Our last night in Dublin was a pretty low-key one. In typical fashion, we hem-hawed about what we wanted to do for dinner. Fish and chips was ruled out because I already had that in Kinsale and I knew that no place would compare to Fishy Fishy. Plus, KP has some strange belief that it’s a British thing and therefore shouldn’t be eaten in Ireland. We thought about burgers and chips at a pub somewhere, but weren’t sure which one to choose. We thought about the Winding Stair which sounds like such a cool concept (and we will go back next time we visit Dublin), but KP was looking for something casual.
Luckily one of my colleagues put together a list of Dublin restaurants for foodies for me, so we perused that and finally landed on Peploe’s on St. Stephen’s Green. A convenient choice, it was just down the street from our hotel. Stepping outside around 8:00 p.m. was quite different just a few hours earlier; Grafton Street was filled with people milling about, some pouring into the park. But by time we walked to dinner, the streets were nearly completely empty. It was kind of nice, like we had that sliver of Dublin to ourselves for the evening.
Immediately when we walked into Peploe’s I knew I was going to like the place. The manager greeted us almost instantly, asked if we had a reservation (we didn’t) and quickly seated us. The dining room was lively but in a comfortable, not too obnoxiously loud kind of way. It had a good energy.
While we enjoyed our aperitifs (bellini for me and sherry for KP — I had no idea he even liked sherry… ah, the things you learn when you travel), our server brought us some delicious — presumably homemade — sun-dried tomato bread with a pesto dipping sauce.
The menu consists mainly of pasta, seafood and steaks, and after some debate between the moules mariniere and the monkfish pie, I opted for the latter. After all, I eat mussels often enough in the States, but not fish pie.
But before I get into the deliciousness that was fish pie, I have to tell you about the starter that we shared — gratinated goat cheese. It was hands-down one of the best starter dishes I’ve ever had, and we will be attempting to recreate at home. It’s always the simplest things that are the most delicious, and that as definitely the case. It was essentially a smallish wheel of goat cheese, wrapped in Parma ham and cooked ever so lightly to just create a nice light golden brown bubbly crust on the outside. It sat atop a quartered browned shallot and a bed of spring greens, and the plate was encircled in a truffle and honey vinaigrette. Out of this world.
I could’ve easily had the goat cheese and dessert and called it a night, but the monkfish pie was good, too. In addition to the monkfish, there were also prawns and mashed potatoes in the pie and it was all topped with breadcrumbs and herbs and served in a cute little copper dish.
Sorry, but our pistachio ice-cream-filled profiteroles were inhaled before I could snap a pic. Our server actually told us she was going to take our plate away before we began licking it. Clearly she got to know us well over dinner.
We strolled back to the hotel on the park side, which was all closed up for the night.