When the bread is as light and fluffy as you could dream of and comes with cool, whipped ricotta you know you’re onto something extra special. Then come three ‘snacks’ to get your palate excited, maybe smoked cod roe on toast or blue cheese and apple on a sablé biscuit. Each morsel is like a preview of the main event, showcasing finesse and creativity and letting you know that this kitchen means business.
Chef John Wyer and his wife Sandy are the brains behind Forest Avenue, a cool, Scandi-style outpost in Dublin 4, named after the street in New York where Sandy grew up. She met Corkman John in Germany and between them the pair have worked in many fine dining kitchens, abroad and in Dublin, including, most recently Mulberry Gardens.
Forest Avenue nails the zeitgeist with reclaimed tables, low-key décor, the odd antlered head on the wall, cutlery in leather pouches and, most significantly, clean, bold flavour combinations that zing with freshness and creativity. There’s nothing but an open pass separating diners from the kitchen; John cooks and while Sandy is a pastry chef she’s now responsible for front-of-house.
Serving brunch, lunch and dinner, the evening tasting menu at €48 includes five delicious courses starting with earthy snacks and culminating in superb petit fours, perhaps wonderful deconstructed mini éclairs and delicate friands.
In between you’ll enjoy picture perfect dishes bursting with flavour, perhaps a dish of roast salsify with smoked ox tongue, garnished with pickles, beetroot and horseradish speckles or heaven-sent 12-month-old Comeragh lamb, surrounded by white beans and black olive and aubergine purée.
A dessert of vibrant pink rhubarb pink with a cloud of coconut cream over white chocolate will keep the magic going until the last bite.
Service is attentive and friendly, there’s a good selection of wine, beer and house cocktails and upbeat tunes ensure the bright room of mismatched tables buzzes with vibrancy.
Come expecting a culinary adventure and you won’t be disappointed.