The Gallaher and Co Bistro in Dublin’s D’Olier Street occupies one of the finest buildings in Dublin. D’Olier Chambers was built for the Gallaher Tobacco Company as a head office back in 1891. Architecturally it has a Parisian feel, with tall chimneys and scrolled gables that would feel quite at home in Paris. The main materials of yellow brick and terracotta make it a stand out as well, and it forms the end of the street like the point of an arrow.
It is into this that the new Gallaher Bistro has decided to make their home. Inside the original ceiling is still in place, but is now painted in dark grey and whites. The rest is very contemporary; the walls are clad in large white tiles, steel hanging frames that hold bottles of wines drop from the ceiling and black leather banquette seating runs around the walls. It all works very well and crates almost homage to art deco or industrial influences – one thing is for sure, a designer has been at work here.
The menu is classic bistro fare with a mixture of classics and some traditional Irish dishes. Daily specials are posted daily on the blackboard and fish features well on the menu. There is a very good value pre-theatre menu which runs all night from Mon – Wed, and up until 6.30 other evenings, and can also be had at all times on Sunday. The prices here offer two courses for €16.90 or three for €19.90.
The A la Carte is keenly priced as well with most of the starters priced a euro up or down of €8. They include a French onion soup, pork belly with a poached egg and cherry jus or mussels in white wine and chives, which can be ordered with fries as a main course.
Other main courses include a beef and Guinness pie, or classic bacon and cabbage. If these Irish favourites don’t float your boat, there is a home made burger, fish and chips, a choice of steaks and a couple of pasta dishes. Most of them are priced in the mid-teens, with the aged rib eye steak only breaking into the twenties.
We started with Castletownbere scallops on a pea puree and drizzled with grapefruit foam, which we shared with some brad and dips. The scallops were perfectly cooked, and the grapefruit added a tart dimension that I always feel scallops need. Main courses were decidedly different, but both good. I had a hearty plate of traditional bacon and cabbage, while the better, prettier half had the special of lemon sole with lemon butter and greens, which came prettily, presented and cooked au Pointe.
A shared sticky toffee pudding and coffees finished us off nicely, and the service throughout was very good indeed.
Gallaher’s is a very good mid price Bistro in a beautifully decorated space, inside a really lovely example of Dublin architecture. This part of town is not that well served with good restaurants, and they should do well here. Worth checking out.