101 Talbot St Dublin Reviews
For anyone whoever said the food in Ireland is bland…you have not been to 101 Talbot Mar 31, 2015
Despite having a rocky start to my Eurotrip, things started looking up on my second day in Ireland. First, I found The Celt, a really fun bar on Talbot Street and then later that evening for dinner I stumbled across 101 Talbot, the aptly named restaurant just a short distance down the road from my hotel.
101 Talbot comes across as somewhere between casual and upscale. The food is elegantly plated and delicious while the decor is decidedly warm and inviting. Yet no attitude to be found here as is sometimes present in upscale restaurants. The lighting is soft but the sound levels are not. In fact, at times it was quite noisy. Not unbearable but it is a relatively small restaurant so it was to be expected.
The prices are reasonable. I think the most expensive item on the menu was their 3 course set menu, which was under 30 euros. It includes an appetizer, a main course, and a dessert. This is the option that I selected. I think most people would be pleased with that decision.
Much to my happiness, they had a full bar with beer, wine, and liquor. Up to this point I had not seen any recognizable (to me) beers other than Guinness, Heinkeken, and Budweiser. None of which are particularly interesting to me. I ordered a Jameson on the rocks and was about to just stick with that but then I saw a beer on the menu called Galway Hooker. How was I to pass that up? After two weeks of traveling around Ireland, it seems to be a fairly common beer in this country. I'm glad I gave it a try. When I get home I will have to see if it is available in the U.S., also. I am a huge fan of it now!
The appetizer soon arrived. It was a rabbit, chorizo, and sweet potato risotto. If there is a heaven, this would be served there. Possibly one of the best things I have ever eaten. i wanted more of it. It was my first time ever eating rabbit. It won't be the last. At some point when I return home I will have to try to recreate this. I'm sure it will end in a disaster of legendary proportions but that's certainly no reason not to try.
Next up was the lamb. I had originally requested the venison but sadly, they were out. In and of itself, I'm sure the lamb was good but after the appetizer it was nearly impossible to be anything but a letdown. Ok, a letdown is harsh. It wasn't a letdown. But it just couldn't compete. I really enjoyed the sauce that it came with and the potato was cooked unlike anything I had ever eaten before. Not even sure how to explain it. It was like a small baked potato without the skin and yet it still had a cooked outer layer. It wasn't chewy or crunchy but it was noticeable. I'm assuming that it was merely fried in a pan but however they created it, I fully approve. If I remember correctly, the dish also came with a cauliflower puree (meh) and some broccoli (yuck).
For dessert I ordered the warm chocolate fondant with blood orange ice cream. They were out of that, as well. Curses! I went with the vanilla and blueberry creme brûlée. I'm not a big fan of creme brûlée at all but I decided to give it another try again. I'm sure there was nothing wrong with it. I just don't particularly care for creme brûlée. I ate about half of it and pushed the rest away. I was actually pretty stuffed anyway. I had been under the misconception that only people from the U.S. eat portions that large.
The staff was very friendly. It actually seemed like a family run business. I spoke with at least three of them and all were equally nice and seemed as excited about my trip as I was. They took turns having their dinners at one of the unoccupied tables. Not sure if they were all just in a really big hurry or they enjoyed their food as much as I did but none of them took longer than 5 to 10 minutes to eat.
Other than being out of two things I wanted, I don't think I could list anything I didn't like about this place. This is the place where I began to learn the differences between U.S. and Irish restaurants, though. The wait staff rarely check up on you while you're eating in Ireland. To them it would be rude. In the U.S. they try to get you out of the restaurant as soon as possible. I think this partially is reflective of the tipping etiquette differences. U.S. wait staff make under minimum wage and rely on tips as their income. So they are sometimes overly friendly and intrusive. Not so much in Ireland. And in Ireland they don't bring the check until you ask for it. In the U.S. they are trying to turn the table quickly so they can get another tipping customer after you.
FYI, I had to climb a flight of stairs to get to the dining room. I did not notice an elevator so if that is something that you require you might want to call to verify on that first.
In summation, I completely recommend 101 Talbot. If I ever return, I will definitely try them out again!
Part of the Eurotrip - 2015 travel blog
6 / 6 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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