Findlater’s bar and restaurant in Howth occupies what is probably the prime location on Howth harbour. This imposing and quite beautiful building has been extensively refurbished and extended, and now is quite a landmark on the right hand side as you enter Howth village.
Owner Michael Wright has had the building since 2005, and is responsible for the work. The beautiful brick façade is still in place, and dining is spread over two floors, the ground floor bar and first floor restaurant. A Sky Bar with a large terrace occupies the third floor, with spectacular views over the harbour, and it’s a popular venue for parties and functions.
Quite recently, Ronan Ryan has joined the team here. Ronan is the chap who was behind the very popular Town Bar and Grill and he really knows his stuff and big changes are afoot.
We visited for casual dinner midweek and found a nice table in the bar with plenty of space and comfy chairs. On a late summers evening there were still nice views over the bay, and we got some sparkling water and a glass of wine for my friend Matt as we settled back to order.
We had the option of the bar or restaurant menu, and decided on the latter. Seafood obviously features highly, and starters included Howth harbour chowder, Fivemiletown goat’s cheese, fish cakes, deep fried calamari, half dozen oysters or antipasti. Prices range from €5 to €12, with most dishes around the €8 mark.
Main courses continued the theme, and we chose between seafood platters, a choice of steaks, crispy pork belly, and pan fried hake or seafood linguine. Prices are reasonable here as well, with a lot in the mid teens, and only the seafood platter breaking the €20 mark.
Starters of fishcakes and oysters went down a treat, with the fish cakes being light and full of fishy flavour. We stuck with the sea for our mains. Matt enjoyed the grilled salmon with parmesan, pea and asparagus orzo, while my hake was perfectly cooked and the confit of fennel set off the flavour. I couldn’t resist a side of the home made chips, and they were crispy and fluffy in the right places. We shared a brownie to end, and a couple of nice coffees.
Findlater’s occupies a beautiful beautiful, and the food is honest and well made. It will be interesting to see where they go over the next few months with Ronan on board, but they are well worth checking out, and even if you’re just out for a drink, the Sky bar is hard to beat for a cocktail or two.