French with­out tears

Hav­ing pre­vi­ously en­joyed his food when he was at Vaughan’s Eatery in D6, Lucinda O’Sul­li­van knew Michael Sabik of­fered good fare at good prices, so she couldn’t wait to try his new Girl and the Goose restau­rant in D4

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Life - - APPETITES -

Tucked away, up a steep stair­case, in the very heart of D4, is a hid­den gem. “Who is Michael Sabik?”, you might ask. He’s not a guy who seeks the lime­light, he just keeps his head down and works in his kitchen. I’ve never met him, nor seen him, but I’d tried his food when he was pre­vi­ously op­er­at­ing Vaughan’s Eatery in Terenure, and I knew it to be good, and good value!

And so I sought out his new eatery, the Girl and the Goose, over Crowes pub in Balls­bridge. Sabik’s in­flu­ences are de­cid­edly French. He spent some time work­ing with French chef Olivier Quene, first at La Mai­son in Cas­tle Mar­ket and then at Vaughan’s, be­fore tak­ing it over when Quenet de­parted from there.

Starters at The Girl and the Goose run from €5.50-€11.50, while mains are gen­er­ally from €11.95-€18.50, apart from poached monk­fish at €22.50 and a 9oz Black An­gus striploin steak with the works at €25.95. On top of that there’s a two- and three­course ‘Neigh­bour­hood Menu’ at €19.95/€24.95, in­cor­po­rat­ing starters and mains from the

Some of the more ob­vi­ously ex­pen­sive dishes carry mod­est sup­ple­ments. This menu runs from Mon­day to Thurs­day, 5pm9pm, and on Fri­days from 5pm6.30pm.The decor is con­tem­po­rary and very com­fort­able and we were looked af­ter all evening by a very help­ful and pleas­ant girl.

Mary and I agreed we’d hap­pily have had any of the starters — which isn’t al­ways the case! Chicken and duck liver was served with a pear and saf­fron chut­ney and a cranberry sauce, while pan-seared scal­lops were paired with fen­nel, sweet­corn, can­died hazel­nuts, cau­li­flower and pancetta. Pan-fried mack­erel also had the pear and saf­fron chut­ney, but with as­para­gus and lemon­grass sauce, while a smoked salmon salad was with sauce

cu­cum­ber, horse­rad­ish, av­o­cado and grape­fruit. Mary went for the three-course

carte. vierge, a la par­fait

EORNA WAL­TON The his­toric set­ting of the former St Mary’s Church of Ire­land is ab­so­lutely stun­ning. Arthur Guin­ness was mar­ried here in 1761, and Wolfe Tone and Sean O’Casey were both bap­tised here. Now, as a bar and restau­rant, it’s al­ways abuzz, with ex­cel­lent food, in both the first-floor Gallery Restau­rant and down­stairs bar. Price: €7-€30.95 Try: Fil­let steak, mini brioche foie gras burger, creamy mash, red wine jus, €30.95 Drinks: The works Neil and Jenny Magee’s cool first-floor restau­rant, a stone’s throw from O’Con­nell Street, serves eclec­tic food and is one of Dublin’s best loved. Pop­u­lar with the arty and the­atri­cal set, chalk it down if you’re com­ing to Dublin for shop­ping in the next cou­ple of months and in need of a good lunch or din­ner. Price: €7-€24 Try: Char­grilled tuna, roast veg & peanut cous­cous, pome­gran­ate, lemon & co­rian­der yo­ghurt, €18.50 Drinks: Beer, wine, cider By­pass those stairs and zoom by lift to this swish, lux­u­ri­ous pent­house restau­rant where the food and ser­vice never fail to daz­zle. From wild In­dian Ocean jumbo prawn curry to tan­door cooked Howth lob­ster, and Wick­low lamb rack to Ker­alan coastal duck-egg curry with crispy prawns, with Mal­abar paratha. Price: €8.50-€35.50 Try: 24-carat grilled guinea fowl, red bean and aged rice ball, co­rian­der salad, €27.50 Drinks: Cock­tails, wine, beer ‘Neigh­bour­hood Menu’ and started with an as­para­gus, bar­ley and pine nut risotto, which had a de­li­cious Asian tweak by way of green peas, spring onions and se­same oil. I went and be­gan with a su­perb goat’s cheese (€8.95), off­set with medal­lions and cubes of dif­fer­ent va­ri­eties of beet­root, driz­zled with a black cherry chives, radish, and sour­dough toast.

Mains in­clude slow-cooked lamb shank, hake, Ir­ish beef and Guin­ness pie, home-made steak burger, monk­fish and a trio of sal­ads, in­clud­ing prawns with chilli, lime and gar­lic and a salad. Mary’s duck leg was ab­so­lutely su­perb — ten­der and juicy on the in­side, and crispy on the out­side. It came with braised red cab­bage, beet­root and black cherry puree, poached sal­sify, fon­dant potato and rose­mary and red wine

I don’t usu­ally have a steak when re­view­ing, but a fil­let, on spe­cial at €22.50, for which I would ex­pect to pay a ten­ner more in many other places, was a cracker! Thick, chunky, and soft as but­ter, I had it ‘on the stone’ — I could have had it fully cooked by them — but I’ve only had steak on the stone a cou­ple of times and fan­cied play­ing around with it. It came with a side dish of chunky chips, onions, tomato, mush­rooms and black pep­per sauce.

Desserts were also mod­estly priced at €5.50, and in­cluded a cho­co­late and or­ange brownie and a home-made Bel­gian cho­co­late fon­dant, but we shared a fab French-style ap­ple from Mary’s ‘Neigh­bour­hood Menu’. With a bot­tle of crisp, dry and aro­matic La­garde 2015 Colom­bard-Ugni Blanc blend (€26.50) from Comte Tolosan in South West France, our bill with op­tional ser­vice came to €92.40.

brulee hal­loumi jus, aioli, con­fit

Girl and the Goose, 1st Floor, 10 Mer­rion Road, Balls­bridge, Dublin 4. Tel: (01) 667-4446 girlandthe­gooser­estau­

lu­cin­dao­sul­li­ a la carte jus. galette,

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