a shared dessert and two glasses of wine the bill came to €55.50.
Off South William Street
T: +353 1 672 9884
REVIEW BY SINÉAD SMYTH