The Step Inn has been part of the community in Stepaside ever since I can remember. Growing up The Step Inn has been somewhere we would go; be it Sunday lunch, a family celebration or just for a coffee on the way home from an outing.
My mother would tell stories about when she was young back in the 50’s and would travel out from town to Matt Smiths in Stepaside. It has been renovated and refurbished many times but they have managed to keep that old feeling; stone and timber in the bar and many an elderly gentleman holding up the bar no matter the time of day. The exterior of the building has remained the same, a landmark in the centre of Stepaside village.
When we recently popped in on Sunday afternoon, the lounge was crammed to capacity with families and couples alike. Most of the customers were there to eat, and I suppose it is a sign of the times, that pubs are now virtually restaurants that serve drink, rather than the other way around.
The menu is extensive with starters ranging from €4.90 for the soup of the day to €11.90 for chicken wings to share. There are also salmon croquettes, prawn pil pil and brie and fig and some old favourites like potato skins, cheese nachos and garlic mushrooms. The mains are divided into seafood, steak on the stone, burgers, poultry and salads/vegetarian, and prices run anywhere from €11.90 for a goats cheese salad to €25.90 for an 8oz fillet on the stone. Other choices include baked cod, fish pie, Barbary duck or red pesto chicken pasta, not to mention the many variations of burgers which are all handmade and priced around the €13.00 mark.
The wine list is concise with 6 whites and the same of red priced from €23.90 for an Esporao Alandra Blanco or Tinto up to €35.90 for the Fleurie or €37.90 for the Sancerre. There is of course the full bar with a fine selection of craft beers if that takes your fancy.
Two bottles of water, a sparkling and a still, were brought to the table as we ordered. I started with the prawn pil pil while mother chose the salmon croquettes and my daughter went for the spicy chicken wings. We all enjoyed our choices, they were delicious and could have been a meal in themselves, as helpings were extremely generous.
I followed with the Thai green curry, which isn’t a regular choice for me, but was glad, as it was really very good. The Mammy had the flat iron steak on the stone, which she deftly cooked herself while Keisha had the breaded scampi. This is a dish I haven’t seen on a menu for many years, but like toher retro classics, it might be making a comeback.
Desserts were tempting but having all had a starter and a main course we had to pass, but FYI they are all homemade, cost €5.50 and include warm bramley apple pie, pavlova, a homemade banoffi, warm chocolate fudge cake or white chocolate and raspberry cheesecake. We were very good and finished with some good coffees.
The Step Inn never disappoints, the food is very good, service is friendly and the setting, halfway up the mountains gives plenty of options for a nice walk afterwards. In the evening there is also the option of The Stone Grill, which has the same menu, but just in a more intimate setting