Luncheonette is a new cafe in the basement canteen of the National College of Art and Design on Thomas St, and it’s a gem. I won’t pretend to write an objective review as it’s been set up by a friend of mine, but I hope my many years of guffing off about food here have built up some trust between us – I wouldn’t recommend it if I didn’t genuinely like it.
They serve food that is original, interesting, comforting and very vegetarian-friendly. When I went in recently with some colleagues, we tried the ribollita for €3 (soup with tomatoes, chick peas and bread, served with walnut pesto and parmesan), the flatbread with salty marrow, slow roasted tomatoes and lemon hummus (€3) and their beetroot burgers for €4, which came with avocado, pickled cucumbers and tomato. Discounts were given for buying a soup and sandwich together.
Delicious little cakes were priced from €1.50 to €2; we had lemon cakelets and a Portuguese-style pastel de nata, which is a beautiful little cup of pastry and custard. Coffees are only €1.80 and tea is €1.
It’s all served in a gorgeous space with long benches, niches in the walls and pretty lighting. The food and surroundings are a far cry from the hairy bacon served in a giant prefab that was the canteen experience at UCD, where I studied. NCAD students are very fortunate to have this on hand, and as it’s open to the public you can enjoy it too. The prices are introductory but I trust that it will remain good value – it’s very simple food prepared in clever and interesting ways.
Check out the Luncheonette Facebook page for their menus.