I had heard that Cafe Bar Deli offered great salads and a bustling atmosphere so, having not been there before, I headed into the branch in Ranelagh on Saturday. What struck me first was how empty it was. For lunchtime on a Saturday, it was pretty dead.
Nonetheless, the open kitchen provided the bustle and entertainment I had hoped for, and the elegant yet unstuffy environment was instantly comforting.
Out of a choice of salads, pizza and pasta, I ordered the feta, broccoli, chickpea, sugar snap pea and sundried tomato pesto salad. It was fresh and tasty with quality ingredients and plenty of authentic feta cheese. However at €8.20 for just a medium salad and with three other people ordering salad, a basket of bread would have been a welcome addition. It didn’t take me through to dinner and by six I was ravenous.
All in all, it makes for an okay value lunch but a better value dinner. Prices are about the same as you pay in most places: not great value but not overpriced either. I will certainly be tempted back by the well thought out Mediterranean menu and wine by the 1/2 litre.
Here are a selection of dishes they had on offer on the day (Some of the dishes and prices advertised on their website varied from the menu I received):
- Tiger prawns in olive oil, garlic and chilli served with homemade bread – €9.50
- Seafood antipasto served with Guinness bread – €12.50
- Smoked trout, roast red peppers, red onion, capers, potato and lemon cream fraiche. €9.95/13
- Smoked duck, roast butternut squash, pumpkin seeds and balsamic and honey dressing. €9/12.50
- Egg, spinach, black olives, nutmeg, tomato and mozzarella. €13.
- Calzone, Lebanese spiced lamb, roast aubergine and feta €15.
- Penne Arrabiatta, tomato and chilli sauce, black olive and basil pesto. €13.
- Wholewheat spaghetti, mixed seafood in a spiced tomato sauce with baby spinach and lemon. €16.
- Pecan and maple cheesecake with cream €7
- Apple, blackberry and almond crumble with cinnamon ice-cream. €7.
- France – Ste Marthe 2005/6 Grenache Blanc: Glass €5.50; 1/2 Litre €13.50; Litre €24.
- France – Ste Marthe 2005/6 Cabernet Sauvignon: Glass €5.50; 1/2 Litre €13.50; Litre €24.
Cafe Bar Deli have branches in Dublin, Cork, Limerick and Sligo.