There's always a risk that people will misunderstand one's intentions when trying to accomplish something exceptional and out of the ordinary. However, charmingly situated on the Grand Canal Dock waterfront, Marc and Conor Bereen (also of Coppinger Row) interpret Mediterranean with allusions of Eastern promise at their Charlotte Quay Restaurant & Bar, with calculating precision.
Chef Killian Durkan provides a serious and intentional array of Mediterranean fare with me and Himself beginning our experience with a welcoming bowl of fresh ripe olives and chilled sparkling water.
I started with fresh, succulent, moist prawns in a creamy, white wine and garlic sauce, accompanied by freshly made sourdough bread. The other half, who had been happily rhapsodising about the atmospheric musical choices, was momentarily silenced when one of many very efficient, well-turned-out staff members placed a plate of ravioli with butternut squash in front of him. There ensued a bit of ‘All Hail Ireland' - and a litany of reasons why fresh, locally-sourced Irish produce was unsurpassable.
Being indecisive is a handicap in a restaurant like Charlotte Quay - and I was torn between a main of squid, mussel & Nduja casserole and a rare fillet steak. Eventually I opted for the latter served in red wine sauce alongside homemade chips. He opted for a gourmet burger smothered in smoky applewood cheddar, bacon, caramelised onion and mayo on a brioche bun, accompanied by Heirloom carrots, Kohlrabi salad and fries.
We were like two too well fed fools after this and while the homemade desserts were impressive, they truly would have finished us off. So we waited and the special dessert tummy rumbled and we decided to share the chocolate layer cake served with a side of ice cold raspberry sorbet. Definitely the most indulgent and delicious way to finish off the meal.
Afterwards we took a leisurely stroll outside to enjoy the view and observe the many changes of the Dublin Docks. It really is spectacular, and the whole Cosmo chic vibe in this pocket of the waterways is now a proud achievement in our city.
We returned to the bar where from a menu that boasted a plethora of cocktails, we decided on a 'Flo & Basy' to cleanse the palate; beefeater gin with only the finest St. Germain elderflower liqueur - and do that curious thing we often neglect whilst negotiating city life... relax.
The Charlotte Quay restaurant offers free wifi, wheelchair access, vegetarian, vegan & gluten options and for busy parents who want to bring the little-uns, provides highchairs. Book now, you won't be disappointed.