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
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 girlandthegooserestaurant.ie
lucindaosullivan.com a la carte jus. galette,