It would be difficult to be a member of the renowned Caviston family (see Dun Laoghaire entry) and not be passionate about fish - and this passion is very evident at this excellent café and deli in Greystones run by Amy Caviston.
From the moment you step in through the door, the emphasis is on fish. The fish counter at the back offers an astonishing array of the freshest produce and, in the adjoining café, this fish is transformed into the most delicious dishes. And an innovative option allows you to choose your fish - there may be anything between 30 and 40 - from the counter and it will be filleted and then cooked for you.
Fish dishes are available all day, from breakfast to lunch and into the afternoon. Colourful and comfortable, the café is delightful and waiter service allows you to take time to choose from the main menu or the blackboard specials, which change daily to reflect fish catches and seasonal ingredients.
Seafood chowder, a bowl of Baltimore rope mussels or Carlingford oysters sit comfortably with the old favourites like Grandad Caviston’s fish pie, or Amy’s fish cakes. Specials might include chargrilled squid, Mexican cod ceviche or shark steak, and an innovative short menu pairing seafood specials with Irish craft beers is offered 3-4pm daily - Irish Fish and Chips, for example, with a bottle of 8 Degrees Howling Gale Ale, €11.95.
Half portions are available for children - who are made especially welcome - and non fish eaters are well catered for too, with tempting dishes that include a charcuterie platter from the deli or homemade Wicklow beef burger, along with daily specials. But, whatever you decide on, it will be a happy choice as the terrific cooking focuses on enhancing the freshness and flavour of the ingredients they have so carefully sourced.
And don’t forget to save a little room for the lovely homemade cakes and desserts (anyone for Callebaut chocolate brownie with homemade chocolate sauce and a chocolate chip cookie ...?) which are available all day, along with some of the lighter dishes, and seriously delicious enjoyed with a wide choice of teas and organic, fairtrade coffees. Everything here is done to the highest standard, and that includes the coffee, which is a special point of pride.
The wine list, even if a little patchy on vintages and tasting note, is a good match for the food and includes a fair choice by the glass - but its crowning glory is the great selection of Irish craft beers listed. About a dozen bottles in varying styles are offered, from a number of craft breweries around the country, and all with tasting notes - proof, if it were needed, that Ireland's craft beer renaissance has taken root and the best craft beers now take their rightful place alongside wine as an accompaniment for fine food.
Now such an essential part of the appeal of this attractive seaside town, it's hard to credit that A. Caviston only opened in 2008 - and it is now firmly established as a destination in its own right.