Operated by the well known catering sisters, Domini and Peaches Kemp, the restaurant on the third floor of the flagship store on Dublin’s Grafton Street is an oasis of calm.
The black, white and grey colour scheme is complemented by a series of wonderful “broken glass effect” 3D mirrors on two walls, creating an extra layer of light and depth without showing the diners unwanted reflections of themselves. The rectangular dining room is an ideal refuge from the retail experience, or – thanks to its reputation for using locally produced artisan foods, whose suppliers are credited on menus - perhaps even a dining destination in itself.
Breakfast here would be a luxury to be enjoyed before you begin the day, and you could take a hint from the Brunch menu and begin as you plan to go on - with an aperitif of Prosecco with crushed berries - or perhaps a Champagne Bellini? To accompany, perhaps Eggs Benedict (also available at lunchtime) or Florentine, buttermilk pancakes, smoked salmon with chive scrambled egg – there’s plenty of choice.
Lunch begins at midday and the maitre d' greets many regular diners by name - no mean feat. This Dublin Restaurants menu is modern, appealingly varied and quite extensive, ranging from a protein-packed seafood chowder of smoked haddock, salmon, prawns and mussels (marked gluten free); to a to a Parmesan crusted free range Irish chicken (a beautiful mix of colour and texture, a light touch at work here but not necessarily lightweight as it will keep you going for the rest of the day) or a super-food salad with alfalfa sprouts, char-grilled broccoli, pomegranate, pumpkin seeds, avocado puree, feta & lemon vinaigrette (marked vegetarian – and a number of regular dishes are available as vegetarian options too).
The daily pasta special might be penne served with chicken, asparagus and baby spinach with a thyme chive sauce, and anyone hankering after red meat would enjoy a char-grilled steak sandwich with traditional accompaniments. With all mains under €18 prices are not bad, considering the location.
A signature coffee tastes better when accompanied by cupcakes or muffins from the bakery or, if time and space allow, an excellent dessert of rhubarb and apple crumble with vanilla ice cream. There are tempting cakes and pastries available all day, and there’s a nice little Children’s Menu too - with even the smallest catered for via baby food sachets.
A short wine selection begins at €6.85 per glass or €23 per bottle and other drinks include apple juice and fresh orange juice.