Tucked away in a tiny basement near the Lincolns Inn entrance to Trinity College, you’ll find this unusual bistro offering modest French dining served with a personal touch.
Steep cast iron steps lead promisingly down to a welcoming bright red door and, as you step through into this Dublin restaurants cosy interior, you could be mistaken for thinking you have entered a small Parisian neighbourhood restaurant, full of character and chic bistro charm.
Recent refurbishment by interior designer Cormac Rowell of Rowell Design transformed previously moody tones by introducing lighter shades to add to the effect of reflected natural light from a mirrored wall - yet the bohemian atmosphere remains and bentwood chairs still provide a little Parisian ‘arrondissement’ allure, and interesting artwork includes a delightful painting of a cow's head.
A warmly informal tone is set by a friendly duo team of waiter and chef, who welcome guests to choose from a modest menu chalked onto a large blackboard.
Both lunch and dinner menus change daily, offering a handful of enticing French starters, mains and desserts which focus on bold flavours in dishes that will satisfy any appetite: simple rustic cooking at its best.
Begin, perhaps, with a soup or terrine, followed by a ragout of rabbit or pan fried fillet of cod and a well-made fruit compote for dessert.
Expect bold, no frills cooking in classic French style, and a modest wine list that confidently offers only French wines, all by the glass and bottle, including a rosé and a couple of champagnes.
The Blackboard Bistro is run by people who take their food, wine and service seriously, and – by offering delicious, modest food in charming surroundings, served with the personal touch that only a small restaurant can deliver - it has raised the bar for affordable city dining.
Just the place for anyone who is tired of complicated, over-presented food, and longs for simple dishes with real flavour.