With its smart bright blue facade spelling out a welome to passers by, you’re unlikely to miss this little restaurant near the canal. It's in the premises formerly occupied by the popular Jamie's Restaurant (now on Main Street), and is well worth seeking out for the interesting cooking offered by owner-chef Kenan Pehlivan.
Inside, low key décor in tones of beige and soft blue set an understated mood and, although there isn’t room for a reception area, friendly staff are quick to welcome arriving guests, who are shown straight to their table and served iced water with lemon and mint and a choice of breads.
Tables for two are on the small side for the fashionably large white plates used, but this is easy to forgive once you taste what’s served on them - and the ladder back chairs are very comfortable.
Menus cover all bases, yet succeed in offering something different. Steaks are always in demand, for example, and you'll find great ones here (aged 10 oz Irish Hereford rib eye or 8 oz fillet at €24/€27, with choice of accompaniments for the fillet at a supplement), but lamb is also a favourite - lamb cakes with savoy mash and cumin make a wonderful starter, and ballotine of lamb is a speciality main course well worth trying - and even the ubiquitous chicken (free range) is lifted out of the ordinary with imaginative cooking (in a lemon and thyme infusion for example) and accompaniments.
Enjoyable fish dishes might include seabream fillets with buttery leek risotto, celeriac purée and saffron & caper cream and, unusually, vegetarian dishes - such as golden bulgar feta & parsley cakes with red pepper escabèche & cucumber raita - are especially interesting.
Desserts might include classics done well - a very good crème brulée with ginger biscuit, for example.
Overall, The Blue Apron combines quality of food and service with good value and, while it would be nice to see more information on provenance, the cooking is among the best to be found in a wide area. The unusual combinations work well and (although portions are very large) dishes are attractively presented - and there’s a well organised wine list too, with very good tasting notes.