It’s rare that I’m organised enough to avail of early bird offers. Usually by the time I’ve left work and gathered my thoughts they’ve all finished. But after an exhausting week recently, I decided that I would be out of the office at six pm on Friday no matter what, and would be sitting down eating something lovely in a restaurant I’d never tried before by seven. I was aided in this by some helpful people on Twitter who recommended early bird spots, and my lovely friend Bruiser who was my dining companion.
After the standard dithering and debating, we decided to go for the €15 for two courses offer in The Larder on Dublin’s Parliament Street.
It’s a small, cosy bistro near the Dame St end of Parliament St. We both decided to go for a starter and a main, being more inclined towards the savoury than the sweet. Nothing jumped out at me from the starter menu, so I went for a smoked salmon salad simply because I had never tried one in a restaurant before. It was ok, I wasn’t crazy about the large helping of raw onions or shallots that it came with, but the salmon and dressing was nice. Bruiser’s dips, bread and olives were a bit more of a hit.
Things really picked up when it came to the main courses, however. My Pork Belly was utterly delicious, with a perfect crispy skin. I was also very happy with the creamy mash and nicely cooked, al dente vegetables. Bruiser only had good things to say about the Fish Pan Florentine, which was fish baked with cream and spinach and served with new potatoes. We had one bottle of very decent wine, the name, variety and colour of which I have completely forgotten (we followed dinner with a rake of pints). I do remember that the food, the wine and two coffees all came to just over €50, which is very good value indeed.
The service is also worth mentioning, as it was extremely friendly, warm and attentive. We were asked if everything was ok a couple of times during the meal. There was one small quibble, and I feel bad even mentioning it when everything else was so lovely – but it’s only a small thing and it might be helpful to mention it. We had to ask for water a number of times before we got it, and it might be an idea for them just to put carafes of tap water out so that people can help themselves, rather than having to ask every time they need their glass refilled. I remember from working waiting tables years back that it’s very easy to forget tap water, as you get asked for it approximately a thousand times each night. It was the only part of the service that didn’t run smoothly, and I would definitely recommend The Larder for dinner. Their full price menu is also very affordable.
Big thanks to @TheCaterers on Twitter for tipping me off to this lovely place and its early bird deal. Have you tried The Larder, and what did you think?
Tuesday 20 April, 2010 at 9:06 am
I’ve been eating in the Larder since it opened about 3 or so years back. I love the place. I love the food and the staff are never anything but nice. I became such a regular that it was easy to go in and have a chat with the guys there.
You have GOT to try their Raspberry Scones with some Butter. AMAZING. and their selection of green teas / teas in general is amazing!
You really won’t be disappointed with your meal here regardless of whether it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner! 🙂
Tuesday 20 April, 2010 at 9:13 am
I really like when you go into a restaurant and without asking you’re given a jug of tap water
Tuesday 20 April, 2010 at 9:24 am
I really like the Larder for the Early Bird, the food is great and its pretty unbeatable value. The chips are really phenomenal.
The front section of the place is slightly garish though, sitting at the back is much easier on the eyes 🙂
Tuesday 20 April, 2010 at 12:29 pm
The food is delicious and second to none, and when I was working in the area it was my favourite eaterie. However, on one unfoturnate occasion during a working lunch visit (and under time pressure) myself and my colleagues waited 40 minutes for the beef and guinness stew (which was amazing and we wolfed it), but the manager made up for it by throwing in free gorgeous desserts & coffees with absolutely no quibble.
And the guys remembered us the next time and made sure the service was very speedy, so fair play to them
Wednesday 21 April, 2010 at 8:13 am
I visited last night on your review
Food was lovely but one issue – the music!
It was so sad and depressing nearly but us to sleep!!
Wednesday 21 April, 2010 at 9:00 am
Have eaten there before and both the food and service was amazing. Highly recommended.
Wednesday 21 April, 2010 at 10:01 am
I used to go there for lunch while working in the area: best option!
Wednesday 21 April, 2010 at 8:07 pm
Highly recommended! We stumbled upon this place about 2 months ago and enjoyed their €10 Steak Dinner. Dessert was spectacular and the service was good, too. Can’t wait to get back next time I’m in Dublin. 🙂