I spent Christmas in Dublin this year. Getting acquainted with the ol’Irish-livin’, ok, that was bad, but I really enjoyed my time there. The people are friendly, there’s lots of beer and pubs ‘poobs’, and it feels quaint and European.
S took me to one of their favourite restaurants in Dublin- Pichet. He boasted about how it is always a very solid meal, delicious to the last bite.
Nick Munier, the owner of Pichet is possibly he hardest working restauranteur I have seen. If you don’t know him, he’s kind of a big deal in Ireland – He is known for his maitre-d role on the Irish Hell’s Kitchen. In the short time that we were there, he greeted guests, checked coats, bussed tables, plated meals, pretty much wore every had under the sun in this restaurant.
The meal was delightful.
After the mains, we took a peek at the desert menu; this of course, being my favourite course! I was stuck in a dilemma between my favourite of all time: Sticky Toffee Pudding and the intriguing Pavlova. Pavlovas are similar to ‘Baked Alaska”, but upside down, minus cake and, pretty much not at all alike except for the baked meringue.
Pavlovas originated in Australia and were named after a Russian ballet dancer believe it or not. It is essentially a meringue crust; with the outside baked to a perfect crisp and filled with dense marshmallowy insides; topped with either whipped cream/Chantilly cream; finished with fruit compote. The mouthfeel of this dessert varies from moment to moment. I love and respect a great pavlova because I have battled with getting the meringue OFF the pan or parchment- quite the art, I must say.
Back to my dilemma, Mr. Munier crouched down two see if we had any questions about the dessert and I asked what his favourite choice would be, I mentioned that I was torn between the usual favourite and my curiosity for the pavlova. He empathized with my dilemma and said he flip flops between the two- Great! that wasn’t helpful at all right? I chose the sticky toffee pudding.
Dessert is served
My sticky toffee pudding came first. It was gooey, sweet buttery cake with sprinkles of toffee bits. I was very pleased with my decision. S ordered a Chocolate Fondant Cake, in North American terms I think it’s a molten lava cake. Can’t go wrong.
The server came by with s’ dessert in one hand and another dessert in the other. I caught a glimpse of it, it was the beautiful Pavlova, I suddenly had dessert-envy. Can I question my decision now? To my surprise she gestures to put it on our table, I’m suddenly shocked and confused- oh no, I think he misunderstood me. I can’t imagine the shock and confusion on our faces as she explained that he wanted to send both by so that we could try them. – I’m thinking…. this is too much, how am I going to do this and STILL fit in my dress?
Well, I am so glad that we had all three desserts. I’m pretty sure I finished about 90% of them and S had merely a bite of each. I am wowed by the relaxed and conversational atmosphere of the bistro. The Gin&Tonic was solid, thanks to Hendricks. – and there, another inspiring meal.
Service: laid back but busy, cozy, seemed like lots of returning regulars there, over the top nice – hospitality