Meet Me in the Morn­ing

50 Pleas­ants Street Dublin8 face­book.com/ meet me in the morn­ing

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - SEVEN DAYS | EATING OUT -

Brian O’ Keefe came across artist and cook Fiona Hal­li­nan when she and her col­lab­o­ra­tor Katie San­ders on brought their food and art project, The H are, to Cen­tre Cul­tural Ir land a is in Paris.

O’ Keefe, orig­i­nally from Dublin, had been work­ing and liv­ing in Paris for a num­berof years, work­ing in the renowned Cou­tume Café. Years ear­lier, he had be­come a self-pro­claimed cof­fee nerd al­most by ac­ci­dent. He vis­ited 3 FE when it was still in Mid­dle Abbey St in around 2009 and was in­trigued with the un­fa­mil­iar taste pro­file she got from Colin Har­mon’ s cof­fee. He took a day course with Harm on, thus open­ing the spe­cialty cof­fee rab­bit hole for O’ Ke­effe. Soon, his hobby turned into a clearpath and O’ Ke­effe went onto win the Ir­ish Brewers’ Cup com­pe­ti­tion in 2015, rep­re­sent­ing Ire­land in the World Bari sta Cham­pi­onships in Swe­den that year.

O’Ke­effe re­turned to Dublin in June 2015 to seek out a premises and found the space on Pleas­ant’s St just off Cam­den St. O’Ke­effe did a com­plete re­fit of the space, build­ing the el­e­gant ta­bles for two him­self be­fore open­ing on April 15 th.

Meet Me In The Morn­ing’ s clear, un­pre­ten­tious iden­tity al­ready feels fully formed within a month of open­ing. He has brought his cof­fee ar dour to his café, and my flat white(¤3.50) is flaw­less and flavour­ful, made with or­ganic milk from Coolanowle Farmin Laois. O’Ke­effe has plans to ro­tate be­tween an Ir­ish and an in­ter­na­tional roaster. When I visit, he’s us­ing beans from Hexagone Café, roasted in ru­ral France by Stéphane Cataldi, who pro­vided O’ Ke­effe with his beans when he com­peted in the Brewers’ Cup, on both the Ir­ish and world stage.

When he was get­ting closer to open­ing the doors to Meet Me in the Morn­ing, he con­tacted Hal­li­nan to seek a rec­om­men­da­tion of who might be a good cook for the project. Iwon­der ifhe per­haps, on some level, hoped that she would put her­self for­ward for it? She­did. Hal­li­nan, who is one half of Fr ao ch Re­treats, is an as­tute artist as well as be­ing as killed cook. Hal­li­nan is greatly in­flu­enced by the visual beauty of food, and her recipes are in­spired by her trav­els to places such as Beirut and In­dia. Her ap­proach to her work seems tome to be gen­tle and calm, and that har­mony comes through in her food.

Her Nut Eile(¤5) is based on a friend’ s recipe of roasted hazel nuts blitzed and coco-ed up with raw ca­cao. It’s served sprin­kled with sea saltand slathered onto toasted slices of Le Le vain sour dough. The honey on the side is from O’ Kee ff e’ s fa­ther’ s hives in R os com­mon. Her bowl of egg and greens(¤7) ac­com­plish es break­fast tran­scen­dence. The egg is just cooked so that it runs glo­ri­ously into the rain­bow chard and sor­rel, sup­plied by Christie Stapleton from the nearby Green Door Mar­ket. There are also spring onions, sweet­ened through fry­ing. A doll op of gar­lic yo­gurt melds with drops of pa­prika and chill i oil that is evoca­tive of chorizo while main­tain­ing this dish’ s veg­e­tar­ian cre­den­tials. There are just a hand­ful of dishes ev­ery­day, with an em­pha­sis on pro­duce, sim­plis­tic beauty, and above all, taste.

The name is special, too, and is taken from Bob Dy­lan’ s song of the same name .“The name is an in­vi­ta­tion for two peo­ple to meet in the morn­ing. I wanted this café to be aso­cial place, not a place for lap­tops .” There is cur­rently no Wifi for cus­tomers, and it doesn’t sound like O’ Ke­effe has plans to of­fer it in the fu­ture.

This space is sim­ple and se rene, tempt­ing and en­gag­ing. There are some truly cap­ti­vat­ing tastes be­ing served up here, from the cof­fee bar to the kitchen. Taste the flavours for your­self from 9 am to 5 pm, Tues­day to Fri­day, and 10 am to 5 pm on Satur­days.

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