The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - SEVEN DAYS | GOING OUT - AMcE

Fia Café

155b Rath­gar Road, Dublin 6 fia.ie Fia Café is the brain­child of friends and busi­ness part­ners Alan and Derek. In the early as­sem­bling of the Fia Café team, Roasted Brown lent the café their barista Johnny North­cutt, who is mak­ing the im­pec­ca­ble brews (¤3 for a flat white) with Roasted Brown beans the day I visit.

My lunch is Peas on Toast (¤8), a dish that un­apolo­get­i­cally makes use of the good­ness in frozen peas by topping toasted sour­dough with plenty of them, and cov­er­ing them with chunks of McCarthy’s tremen­dous black pud­ding. A softly fried egg sits atop, a sprin­kling of herb salt mak­ing it all the more in­ter­est­ing.

There are four break­fast dishes (served from 9am to noon) and three lunch dishes (served from noon to 4pm). Two daily spe­cials afe of­fered as a way to trial dishes for week­end brunch menu. Rather than a soup, of­fers a more sub­stan­tial broth-based hot­pot (¤7) is of­fered.

The Filo Pie (¤10) is a mix of size­able spinach leaves from McNally’s Fam­ily Farm, lightly steamed, and par­celled into sheets of filo along­side bay leaves, rose­mary, dill seeds, mint, dill, Greek feta from Lil­liput Stores in Stoney­bat­ter and eggs. It’s a sat­is­fy­ing take on the clas­sic spanako­pita. The menu will change reg­u­larly, and will be in­flu­enced by what sup­pli­ers can of­fer.

Visit on Tues­day to Fri­day from 7.30am to 4pm, and Satur­day to Sun­day from 10am to 4pm.

Meet Me in the Morn­ing

50 Pleas­ants Street Dublin 8 face­book.com/ meet­meinthe­morn­ing Opened by Brian O’Keefe on April 15th, Meet Me In The Morn­ing’s clear, un­pre­ten­tious iden­tity al­ready feels fully formed within a month of open­ing. He has brought his cof­fee ar­dour to his café, and my flat white (¤3.50) is flaw­less and flavour­ful. 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.

In the kitchen, Fiona Hal­li­nan is an as­tute artist as well as be­ing a skilled 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 Nut Eile (¤5) is based on a friend’s recipe of roasted hazel­nuts blitzed and coco-ed up with raw ca­cao. It’s served sprin­kled with sea salt and slathered onto toasted slices of Le Le­vain sour­dough. The honey on the side is from O’Ke­effe’s father’s hives in Roscom­mon. Her bowl of egg and greens (¤7) ac­com­plishes 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 dol­lop of gar­lic yo­gurt melds with drops of pa­prika and chilli oil that is evoca­tive of chorizo while main­tain­ing this dish’s veg­e­tar­ian cre­den­tials. There are just a hand­ful of dishes ev­ery day, with an em­pha­sis on pro­duce, sim­plis­tic beauty, and above all, taste.

The name is spe­cial, too, taken from Bob Dy­lan’s song. “The name is an in­vi­ta­tion for two peo­ple to meet in the morn­ing. I wanted this café to be a so­cial 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 serene, 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 9am to 5pm, Tues­day to Fri­day, and 10am to 5pm on Satur­days.

Bibi’s Café

14b Emorville Av­enue, off Clan­bras­sil St, Dublin 8 01-4547421 bibis.ie ¤ Opened in 2010 by sis­ters Pe­tria and Maisha Lene­han, Bibi’s is a se­cret stal­wart on the Dublin lunch scene. Pe­tria has since moved on to New York where her fash­ion busi­ness is now based (though her clothes are still made in Dublin), and the en­tire space on the cor­ner of Emorville Av­enue is now ded­i­cated to Maisha and her brother Ge­off’s cook­ing.

Over a re­cent lunch, I was wowed by a sim­ple plate of roasted but­ter­nut squash and poached eggs (¤10), driz­zled in a chilli-in­fused but­ter.

It’s the sub­tle flour­ishes, such as a sim­ple flavoured and melted but­ter, that el­e­vate a dish from good to great. A chorizo toastie (¤8.50) is de­li­ciously greasy from be­ing pan-fried, a crisp and el­e­gantly dressed salad on the side go­ing some way to mak­ing up for the naugh­ti­ness.

It’s a spe­cial spot, and one that’s prob­a­bly on your Best Of list al­ready. But, just in case it’s been a while since your last visit to Bibi’s, you’ll find them open ev­ery day of the week, from 9am to 4pm on week­days and 10am to 5pm on week­ends.

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