Michael’s Restaurant Mount Merrion started life as a wine shop and deli, but over the years developed into a fabulous neighbourhood restaurant that attracts more than just the neighbours - people travel for Gaz Smiths food.
We regularly go there for lunch, normally having the best plate of antipasti and salad you can get in Dublin. The quality of the ingredients, and the array of meats, pesto’s and cheese make this a real winner.
In the evening the menu expands and you will find seafood, meat and pasta, offering a range of interesting dishes, along with the more usual cold platters.
We went along for dinner; myself and wife Deirdre, arrived at seven on a Friday, and the room was just filling up, mostly with regulars who were greeted by name, along with some newbie’s who had heard about it on the grapevine.
We weren't drinking so we had a non alcoholic cocktail made by Tallah, who is the ubiquitous face of Michaels and who always goes the extra mile to make a visit special.
First up an Amuse Bouche of lobster ravioli had a great depth of flavour, and impossibly light pasta allowed the delicate seafood flavours to shine.
Starters brought me the osso Bucco while Deidre had the crab claws. The osso Bucco was sticky and delicious, with the marrow dripping from the bones, this was a dish for the committed carnivore. Deirdre on the other hand had a plate as pretty and dainty as a picture, the sweet claws in a lemon garlic butter and a light crumb, I managed to snag a taste and they were wonderful. In fact it struck me that they would be a fabulous lunch dish with some crusty bread.
Main courses saw a reversal of roles; Dee tucked into a savage plate of spaghetti and meatballs while I had an elegant dish of scallops with smoked salmon arancini. The scallops were perfectly cooked, and the arancini added texture and body to the dish. A Bearnaise style sauce was a surprise, but it worked very well and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
After eating so well, a break was required before dessert, and we ending up with a piece of the pistachio tart to share. This has been on the menu in Michaels forever and if anything it has only gotten better. We finished with some good coffee and made our way across the road to the new Union Cafe for a drink before toddling on home.
Michaels has always been a favourite, and it's probably at it's best at present. The seafood is devine, service brilliant and the whole experience one of Dublin's best. Check it out.