By day it’s a jaunty little café with great coffee and attitude; by night it turns into something altogether more extraordinary, a cheeky bistro affair serving tasting plates, the French equivalent of tapas. Cutting a real Parisian dash with its bare-topped tables, painted wood panelling, high ceilings and tiny tables it’s casual, relaxed and more than a little bit boho.
The short menu may be limited by the tiny kitchen - which is fully visible behind the café’s counter – but this small space certainly hasn’t stymied chef Gavin McDonagh’s creativity. Here a good balance of meat, seafood and vegetarian dishes, plus a few charcuterie offerings, are created and served as they are ready. There are no formal courses and you can order as much or little as you like.
Signature dishes like salmon with a twist (lightly poached salmon, horseradish crème fraiche, pickled cucumber and candied beetroot) or a rustic Cashel Blue potato gratin showcase the thoughtful cooking at play here.
Ingredients are well chosen and while The Guide is impressed with the cooking and flavour combinations, we’d love to see the provenance of all the ingredients on the menu. When a dish is as tasty and memorable as their twice-baked goats’ cheese soufflé, why not name-check the wonderful St Tola that it’s been made with?
Desserts might include a lovely white chocolate parfait, or decent cheeseboard, and there’s excellent coffee and also speciality teas available. Each dish is surprisingly filling, and with prices from as little as €4.50 up to a maximum of €8, dinner here is extraordinarily good value.
The short wine list offers ten by the glass, starting at just €5, with the cheapest bottle a mere €17.50. Service is attentive and charming with staff doing a fine job of engaging with customers while dashing about.
Rustic and relaxing, Brioche ce Soir is hitting all the right notes.