The décor may stray into traditional pub territory with all the wood panelling, but the food at Le Bon Crubeen is very much brasserie fare. With its mix of bar stools, comfy booths, engraved glass panels, leather armchairs and parquet and tiled floors, it’s a well-lit space with plenty of room between the tables.
A long bar dominates the space, making it a decidedly casual dining room, and its location, close to theatres and on the Luas line serving the O2 at The Point, makes the early dinner menu especially attractive. At the other end of the dining spectrum, Le Jazz Supper Club offers a late night menu on Saturday nights along with some of the coolest jazz in the city.
Chef Derek Brown’s menus feature great choice. A starter of tender scallops with a black pudding crumb and cauliflower puree and mains such as smoked haddock with caper mash, spinach, poached egg and wholegrain mustard cream or a pan-roasted supreme of chicken accompanied by a fava bean, tomato, pancetta and baby potato cassoulet – a dish that is bursting with fresh summer flavour – highlight an understanding of the classics, and there is something for every taste. The menus include lots of vegetarian and gluten-free dishes as well as some welcome healthy options, such as a low-calorie lunch special. Weekend brunch is available too.
Favourites like chocolate mousse or a lemon and lime posset with lavender shortbread feature on the dessert menu as well as more unusual choices, like a pineapple bavorois with peppercorn and poppy seed marinated disc. Or an unusual alternative to a cheese plate is a Roquefort, Gorgonzola and celery terrine with quince jelly and crackers. The wine list is carefully chosen to offer quality with value and it features 15 wines by the glass from an interesting selection of regions.
With many of the main courses on the a la carte menu averaging €17 or €18, the value is outstanding for the level of care taken in the kitchen. The early bird and pre-theatre menu is an absolute steal at €19.95 for two courses or €21.95 for three.
Best of all, portions are generous and manager Mark Adams’s team of staff are courteous, ensuring that you’ll leave Le Bon Crubeen as a satisfied customer – and one who will soon want to return, as they’re probably offering the best value in town.